“Die, but give birth” – can a priest to educate parishioners

The condition of the priest, who came home in the evening, often described in one sentence: “rest and silence”. Is it really in the family with many children? And what about this thinks the mother? Abbot Sergius Church of the village of Trubino priest Anthony Senko said “Pravmiru” on the discussions around the many children and what he has to say to couples who come to him and confess that they are tired to give birth.

  • Dmitry Yemets: Before, we lived only for the children and were very tired
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  • Us nun put it, the tenth child waiting!
  • “Smiling like there is no problem” she’s in ninth and believes that life is beautiful

When spouses are looking is the number of children

– Why do you think discussions about the many children face so fierce?

– I think most of the discussions at some point become violent. Due to the internal unrest of the participants. Most likely, they are afraid to be wrong, wrong. The most frequent question to the priest – I did correctly or incorrectly. Such rigid, black and white, without halftones. Craving for one for all standard, inherited from the Soviet system of education. In the older version – legalism.

Large – beyond. Recently our large member on the bus said that large to be indecent. On the question of what to say in such a situation, I offered to see the meaning of the word “decent”. It turned out, among the values there is appropriate and respectable as well as suitable and good. It is clear that the bus is hardly possible to talk about the meaning and value of words, but to give people the opportunity to understand and articulate the myths about decent and indecent is very useful.

I liked the value “any”. Ie this couple, “fit” is the number of children. Well. Although the example and the Council is not superfluous. When the husband and wife there is no agreement, you may need assistance.

Father Anthony family

– Side – this refers to the Confessor?

– May be a Confessor, and a marriage counselor or an experienced man. Different questions, different experiences, and different. No need to think that a priest can be competent immediately and throughout.

– What advice they have to the ideal?

– Archpriest Valerian Krechetov, which rarely happens, usually listens to what people came. We visited families. In one visit, and another… the Husband asks – what to do with his wife? Wife how to live with your husband? Father Valerian, after hearing, begins to talk about his parents. Says their mother, children who are not abused, but if you did something bad, was sad or tried to do. And the kids mom tried to keep. He explains that if you want something to teach the other, he try to do, show an example.

More I’m with the Confessor did not communicate

– Have you had bad experiences with the clergy regarding marital relations?

Was such a sad experience. In his youth, coming to a priest, I’ve always heard it’s very harsh statements about family life, about the relationship of the spouses. Especially intimate. He, monk, all the time trying to discuss with me such details that I, a young unmarried man, could not suffer.

I read the rule of the Holy apostles, which says that the priest who condemns marriage, let him be cast out from a dignity, and could not understand what to do. At some point broke down, went to the diocesan spiritual father for confession and told him all. And he said, you know, how many from this priest of the people affected? From his teachings about family life? This topic has been closed to me, the more I’m with the Confessor did not communicate.

Father Anthony

– And what happened next?

I know several families who stopped to chat with this priest. Know and people who continue. I went to him before the marriage. And when the issue came to the marriage, I realized that our common spiritual father, the priest cannot become. The person who actively persuaded me to monasticism, will not accept my decision to marry.

And when our family took shape, we began to look for answers in books, read different books. And married priests, and that offered the monk-Confessors. Eventually settled on the fact that all family matters should be regulated within the family. And 15 years of experience of marriage established us in this thought. There is a living example. When could not decide between marriage and monasticism, witnessed the loyalty and love between spouses in difficult life situations. Husband fell in the bout, but his wife was not angry, but showed such restraint and care that I was conquered. All that was said to lean about marriage, as if flew off after this situation.

When coming to me with questions, I’m trying to Orient themselves, the spouses to a discussion of disturbing topics. It seems to me that the Confessor is much more important in this situation to try to direct the spouses to communicate. That they understand they no it will not solve.

As my kids say: mathematics does not work? Go and ask him. I’ll help, but to do that you will own. And here. I tell you, will support, I will try to pray. But it will be your decision, your life. In this area I can’t make decisions for you.

