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Apostolic post: a mission of the family

Apostolic post: the mission of the family. Mother's notes

7 2018 June LJ cover – Апостольский пост: миссия семьи
Tags: Religion, Orthodoxy, Family, Women, Children

Go, teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit ...
(Matthew 28, 19)

Petrov fasting, or, otherwise, the apostolic fast is the time to remember the apostles. About the ministry of apostolic. And it seems like apostolic ministry, missionary work is something so distant, high and somewhat exotic. But that's interesting: in Orthodox teaching these topics have the most direct relation to the simplest and, probably, in our time usually busy people - to parents.

"Family, children are a small verbal herd that is given to a person for apostolic ministry, for the preaching of Christ. The domestic apostolate has always been inseparable from the life of the Church; without it there is not even the home church, "wrote professor, father of six children, priest Gleb Kaleda in his amazing book" Home Church ". This is what reminds us of the advent of the apostolic fast about this unique parental mission.

To preach, it is not necessary to go out on the streets, armed with brochures

It turns out that in order to preach, it is not necessary to go out into the streets, armed with brochures and quotations. And in order to "teach the peoples", it is not necessary to "give up everything" and go somewhere far away. It is enough to come to your home. After all, our children are the very same people, not enlightened by the word of God, which we parents should preach the gospel of the Kingdom. Such a fate fell to us, as once the apostles, to enlighten this people. And learn that the lot really fell out, very quickly and accurately allow modern technology: a positive pregnancy test - this is the lot.

But a little touch this topic - and immediately questions, immediately problems. The first thing usually is:

  1. Who said that it is parents who must teach children faith? It is not necessary to teach children: it's enough to show them a good example in life.
  2. Why should parents teach their children to the Law of God when there are priests and Sunday schools?
  3. When are we, the poor, all this teaching of children to engage in, when and so on for anything that time is not enough?

And these are questions, of course, not idle and not simple. And clearly worth it to deal with them. And the apostolic fast is the most actual time to think about such "apostolic" themes.

1. Who said that parents should teach the faith of their children?

To teach faith is to learn both by word and by life. To teach children faith is to show them an example first. We ourselves are believers and faithful to God. A "naked" word, not backed up by life, not just gives little effect, but almost does not work. There can be a miracle, because even the Pharisees and scribes can learn - if you listen to their words, do not do the work on the deeds (compare Matthew 23, 3). But more often, when we have one language, but in fact we live in the opposite, then almost surely we will grow crafty and quirky hypocrites. After such an "education", children grow up either by the impenetrable Pharisees, or "fed up with religious education" by the God-fighters. This is confirmed by history, this is confirmed by the experience of graduates of various educational institutions with the "Law of God" in the schedule grid.

The word must be supported by life

The word must be supported by life. The word must permeate the life of the teacher himself. The word should not just be an "academic subject". In order for the word to "work", it must build the entire environment of the child's life, it must create an educational space that will itself imperceptibly and organically form the personality of both the child and the teacher himself.

Here two extremes appear. The first is to teach only with a word, as if that is enough. The second - to declare that the word is not necessary at all, it is not necessary to teach children the "theory" of faith, and the task of parents is only "a good example to show." But the Christian teaching about the upbringing of children, the practice of the life of Christian families, says that there must be both. As in the ministry of the apostle, both in the ministry of the priest, and in the ministry of the parent: both the cause and the word.

Everything begins with the Scriptures: And you, fathers, do not irritate your children, but bring them up in the teaching and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6, 4), in the Slavonic translation - "but bring them up in the punishment and teachings of the Lord." Many fathers of the Church addressed this parental commandment. St. John Chrysostom explains these words of the apostle, in particular, as a necessity to study the Scriptures with children [1]. From apostolic times it is the role of parents in the Church, the function of parents in the Christian community: to teach children, to teach the Christians who are growing up faith. They will grow up - they will pass into the hands of catechists and priests. They will move to another school, a common school for all Christians - to the Church. In the meantime, Christians are young at an age, they study at a school-family with teacher-parents.

Native svt. Basil the Great
Native svt. Basil the Great

So the holy parents raised their holy children. For example, his future father, [2], taught "the piety" of the future universal teacher and St. Basil the Great. And his sister, Saint Macrin, was also taught the Holy Scripture by the mother of this family. This is said in the life of Makrin, written ... by another child from this family, St Gregory of Nyssa. In this family, both parents, Basil and Emmelia, taught their children faith. Learned by word and deed. This is literally the "formula of education" from the text written by St Gregory the Theologian. This father of the Church, describing the childhood of his friend, Basil the Great, says: "By the guidance of his father ... the wonderful Basil learns the cause and the word (βίον και λόγον), which together grow and contribute to each other" [3]. The results of such pedagogical activity are known to us: in this family five saints, great saints of our Church, glorified by the Church grew up.

