“I’m getting a divorce, but show vows that I break”

Why so many families destroyed, is it true that a Christian can and should enslave his wife, what vows are violated at divorce and how the couple maintain a family – reflects Archpriest Theodore Borodin, rector of the Church of the Holy unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian on Maroseyka.

Photo: patriarchia.ru

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Why the destruction of the family is not a crime and meanness

– Father Theodore, in your opinion, why today are there so many divorces?

The situation with a divorce we can without any exaggeration be called a national disaster. We have almost nine divorces per ten marriages. We can say that we as a people ceased to be able to keep family. It is as if, for example, almost all people have lost the skills associated with the construction of houses. If this were so, we would now be living in huts and caves.

Approximately the same situation with families – gone is itself a skill. Quite a large number of people still retained the desire to create a family. But the build fails.

The reasons are well known. One of them is a huge loss of male population in the revolution, Civil and the Great Patriotic war and in the years of repression that led to the fact that more than half of the country’s children grew up without fathers. Boys and girls do not have absorbed the behavioral scripts associated with the life of a family.

But the main reason is not this.

Got the perfect idea of marriage, when once for life, to the grave in complete happiness and harmony. All at least declare that they would like such a marriage. Now, this view – it is a Christian born and can be implemented within the Christian worldview. Because the standard of love that has offered the world Christ called a man to reach for this ideal, so high that it can only produce the idea of marriage.

This higher standard of love requires immersion in a loved one throughout life.

Christianity suggests – everything you need to know the man in the woman is one woman. And all you need to know the woman in the man, there is in one man. And it is learned through cloisanne love.

The path from passion and love to the knowledge of the person really is until its depth can be realized in its fullness only in the course of a long life together. By itself this way – the value, constant immersion in this depth. Through this love the person begins to see God, the world, other people, yourself through the eyes of a loved one. And so his knowledge about everything in the world becomes more multi-faceted and deep. Unfortunately, with the destruction of the Christian world, which is happening in all European Nations, including ours, is inevitable, although with some slowing, begins the death of the family.

Archpriest Theodore Borodin. Photo Anna Galperina

– Did this start recently?

Now increased the pace of expansion of the disaster. There is an amazing example in the Soviet pop song “Lights so much gold on the streets of Saratov”. The song was written, as far as I know, the people, the Church does not have any relationship. But she was still Christian ideas about the attitude to love, to family, to love: “I see no need, I’m afraid he’ll like, love can handle myself, and together we can’t do… Like before he started a family, sad story. I hide my love from myself, and from him the more”. The person on whose behalf performed the song, realizes that family is much more valuable than love. To destroy the family – is a crime. 60 years ago, it all understood.

Unfortunately, the destruction of the family is not a crime, not considered a fall and is no longer perceived as meanness. But, on the one hand, it is a betrayal of a close loved one, and with another – a betrayal of the ideal of love. It shows that you have not reached this ideal proved to be too shallow, wanted to once again experience love, which is actually much smaller than love.

Cheating starts in premarital relationships, because sex outside marriage do not oblige to anything. They actually have multiple experience the betrayal of love when one person uses another, and not aiming to make another person happy.

– But how premarital sex can affect family relationships?

– Then this experience of betrayal and enjoyment of another person may be transferred to family. Remember how I was struck by the conversation with one man who was falling apart family, and we with him tried to speak. He argued that in everything blame the wife. I said, “Tell me, please, when you married her, wanted to make her happy or not?” He abruptly turned to me, looked surprised look: “What an interesting idea! I hadn’t thought about before.” And this Church-going man! Unfortunately, the family broke up.

Love, passion a man can’t be love so long as you didn’t take responsibility for another person. Why the Church insists on marriage at the wedding? Because while people say, “what’s yours is mine, and youth, and beauty, and old age, and sickness, and the responsibility, and all your family – all my relatives,” God cannot give a person love. Responsibility as the internal state, when what’s yours is mine. When I love it so much that I do not want to take part of a loved one, that is, to use them. Because it’s all mine. And all I have is yours. And this, such a standard, to which man reaches, he discovers the ability to love fully human and to be happy with him.