– How do you feel about the fact that large families often raise the flag of salvation?

– Salvation comes through the knowledge of the Truth, through the knowledge of Christ. This process is not quantitative but qualitative. A change of mind. But the mind has changed, its need to collect. Evening. Fits one child with her opening, and then another one, then my wife, again who-the kids… Try to collect your thoughts. You forget someone’s name and how many will be 2+2.

Salvation in the family is the quality of relations between spouses, not number of children, posts, or prayers. The ability to perceive each other even without words.

Many children as a necessary condition for salvation is an ideological myth. If you take the examples of Church families that are given to us as a sample, we will see that large families were not necessarily a condition of Holiness of the spouses. Righteous Joachim and Anna, Zechariah and Elizabeth were childless for a long time and gave birth to one child. Three children of the parents of St. Sergius, Cyril and Mary Radonezhskij. Blessed Peter and Fevronia of Murom is also a mystery, because it is not known the number of their children. Moreover, there is reason to believe that they could be childless. The emphasis in their life is on the quality of the relationship. Together to overcome life’s hardships, intrigue and rejection environment. The preservation of peace and understanding with each other.

How not to get captured any mythology?

– Know and understand the Scriptures refer to the living experience of the Church. Good to know Church rules and their correct interpretation. The ones that are fixed in the experience of the Church, and not what is spoken as truth in the last instance it is unclear on what basis. A striking example – the topic of marital intimacy. There is only one ban – the night before communion. Open any guide to confession – not a word, but literally.

With regard to the Confessor what he had frequent danger? To start customizing another family under the relationship which developed at it with the mother. Or under some invented ideal model: once in the family, I have not reached this level, let me educate parishioners.

The husband brought his wife with three children into the woods and disappeared

– Tell us about your personal relationship to large families.

– We have eight children, the youngest was born recently. My wife was to have triplets. For once – and triplets. It was the beginning of family life.

– And why triplets?

Better her to ask. I think it was hot neophytes on her part. I’m not opposed, although did not want this for myself, because it is already a little seen life of families. And one child is not easy. The same age – too easy. And if you have three at once – it must have been a madhouse. Yes, both of us are not from large families.

Mother Irina with son Tikhon

But the Lord is merciful, and gives us children quietly, not once by three. It is very difficult. All children are different. That one runs quietly, with others not pass in any way. To build them and give a single command at all impossible. Everybody needs attention.

– Once you said to yourself and to God: that’s enough kids, I can’t anymore?

– Sometimes I think – enough already. Especially before the seventh child. No longer can? It did not come. But I and easier. The main thing that the wife does not say, although the main burden falls on her. See her boundless affection before every new life. It is the little children joy swaddle, temescal feed.

Now it’s easier – the older children help. With them all serious. Each has its own needs and interests, with every need to talk. Time for that you want very much. Often to the detriment of our relationship with the wife. But we try to choose the time, often at the expense of sleep, for a discussion of issues that have accumulated, to communicate with each other. It helps emotionally to survive. Precious time.

What is the time for two in a family where seven children?

The children either sleep or occupy themselves. They can be given the task. Matushka and hiding in the Church hall, may close. Or put everyone to sleep and hide in my little cubicle, discussing and thinking how to respond to a particular situation, we derive a common position.

Father Anthony mother Irina

– So you only about the children you say? But what about personal contact, your themes?

Well, not only. It became clear to us that it is necessary to give each other time, when they started to get out of family groups in the woods for a few days. And in our eyes a family where was born the third child, was on the verge of collapse.

Husband brought his wife and children to the camp, unloaded them into the tent, gave out sleeping bags, a convenience set of products and disappeared. A day, two, three it was not. On the fourth day I broke down, called him. Said every dad in this forest has a wife and children. To his credit, he responded quickly, came. I met him, took the axe and said: “Go to forest”.