Later, the elder son of this family, Vasily, in the Moral Rules drew the apostle's commandment not only to his father, but to both parents: "Parents should raise children in the teaching and guidance of the Lord" (76 rule).

Not always, not all parents were willing to be such teachers in their families. We tried to shift this responsibility onto the shoulders of the Church. But the holy fathers again and again reminded parents: gave birth - then, educate and teach. You yourself study in the Church, consider yourself Christians - teach your children faith. Especially a lot on these topics said the great universal teacher and St. John Chrysostom. He insisted: "You all put on us" priests, "if only you should learn from us, and your wives have you, the children also have you; on the contrary, you leave everything to us "[4].

We go to the church, pray, we listen to the sermons, which means we can already, we already have to become teachers of our children: "Upon leaving the church ... coming home, it is necessary ... to take a book right now, and, together with the wife and children, to recall what was said in the church; then already begin to do things everyday, "- says the same Saint John Chrysostom [5]. He often repeated this idea after many sermons. He will say some word-homily in the temple - and he calls: go home, teach this to your own children. So you will make your home a church. So your house will become Heaven ...

Teaching your children faith - an integral part of Christian care for the child

A Christian parent is not only a parent. He is also a teacher. A teacher is compulsory. And also the head, and the trustee-carer, and the tutor. And to form, and, as a musical instrument, to adjust the child should. This John Chrysostom lists such roles: "Did I not settle," God will say, "your son with you from the very beginning? Did not you get him a teacher, a leader, a trustee, and a boss? Did not you give him power over him? At a tender age, I set him up and set him up. "[6].

It is imperative to teach children and personal example, and to bring up children with all their lives. Without the teachings of life, bare doctrine does not work. But this is the very teaching of children by the parent word - a thing in our Church is compulsory. St. John Chrysostom tirelessly repeats: speak, instruct, teach the son to the Divine Scriptures [7]. So to teach your children faith, Scripture is an integral part of the Christian caring for the child. Part, just a part. But the part is inseparable.

2. Why should parents teach their children to the Law of God when there are priests and Sunday schools?

Apostolic post: the mission of the family. Mother's notes

Quite logical and urgent issue. Maybe times have changed, and now, when we, thank God, have the opportunity to send children to wonderful Sunday schools, when wonderful fathers are ready to teach our children, can these archaic questions of parent teaching be archived?

The law of God in educational institutions for children began to teach not today. And in the XIX century, this subject was taught according to perfectly developed methods. And at the beginning of the 20th century, brilliantly educated priests were taught, usually archpriests, usually the best. The future new martyrs. But even then the same priests, teachers of the Law of God, said that all this schooling does not remove from parents the duty to teach their children faith. When parents relied exclusively on the school, and did not teach the children themselves, then the teaching of the Law of God did not "work". How did it not work in relation to many future atheists and revolutionaries. Why? There can be a lot of mechanisms here.

But that's interesting: future new martyrs and encouraged parents to teach their children faith, and they themselves engaged in similar lessons in their families. Of course, that very personal example, in general, the educational space of such families as a whole played a huge role in their families. But this educational space of "pious family" is created including this moment: parents perceive themselves as teachers of their children. Parents build their home as a school, where their children not only live, sleep and eat, but also learn.

I have already talked about how the holy New Martyr John Artobolevsky [8] talked about all this. As he himself taught the children of the Bible at home, the Holy Scripture - despite the fact that his children received all this knowledge in the gymnasium. We know that even in the Royal Family, the crowned parents took an active part not only in education, not only in organizing the education of their children, but also in teaching themselves. In conclusion, when the royal children were deprived of the opportunity to continue their education, the holy parents taught their children themselves, including the law of God.

The new martyr, metropolitan of Kiev and Galich Vladimir, also said that it was the parenting matter - to teach children the Law of God,

"Some parents, sincerely conscious of their duty to educate children in the piety and fear of God ... believe that with their admission to school, this duty stops them, or rather goes to school teachers and teachers of the law. When children are sent to school, all religious instruction and exercises should be provided to the school teachers, parents are already free from this, they have nothing more than to demand that school teachers teach the matter properly and eventually make their children godly and reverential. No, pious listeners, on the contrary! Parents with teachers of religion must go hand in hand and in religious instruction, and in the guidance to godly life, even more: they must conduct this work, the teachers of the law and teachers only help them "[9].

A century has passed. But now we, parents, again ask ourselves: why should we teach children ourselves, why suffer, when wonderful theologians can do all this much better than us? Why do not we just send our children to some good and proper school, where specialists with relevant experience and education will teach our children? Is it not for this, in fact, that special institutions for the religious education of children are created? Let our children learn graduate teachers with a theological education. And priests. It will be best, is not it?