True Christian love is service, following the way of Christ. Christ said that He came to serve, not to be served. Or as the Apostle Paul reports that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (acts. 20:35).

When a person is trying when he is joyfully that the other is happy when he is willing very much to limit and to re-educate, accept, and through that to serve when he took on full responsibility for another person, then God can give true Christian love.

The most important skill, which is vanishingly small in us, the Christians, and which almost disappeared in the society around us is the skill to submit to your lover. Easier to leave.

And we have a huge number of people who now flit through life – two, three, four marriage. But such a person will never know what real love is. And his marriages will always be under threat.

Among Orthodox families, divorces significantly less than that far from the Church, but there are divorces even among the priesthood. They are also less. Very few of them. But they are, as before virtually no. I think this is due to the fact that the skill for real, Christian love is disappearing from our society. And if there is no life in Christ, focusing on Christ as a model, it inevitably falls apart and the marriage in Christianity, even a residual sense of it.

Photo: svadborg.ru

– But the Church allows the second and even third marriage.

– In principle, in the Church there is only one marriage. It’s not our idea, it was Christ said “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (Matt. 19:6).

Second and third marriages blessed by the Church only out of condescension to human weakness.

In one of the old Missal, I came across words that I was very impressed. It said that if a widower or widow marries, for the year excommunicated from the communion. Know why? Because she is There waiting for you. Yes, you failed, yeah, you couldn’t. The Apostle Paul was allowed to marry a widowed person, but still it is a loss, the loss of what you could earn if you remained faithful.

Now there is a controversy around the decision of the Patriarchate of Constantinople on veropedia widowed priests. It seems to me that it is a violation of the ancient canons, and it suggests that the decision-makers simply do not understand what a Christian marriage. Why is it always in the history of the Church widowed priest was permitted to enter into a second marriage and the priest had to be completely chaste to the first marriage? Not because the priest has other requirements. This is very important. But because the General expectations of what it means Christian marriage, the priest used absolutely, and the others could be lenient. I repeat: to the priest not the other requirements, but they are strictly followed, because the Christian marriage is not a once in a lifetime, and once for all Eternity.

And we know many wonderful priests who became great saints because they accepted their widowhood. For example, the righteous St. Alexy Mechev, left with four young children of a widower.

If a husband beats his wife, he betrayed love

– What if the husband beats the wife, though not constantly, let the “only hit twice”, and the priest tells her she needs to accept and tolerate?

– In a Christian family the violence of the husband over the wife impossible. When some priest think that this is the norm because it used to be, I think that is just stupid. Not all of what was before, was a Christian. For example, slavery or serfdom in Russia is a crime against the Christian view of man.

The fact that before the man beat his wife and society to this cool attitude, does not mean that it is acceptable in a Christian family.

Loving head of the family may not commit any violence against his wife. Neither physical nor moral.

I often encounter the fact that men who understand their Christianity in a very straightforward way, believe that they can completely enslave his wife, she needs to help, to listen, and no other opinion but his, the family can not be.

Yes, “to thy husband thy desire, and he shall rule over thee” (Gen. 3:16) said the Lord. No one can cancel these words. But any power in the Church rests on the authority of Christ. And the image the authority of Christ – a love that goes back to the cross.

It is impossible to imagine that Christ beat His apostles, disciples.

Violence is, in some sense, is the same infidelity Christian marriage and adultery. In the decision of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church grievous bodily assault, the more threatening of life – the reason for which the injured party can consider the marriage over.

If a husband beats his wife, he betrayed love, you know?

– If divorce, albeit much less frequently happen even in families of priests, it turns out, no guarantees – neither confession nor communion, or even Ministry at the Throne do not give them?