We chopped wood and talked about family life. I asked whether he thinks that his wife is beautiful. He said most likely Yes. Then I asked, and when he last spoke to her, when invited to take a walk, a movie, liberated from diapers and raspashonok. He thought, and followed me. Others teach, and the what’s going on?

Indeed, when we began to talk about it with his wife, it turned out that it is very important for us to be alone. Concentrating only on the children, the couple can forget about each other. Kids grow up and leave, and there would be two completely strangers person, which did not bind.

The birthday son is so tired I cried

– I recently watched the film “Twenty years later”. There is an episode where the mother crying, cut out your fancy dress costume of snow Maiden for my daughter. Do you despair and exhaustion was not?

– It happens. When you need to catch all at once. For example, at parent-teacher conferences we go to the best once in half a year. To all the time at parent meetings is unrealistic. I have my load evening family club temperance lectures. Mother is not always just for being.

When specifically did not have enough strength and patience? In an environment of Church and family celebrations. The training itself takes a lot of time and effort.

Need to organize a parish holiday, and your family, not to dissolve only in the parish. Otherwise the family will not be bound, to be another farm.

The priest often active in the parish, and the houses have as abilock, absolutely exhausted, emotionless.

– Here comes the exhaustion?

– Yes, only one condition: give me a break. And children, too, strangely enough. I think it is very indicative case, when the day of his birth one of the children at some point began to cry. I said, “What happened? Something wrong? Did someone hurt you?” “No, I can’t!” This festive whirl so he was exhausted.

I took it out, put in the car, the kids continued to play, have fun, and we just went to the spring for water. Resembled horses looked. And when he calmed down, came around, I brought it back and the celebration continued.

You have now an example about the birthday. And the children are exhausted from that all the time close brothers and sisters? Someone says: enough of us children?

– Yes, they get tired, boys, sometimes, crash into each other, girls are naughty, but still ask for children. Senior extricates himself with a shelving area in the bathroom. And not always let others.

One of the outputs in such a situation is quite simple. Every child in our family knows that if he’s tired and wants to relax during the week, when everyone learns that he can stay home. All went to school and he stayed, slept, went quietly, had Breakfast, mom helped, read a book. Completely passed out and being with myself alone.

And with the material claims of the children?

– Periodically arise. Want phone, smartphone, and computer. We sit down and understand our family budget. Look, we can buy such-and-so, to use chipped. Set the time, see each other. Only there should be a clear rationale for why this is necessary. The same laptop that in “Vkontakte” to sit? Or watch the program at the school, if the house is left?

They never came to the thought that we may be less, but we will live more secure?

– No, I do not remember this. They can shout to each other: “Get out”, but the wealth and number of children they do not connect. For me, the idea so absurd. Although the same musical instruments – a serious item of expenditure, and all our children to play something.

There are some common desires, discoveries, and everything that is bought is not just for you, all enjoy. Some things have owners, and they monitor their progress, broke down, not lying. And to dispose of them – to share, to play. This topic is for us is not painful.

Psychos or secret sinners

– You have at least some idea how many will you have children? Or as God wills?

– We were married by a priest who was a clever approach to the blessing on the birth of children. When after the wedding the couple stood on the Church pulpit, the priest turned to him and asked: “Husband, how many kids you wanna have?” That corresponds to so many. “Wife, and how much do you want kids?” So much. He held and blessed the new number.

I know this wont priests, declined to answer. Said, as God wills. The wife looked at me and repeated. We didn’t think absolutely. Now I looked, how the wife enough forces and health.

– When you first started thinking about this?

– During the 5th pregnancy, the mother scared the doctor. Irina called me and said, “I was put in the hospital because the doctor promises two fatalities”. The doctor sent her things to the total transport 35 miles one way and the other. Not even an ambulance called.

She was admitted to cardiology, and said, will not do anything, because pregnant. I went to the hospital, but they said – do not take a normal pregnancy, and heart disorders to treat is not our profile. And it turns out, do nothing, and already the seventh month of pregnancy. To leave we must prepare.