But these "good teachers" and priests have long been sounding the alarm:

"In fact, what is a Sunday school? Sunday School is an addition to home education. Only this way, "- reminds such parents the priest Pavel Gumerov [10].

A priest, a large father and a Sunday school teacher, Archpriest Theodore Borodin, in his new book "How to Raise a Happy Child" (a wonderful book, bright and very realistic), also writes about the same:

Times change, and the covenants of the Church remain the same

"Faith needs to be taught. In our families, the tradition of teaching faith is almost completely interrupted; there are several well-known hereditary priestly families, the experience of which we are all studying - the Sokolovs, Pravdolyubovs, Krechetovs. They have preserved continuity in pre-revolutionary times in the educational practice, in teaching the Orthodox faith. And we do not. We ourselves came to faith in our time, opened it for ourselves each in its own way, and it seems to us that the child will naturally grow in it. But in fact, it must be taught ... We get a strange situation: since our parents did not talk about faith in our childhood, we are embarrassed to talk about this with children. We are counting on Sunday school <...> It is necessary to study the Holy Scripture with children, talk about the commandments <...> And not only have to read and discuss, but also constantly come back to this "[11].

So times change, and the covenants of the Church remain the same. Because the Church is the same for us - in fact, we have one, cathedral and apostolic, from the day of Her birth on the day of the descent of the Holy Spirit to this day.

3. When are we, the poor, all this teaching of children to deal with, if not for nothing time is not enough?

Apostolic post: the mission of the family. Mother&#39;s notes

There is no such thing as a difficult and especially selfless person in such family teaching. In every family, all this is built up in different ways, of course. Here I agree with Father Theodore Borodin: the example of those families that did not lose this continuity, this tradition build their house as a place of true education of children, helps a lot. The book, about which I spoke, is well helped by the work of Gleb Kaleda's father, The Home Church. The book was reprinted more than once, and it also exists on the web. It's intolerable that we are so, according to the books - here it is only necessary to begin, the real practice will immediately begin to grow, get used to the very essence of our family. All will work. It is enough to let this idea into your house: that the children are our students. And that, as Father Gleb Kaleda said, we must transfer the wealth of faith to our children. Of course, there are nuances here. The earlier - the better, the more organic this teaching is built into our home. The younger the children, the easier they will perceive it. The more we communicate with our children, the closer we communicate with them, the stronger our attachment to each other - the all this is simpler and more clearly effective.

Just get started, right now. Posts, especially the coming of Petrov's post, are the most natural time for such a beginning. A pause in the rhythm of the life of the church year. A pause on the topic "stop, think, devote time to really necessary things." Especially since this post is an apostolic one. Reminder: parental ministry is apostolic ministry.

Petrov's post is a particularly convenient time for such cases. School classes by the time this post is started usually end. And if something remains, it is already incomparably easier and freer than the ordinary school life of a modern child. So, Petrov's post can become an opportunity to study with children "true education".

You can schedule for the post some small topic. Never studied anything? We open the children's Bible. We read the first text from the very beginning. In the morning, after breakfast: after all, no one runs to school. Or right at lunch time. And for the night, after a common prayer, read all the same, but right on the text of the Bible itself. So in a day you can "pass" a topic without ceremony.

Or open the textbook of the Law of God. No wonder this book is entitled "for reading in the FAMILY and at school." Open the table of contents. Do not we know neither we nor our children? So this is the best reason to start. Right now, right now. We take one topic and define it as the topic of this post. For example, the device of the temple. And we will come to the temple, we will learn together these things learned at home. We will choose the liturgy as the theme - and the entire fast, when we are in the service, will learn what they have already learned about this main service.

Or another option: take the book of the Acts of the Apostles. The fast is long, we'll have time to read it all out for the post on the sly. According to the chapter, for the approach. The logical choice: just in time for the holiday of Peter and Paul, we'll finish reading everything, and on 12 July together in the temple we will meet the day of these same apostles, about whom the entire post was read. Preach the priest we will listen - and all on the same theme. The consolidation of the passed will be obtained. Studied at home - fixed in the temple.

All this takes about ten minutes a day. Maybe ten minutes in the afternoon and another ten minutes in the evening. And if we use illustrations, select an educational video on the Internet, we will "fix" the received knowledge right in the temple, then, of course, the time will go by more. Maybe, if there is not really time, we will not practice every day, but, for example, only every Wednesday and Friday. Or even once a week: on Saturday morning, when the pope - if he is not a priest - all day at home. Once a week, the most frighteningly busy parents will have these 10-20 minutes.

You can always find time. Even my father, who works on several jobs. Even mother, pregnant and nursing and with many children. And even while working ... How? There would be a desire.

