Parenting

Parenting in the Orthodox Family Today

The best advice I have ever heard is that we should spend less time talking to our children about God, and more time talking to God about our children, that is, praying to God for them. And by striving to draw nearer to God, we can be sanctified by God’s grace and our home made holy, along with the family living in it.
Parenting in the Orthodox Family Today
In the Holy Orthodox Church, child rearing has long been considered a God-appointed, sacred and extremely important mission, as evidenced by the writings of St. John Chrysostom on education of children. Other saints (St. Theophan the Recluse, St. Silhouan the Athonite and New Martyr Empress Alexandra Romanova, to name a few) have also addressed the issue of family life and the upbringing of children.

Having this in mind, it is all the more puzzling for some why so many Orthodox couples struggle to raise their children within an Orthodox Christian frame of values.

Certain Orthodox sources seem to suggest strict segregation from the world, and home-schooling as an ideal to aspire to. As much as this sounds noble-minded and fool-proof, it is not necessarily the exclusive, even authentic, interpretation of the teachings of our Church. Additionally, contemporary Orthodox families are more involved in modern society than our ancestors. It is therefore increasingly difficult to isolate our children completely from the outside world and its influence, particularly in this new, fast-paced digital age. Obviously, there has to be a balance that enables us to be in the world, but “not of this world,” and parents are charged with the task to give children the tools to cope with secular challenges and yet remain true to the Faith by witnessing to it with their everyday actions. Fr. Tom Kazich introduces this problem more broadly in his excellent article, “The Missing Child”, printed in The Path, February 2012.

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About padrerichard

I am a Priest with ROCOR and serve as Rector at St. Joseph of Optina Parish in Virginia Beach, VA
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