The priestly service is performed in parallel with other services. For example, with the Ministry of her husband. The problem is that only in bad novels, it ends the wedding. In fact, with the wedding only the beginning. Starts a great job. In the film “That Munchhausen” are the words that love is the theorem you want to prove every day. That is work that we must do daily.

It is work because each person is in development. The girl you loved, be internal crises, changes, she may be going in a completely different rhythm path of inner development. And this, too, divine Providence on you, that you were wider and deeper. Because your knowledge of the world and God performed through this man.

And the man, and the priest is no exception, may at some point not want to continue to do this work. Can live together with his wife years and one day to say: “I no longer want to work. I’m tired”. It can take thoughts that some easier, because it is not love, not respect, do not appreciate, do not understand. As soon as he these thoughts will, immediately (Satan works very well) appears outside the family someone who seems to be much easier, simpler, more beautiful and happier.

Here a man can say: no, I’ll stay true, I will not betray love. And can say that everything are and I am. Why should I? In the end, now a man is enough to turn on the TV and there are dozens of “experts” will tell him that the man is just a male, he needs to impregnate as many females. This is useless to fight. And if a person is willing to accept the idea that he’s an animal, he will leave from love.

A few years ago came to me the man who were married in our Church. He said that he was horrified to find the wife is cheating on him with his colleague. He had all the reasons, even according to the canons to break up with the whore. But he said he loves his wife and wants to keep the family together. He fought, and through his love, through his faith, his wife began to thaw. People made a real feat.

So sometimes it happens that an external viewer of the situation outraged: why do priests insist that we must accept, endure? And the priest just hoped that this family can be saved. And if the aggrieved party is willing to forgive, then, in principle, everything can be glued together. Because divine grace is not limited by human strength or circumstances of our life.

The priest, in my opinion, must say that Yes, according to Christ, adultery is grounds for divorce (Matt. 5:32). You can leave family, you can leave this man. It happens that people can not forgive betrayal. Sometimes even, perhaps, right to divorce, especially if the cheating continues, because in a false situation cannot properly raise children. But perhaps if you suffer a repentant spouse, your family will be restored.

– Families don’t always break up because of infidelity: people leave sometimes not to anyone but each other. Why is this happening?

– People do not want to carry the burdens of each other, to fulfill the law of Christ. People do not want change, does not want to suffer, do not want to serve. And basically, the less people he wants, the more he needs to be resigned, he served.

And without humility before each other, without incurring the burdens of each other marriage can be no family happiness can not be.

The Christian family is such a big log, which are two for the two ends. And if you’re Ivan Poddubny, if the other end did, you will not keep.

The phrase “from divorce affects children” became iced, and it’s a catastrophe for a child. For him the world consists primarily of dads and moms, is the whole universe. And they should be together. As one sky above him, one earth under him. And suddenly it cracked in half and begins to disperse. It can’t be, this shouldn’t be understand the child. But it’s there. And his inner world inevitably undergoes terrible distortion. I know that, as the son of divorced parents.

Consequences of parental divorce – the consequences of a nuclear explosion in my little child of the universe, I years forty – forty five showed a maybe haven’t discovered all the consequences of this, as they say, injuries, distortion of my inner world which had entered me when I was twelve years old.

I saw a happy family where mom and dad love each other, and after that love has died. The world has become a vast, cold, and I’m trying to find an explanation, put it in guilt.

Unfortunately, divorcing spouses have to deal only himself. If they really loved children, they would do anything to save love and family.

If two people with humility are willing to survive any crisis, any family can survive. At the end of the sacrament of marriage is an amazing word. The priest says: “Lord, bless these Thy servants, Your Craft wedded”. And when this rank was compiled, mostly, marriages were made, as it seemed, by the Providence of the parents. Parents married children.

No one is chosen, but the Church believed that God has joined together, man is not separate, that the Providence of God. And people believed it and understood it, knew how to live a Christian life.