Here is such an option of freeing time. Select the day of the week in which you do not enter either VKontakte, Facebook, or anything like that. Time will be free at once - ten minutes so it is exact, and even the whole hour. Even more time is released if a special day of the week is allocated for entering a social network. Say, Thursday. And on other days do not look there. This time can be spent on classes with native children.

Or another option for freeing time, for supermacs who "stand on the stove for days". Instead of manually sculpting vareniki for the whole family, we will buy ready-made or simply cook pasta. Just half an hour extra we get. Do not fry 40 minutes of lean cutlets, to get to taste almost like meat, and cook buckwheat (she cooks herself, especially in the multivark), lodge with the purchase of squash caviar and fresh cucumbers (do not cut them melenko into a salad and cut into halves). Do not bake a mountain of pancakes for a mid-morning snack, but give you some waffles for tea. Once a week, you can turn your mom-cook into a mother-educator? ..

Apostolic post: the mission of the family. Mother&#39;s notes

However, there are such mothers, and there are such children who are really without a first-second-third, necessarily home, can not do ... And yet, you can always move something. A lot of time sucks the constantly turned on TV: you are distracted by it now for 5 minutes, then on 15 - for the whole day more than an hour can run. In general, all of us who read at least some articles on the Internet are people who, by definition, have free minutes, or even hours.

Every day, even for the sake of children, read the Scriptures - so in fact we ourselves will educate ourselves

So the question is always what is more important for us, what is important for us in general. And if we decide that it is important to deal with children with anything, and even more to deal with children, the law of God is important for us, this value - time - will be found. And then this time itself will be integrated into the rhythm of our life, will become a part of our life - and everything will roll further by itself, along the track. Everything will be easy when such a habit arises - to study at home with children. As a habit to lay on the table, as a habit of supper with the whole family, as a habit of washing one's head or ironing a shirt.

We will be engaged every day or only once a week - for a post we can get acquainted, at least in general terms, with a specific topic. This is how fasting will turn out to be a special educational time for our whole family. With such small little steps, real for each family, we will gradually become more and more familiar with the church and the life of the Church. Together. Let's start with a simple one, then it will be pulled up by itself, since we have gone along this path, complicated. Let's start with the children's Bible - let's move on to the very texts of the Holy Scriptures. Then go to the holy fathers. We will read more and more often talk about this with the familiar priests, we will increasingly pay attention to such topics. We will read to our children, for the sake of children, and we will read them ourselves. Every day, at least for the sake of children, read the Holy Scripture, read something about our faith - so in fact we ourselves will educate ourselves. So the house will be enlightened. So the house becomes a special place, the unique educational space, a special educational environment. And all this will already happen by itself, naturally and organically.

So in this apostolic post we can really go out to preach. We can really preach the gospel of the Kingdom to a small people - and our children, and ourselves at the same time.


[1] "Do you want your son to obey? Since childhood, bring him up in the punishment and teachings of the Lord. Do not think that listening to the Divine Scriptures was unnecessary for him ... <...> we will force them to practice reading the Scriptures from an early age. "John Chrysostom, sv. In epistulam ad Ephesios XXI PG 62, 151; Complete Collection of Creations, T. 11. Kn.1. S. 185.

[2] Anna Saprykina. The upbringing of children in the family of Basil (the elder) and the Monk Emmelia, the parents of St. Basil the Great. http://pstgu.ru/download/1331712440.58-65.pdf

[3] Gregorius Nazianzenus. Funebris oratio in laudem Basilii Magni. Collection of creations, T. 1, S. 610. The word 43.

[4] John Chrysostom, sv. In epistulam ad Colossenses IX, PG 62,362; Complete Collection of Creations. T. 11. Book. 1, S. 432-433.

[5] John Chrysostom, sv. In Matthaeum, V, PG 57, 55; PST 7,1,52.

[6] John Chrysostom, sv. In illud: Vidua eligatur, PG 51, 327; Collection of teachings, 1993. S. 334

[7] Anna Saprykina. When do you begin to teach children the Law of God? // http://www.pravoslavie.ru/111828.html

[8] Anna Saprykina. Archpriest John Artobolevsky: a new martyr who raised a Soviet academician // http://www.pravoslavie.ru/101112.html
Saprykina Anna. Parents and children's education: the experience of a new martyr who raised a Soviet academician // http://www.pravoslavie.ru/106091.html

[9] Vladimir, Metropolitan of Kiev and Galich. The ABC of Orthodox education.

[10] Gumerov Paul, the priest. Sunday School - not only for children // http://www.pravoslavie.ru/70639.html

[11] Anna Saprykina. When do you begin to teach children the Law of God? // http://www.pravoslavie.ru/111828.html

Anna Saprykina
Pravoslavie.Ru
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