When parents argue or fight, do I need to take someone’s side? – “Pravmir” publishes answers to questions of young people about relationships with their parents. Meets Metropolitan of Limassol Athanasius.
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“If you could bow your head, I would have stayed on the throne”
There’s an art to fight with the Prince of this world, the devil! And to win the battle to recapture his prey, those he has managed to enslave – you need to learn this now, in his own family, while living with my parents. To conduct a dialogue with them, changing the armor of prejudice in a spirit of humility and love. The only way possible right fellowship with the father and mother. And if you learn this now, with loving parents, you can do it tomorrow, when there will be own family, and the day after, when you will have your children and later in life.
In the early twentieth century on mount Athos, in Carei, lived a blind monk, the monk is a famous elder. There, on mount Athos, lived in the time of Joachim III, the Ecumenical Patriarch. It was a very zealous, strong and kind, but firm and uncompromising. Three times he was deposed from the Patriarchal throne, then again return. The spirit of the devotee and ascetic, he each time after the deposition went to mount Athos to spend days in labor and prayer. And when the Patriarch met the famous blind monk (who could not know who was before him, as nothing seen), then said to him:
– Geronda, I want you to popovitsa.
Uh, why would you Go to someone else!
– No, geronda, I want to come to you.
But you can’t do it! You can’t find my cell!
– No, you will tell me where she is, and I will.
– You will not find. And if will find, will not be able to enter.
– In my cell very low entrance.
I tilt my head and go!
– If you could bow your head, it would have remained on the throne, ‘ answered the wise old man and thereby solved the problem that I wanted to turn to him the Patriarch.
It seems that confession come only good neighbor
If time does not learn flexibility, which is one of the signs of humility, then it will have a hard time. You stagnate, creating problems to others and stepping on toes, and then, even worse, start blaming other for their problems. Such a person always think that nobody likes him, not understands and does not appreciate; that he brings all sacrifice for others, but for him nobody donates. And you will seem.
How often I hear at confession:
– I, father, don’t talk with your neighbor. Of course I love her, no problem, but are unable to greet her. And anything I didn’t tell her, not hurt her – she got mad at me!
Well. It seems that confession comes only a good neighbor. I wonder where in such a case go bad?
Somehow none of the bad neighbor comes along and says: “father, it’s all about me, it’s my nature me not want to say Hello”. No one is innocent, just everyone around us jealous, angry and nasty.
Even saints are devils in no way blame
In Paterikon is a story about a Saint who once asked:
– Father, you’re forty years labored in the wilderness. What have you accomplished?
And the Saint replied:
– In all that time I learned only one thing: to blame only himself.
Another elder said this:
– That is the true path to salvation – and to stop blaming others.
Did you know that even saints are devils in no way blame? Even of the devil. On the contrary, they say, “It’s my fault. Oh, and suffering the same to me poor devil!” Yes, that’s right. I personally heard hundreds of times such words on mount Athos. “Not only is he sinning, so also the devil make yourself come”. So one of the Athonite ascetic. “If I were the saints, this dirty dog to me and wouldn’t come!”
The saints really consider myself the worst of all – even worse than the demons.
It’s great art, and the Orthodox Church has preserved it through the Holy fathers. If you read the Paterikon, Bugolobi; we will meet there such things. And with what warmth, ease and affection of these Holy ascetics, the desert, a stranger, it would seem that society made room for other people! They had no problems with communication and was very friendly, although the people have not seen in years.
If the family environment is such that that’s all fly in the air
When parents argue or fight, do I need to take someone’s side?
– Very traumatic consequences are when you have to live in a family where the parents are not talking to each other or get divorced. It’s hard when parents have psychological problems, or some grievous sins, or they are going to divorce – I have read questions where all of this is transferred.
So. When the family something bad is happening, there is no perfect solution. As they say on mount Athos: “the Devil can not see – will not cross.” In other words, it is better when such problems do not – then the decision to search is not necessary. But nevertheless, they exist.
And it requires much faith and prayer. What you say, this family situation is really a serious test for the child’s heart.
But I’m sure if the family has at least one person who truly prays, his prayer becomes a pole that attracts divine grace and discharge the tensions.
Same thing – when on the contrary: if at least one member of the family lives in constant tension, this tension is transmitted all the rest.
I know a priest who told me that when he was little, his parents fought constantly. You know what did this boy? He hid in the evenings the mother under the bed until the early hours there praying with tears. Ten – year-old boy prayed that the parents have reconciled among themselves.
Once he even performed a miracle. His mother was sick so badly that nothing helped: she was dying. And so, after he prayed all night and in the morning it was easier for her and she recovered. A miracle happened.
And I know a lot of that, very much. In my life this has happened, and people told. Absolutely wonderful stories, where any logic is powerless.
The family environment is such that that’s all fly in the air. But when the tension begins to pray with faith and tears, is changing. And even if things are so bad that grace can’t act, she returns to the us (and in this case – to the child), helping the soul to avoid injuries.
The one who suffered and endured in childhood can help other sufferers
And one more thing. Even if the injury is still obtained: when the child is in prayer and the grace of communion with God, God asks the children’s injuries “favorable” direction. In this case, even if all the prerequisites for the injury when the child should grow up crippled personality, the grace of God facilitates this injury, “putting” it in the character of a person so that as an adult, he begins to help others. The one who suffered and endured in his childhood, having received the grace of the Holy spirit to help other sufferers. While a person who knows the pain, even if he is a true ascetic, – often not able to provide quick help.
The Apostle Paul in Hebrews says that Christ, “Himself being tempted, able to help the tempted” (Heb. 2:18). Being a Man, the Lord underwent temptations – and therefore can help those who are suffering.
That’s why we get injuries we endure suffering: like it or not, have to go through this, and God then His grace gives us opportunity after recovering from injury, to help other people, strengthening them.
As the Lord said to the Apostle Peter at the last supper: “And you converted, confirm your brethren” (LK. 22:32). Christ knew that Peter will deny Him three times and then repent. Because He said these words to him, keeping in mind that when one experiences himself that this fall, resurrection and remorse when he learns the mercy of God towards himself, then he will be able to guide and help – after all he’s been through it all.
Translation Yelizaveta Terentyeva for the portal “Orthodoxy and the world”