“We are afraid, and suddenly not work”

– The situation of which you speak, similar to when a young man graduated from Seminary, it is necessary to be ordained, and the bride is not always – how do you like the idea to marry the first counter?

– Most seminarians – very chaste, people who keep their chastity at the level of thought. At least it was in my time, I hope that now, too.

Here in our time was made: a seminarian studying in the Seminary, he liked a girl, he goes and delivers her prayers, she said, “Lord, let go”, because it is not the time. Because he can’t create a family, he has no money to rent an apartment in the city, feed the children, he learns, lives in a Seminary.

But then, for example, when the Bishop calls and says: all, the transition to part-time, get married immediately, because it is necessary to open the five temples in the day, priests are not enough (talking about the nineties), a seminarian goes to this famous cast-iron stairs in the Academy, before that hard praying at the relics of St. Sergius, and does offer literally the first counter.

Often former seminarians are married to women with a complex character, you know many such examples. But still it’s a happy marriage, because he takes it as a gift from God, and its nature as a task of God himself. Priests who even suffer with their wives, with their heavy character, usually the good priests, very good.

In any case, since the person is aimed to save your marriage, fight for it internally, he struggles and makes.

And in a world outside of the Church, most people for a long time looking at each other.

That’s “try” – the saddest thing. Obviously “live to try” lead to future breakdown of the marriage. Because if you don’t take responsibility, love is born and love is.

By the way, there is a very important point with which we priests face in the modern practice. We have in the rite of the sacrament of marriage is not pronounced the vows, but only ask questions: do you have good volition and not promised a bride.

One former parishioner, the collapse of his family, told me:

– Father Theodore, show me the vows that I break. Yes, at that time, I had the good volition, not promised another bride, it was true, I didn’t lie. And now I don’t love her, I love another.

And I can’t say anything. Because when the rite of the wedding were made, all “one time forever” was absolutely obvious. The priesthood is now looking for some way to overcome it. Someone uses predminuly conversations Catholic model, which is really just old Church model: I’m so-and-so marry so-and-so, I promise you love, faithfulness, conjugal respect. And the wife promises to love, fidelity, and wifely obedience.

I have a friend the Abbot, who also invented a similar form of loyalty, which the couple say at the wedding, that “only death will separate us.” When before the wedding he was talking about how important this step and offered right in the temple ask planning to get married questions, half (!) couples said, “No, don’t ask us such questions, we don’t want to give that commitment. We are afraid, and suddenly do not work.” These people can not marry. A man, upon marriage, to try, has the idea that he can leave his wife or her husband.

Photo: Misha Maslennikov / Flickr

Now just the Church-wide work is progressing on the formulation of these vows. Even talking about the written document. He could help in this extremely important to realize a person’s promise that he is going to give to God and a spouse (wife).

One has to say: I act, I take a wife. Not I chose not I suggested, let’s try it, and I act. I promise her love, and loyalty, and respect. By the way, if the husband promises her a conjugal respect, no hand raising here, of course, speech can not be.

– How did people keep family?

It is extremely important to pray together. It is clear, in the morning it’s impossible, all at different times up, who is to work, someone in the school who are in College. But in the evening the family must come together to pray. I just insist on it. If we say that the family is a small Church, it is primarily implemented in the joint prayer.

Firstly, a Christian cannot stand up for prayer, not being reconciled with all others and this common prayer to iron out all misunderstandings, resentment, etc. And secondly, every day renews this help of God’s grace received in the sacrament of marriage.

After all, the wedding is not just any register in the Church or in the heavenly Registrar, and, above all, the help of God. As a confession, which is not only forgiveness of sins but also help to overcome the sins that live in man. So we often go to confession, and it helps us to overcome our sins. Similarly with the wedding. It help to build a family. And when we pray together, we again as if open, again we are clearing the well of this pure water, give the floor to accept and tolerate each other.

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