I took the wife home, we put her on a diet and discharged from all duties. Even gave the phone for half an hour a day. To cook, wash and clean up took themselves with children. He left her knitting, crafts, walking, sleep as much as needed.

Don’t know what exactly helped as a healing factor: nutrition or care, but at the time of birth the doctors of the old symptoms not found. And was not able to understand anything.

When you have looked differently on large families?

– It was one of the bells when it became clear that health can not be neglected. Die, but give birth is inhumane and not Christian. About the feat above forces are very definitely wrote to St. Ignatius (Bryanchaninov): “…in the superstrong feat no truth, but it is about a state of mind”. Ie self-deception, charm.

The love of God toward us does not depend on how many children we have. People? Who understands us, and so will respect our choice. Those who do not understand and do not like, always ready to declare us crazy.

Look how many children! Crazy! Dark bigots! They say they have to protect themselves not! And Vice versa. Few children? So, they are secret sinners! Because the priest must be a lot of kids!

Son Tima

The mother is exhausted, not only physically but also psychologically. I know such cases?

– Yes, we have cases where in the families of the priest wife in need of psychological and psychiatric care. It is not a secret and not an isolated case. There are situations when apart of a large family. I know one such family. Or not breaking up, but the husband goes to work and the wife stays with the children. That is, many children in itself doesn’t save.

– Why is this happening?

– Often the priest’s circle of friends is immense. It’s so calm priest, humanly that, coming home, he says: “I Want silence”. And here the mother, which is just a lack of communication. But his wife to the priest already has nothing to offer. He’s just tired and wants to sleep. Not all women can carry it.

Important: the priest should have love and not to destroy the family

– What do you say to a large pair that will come and say, shy away from each other I don’t, but children anymore? For example, on a confession signed up. Will you accept it as sin?

– Probably not. Since marital relations are not intended only for procreation. This is a line of marriage. And when spouses are not Mature enough to have another baby to give birth for some reason…

– For example, they have five… And they just were very tired.

– Did you know that often refuse from the fourth children? In a family with three children, if born of the fourth. His mother leaves. Healthy, good child. I have encountered more than once in such situations.

– Accumulated fatigue?

– Apparently, Yes. In relations with the husband tension, no comprehension. Exclusion. And the baby inside this situation that adds to the difficulties. Since I am a parent myself and husband, we talk about what is contraception, which is clearly invalid, abortive character. And there are naborting.

There are ecclesiastical rules and regulations that govern this aspect of life, leaving the decision to the conscience of the spouses. Am I supposed to do? Sympathize and listen. Often enough to listen. And something awesome happens, everything is solved.

– If tired – it is not a sin?

– I can not judge. For some spouses it may be sin for others. Matter how the priest and the Church in his face ready to sympathize, to feel sorry for these people, to hear, to offer reasonable assistance to provide love. Them to have the opportunity to initial your decision to carry. But not so that the Confessor destroyed a family pushed her away from the Church or spouses from each other. And would help this couple to look at the situation from the other side. And of course, so they can soberly assess their capabilities. And so they realized that the Lord can help with childbirth, and with a pause in childbirth.

We have a familiar family, where were born three children in a row, and then had a break of 9 years, although the couple communication is not interrupted. Then two more were born. Despite the fact that they were not intended, they will not give birth, but there were squalid living conditions, the difficulties the priest on duty. They had not intended to refuse, but implicitly requested that a little later.

This path is also not prohibited. Ask the Lord to be open in this matter to God.

I can’t give a ready solution. Wish for ourselves and for other families, the spouses, so the decision was always with love.

These rules were not applied as a rigid noose, something deadening and killing. To spouses they revived, given the strengthening in the faith and understanding of responsibility before God and each other. To the acceptance of responsibility was also positive, shaped them as individuals. The husband and wife.

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