Marriage is, of course, a great journey. A person puts God before him, takes another person in his companions, loves him, connects with him, and they live together all his life.
In this journey they meet a lot: great joys, great sorrows, periods of peace, as well as periods of confusion and confusion. Unfortunately, in our country in recent years there has been a big problem - the disintegration of the family, as every third marriage is disintegrating, which means that we are experiencing a crisis. We, as confessors, have to consider these cases, at least most of them.
We will make a reservation in advance that, of course, no marriage breaks up according to the evil intent of the spouses: they are good people, they do not want evil to the family or the child, they do not want to go through this pain of parting, but unfortunately they often face the dilemma of choosing one of them two evils. And the lesser evil is divorce.
Looking at the history of these people with their families and analyzing them, I come to the conclusion that the greatest danger is hidden not by the open sea, but by the pier. Why? Because when you are on the high seas, you are awake, you do things all the time, you watch and make efforts. When it is difficult, you are always awake. And when you enter the pier and you see that everything is in order, you start taking everything for granted, and then a shipwreck can begin, and you will not feel it.
The Holy Fathers of the Church feared marinas. St. John of the Ladder says: "Be afraid to drown in the pier." Because drowning in the pier is unexpected and harsh, and it can be difficult to save, because everyone is asleep and no one understands that at any moment a shipwreck can happen to him. I will give a simple example.
How many families started to live perfectly, for the first ten years they tried so hard to have children, raise them, put them on their feet, build a good house, buy a good car. And then they built a house, got children, entered this house. And as soon as they entered and said: "Thank God, we are finally at home!" - the marriage disintegration immediately began. And you ask yourself: try so hard, put so much labor - that now everything is broken up? Why is it so?
In marriage, a person is threatened by an enemy, which is called negligence, negligence
Because in marriage, a person is threatened by a colossal enemy (as in the spiritual life), which is called negligence, negligence, oblivion. A person forgets that in marriage, it's like a flower appeared in a pot, and you need to constantly take care of it, water it. And if you pour it very hard, it will rot, and if it's not enough, it will dry up, so you have to be careful: give it everything you need, useful, balanced, healthy, so that it can remain fresh and bloom.
In our country, families and relationships between lovers really scandalize that they are in the pier and forget that even there, by all means, one must remain vigilant and sacrifice themselves for the sake of another: the husband must constantly sacrifice himself for the sake of the wife, and she - for his sake, and give each other what someone really needs. And if we start doing something else at the pier, even children, they will involuntarily help to break up the connection between the parents.
This is so, because when the spouse (this minus for men, and they forgive me) feels great joy from the appearance of children, he begins at some point to give them all his love, care and tenderness, forgetting that these children have descended from mother, and first of all it must pay attention to it, i.e. to his wife, and only then to children.
However, of course, no mother acknowledges this. If she is told that the problem lies in this, she will not agree:
- No, that you, I love children, they are more important to me!
That's how her mother's heart feels. But along with the motherly feeling, women's nature does not cease to exist, seeking its own, waiting for the wife to care, tenderness, understanding, affection, love, which she would be inspired to go forward in the right direction, carrying the great feat of childcare and other cares around the house.
Often, when people with difficulties come to us, it seems to them that their difficulty arose suddenly, like a bolt from the blue. And you ask him:
- Why did this happen?
And he replies:
- But how is this possible? I'm an honest man! I work all day, I bring all the money home. They have everything they need, I have not offended them. I work on two jobs, even on three, to cover the needs of the family, I have no ties on the side!
And suddenly he sees that the family is falling apart, and he has no idea why. We have seen many times that this happens, as I said, like a bolt from the blue, as if a man was asleep, and suddenly woke up and saw that the fire had already enveloped the entire house. But this does not happen overnight. And he did not understand this and did not notice that the evil began much earlier.
The disintegration of the connection between people, the disease and the microbe entered it much earlier, they gradually increased, and the person sees only the result. He did not feel it, because it was in the pier, where, as he thought, everything was in order, unfortunately, many microbes were acting. But this did not cause him to startle, think: "Maybe something is wrong in our marital relations?" - because he thought that what he was doing was enough to keep this connection alive.
So, the pier represents a danger for the relationship between the spouses and for the relationship between parents and children. We often see parents who suddenly discover that their children have serious problems (no matter what: mental, psychological, social, personal) or that they have made major mistakes and they start lamenting:
- Well, how is it? He was so good! Why does my child take drugs?
Why does he do it, does that? Yes, because sitting in the pier, the parent thought that everything is in order, everything is fine, and nothing much happens. He did not have a good alarm about what his child was living. And worst of all, he convinced himself: "I do all the best for children, I'm a good parent, a good father, I do not deny them anything. So, we will not start what is happening in other families. " And we often hear:
"I did not expect that!" To my child did this? To make this happen to me? Never in my life!
And this is our mistake, that we never expected this in life. Because, unfortunately, the pier lulled us. We lay down and fell asleep in our misconceptions, as if everything is fine with us: "I do everything perfectly and give them everything that is needed, it means everything will be fine." And I have never worried, I have not doubted myself and my affairs. He did not ask himself: "Well, what about the other children with whom all this is happening, are they worse than mine?" No. We are sure that nothing will happen to us.
It is necessary to have a good concern
It is necessary to have a good concern, as the elder Paisii said. He always talked about this - not about stressful and unhealthy anxiety, but about good, quiet, cold-blooded, full of trust in God, but also a good doubt in his capabilities too. Anxiety is not as an inferiority complex, but the one about which the saints spoke: we are people. Our affairs are sealed with human imperfection. We do not know. We think that we are doing good, but is it good? And is it as good as it is needed? Is everything really like I think and how I want? This we do not know.
We are people. Our cases are sealed with human imperfection
If we have a good concern, we are always ready to listen to another, to investigate, to see if everything is really the way we think? It is a fact that a person does not belong to what he does, with good concern - unless he has psychological problems or stress. And this is a sign of selfishness, because he thinks he is in control of everything that he has in order, that he is doing everything in the best possible way and therefore does not need someone to ask or to himself to investigate what he is doing, to see what is actually coming out.
In the spiritual life, however, this is fatal, and the fathers call it the beginning of the charm, when you think that everything is fine and you do not have to double-check what you are doing. And how did the holy apostle Paul look at this? He was the greatest apostle, called to Christianity, not through the sermon of another apostle, but by Christ Himself, for Christ Himself appeared to him and taught him. Despite this, he said this:
I tell you, brethren, that the gospel that I preached is not human, for I also accepted it and learned not from man, but through the revelation of Jesus Christ. You have heard of my former way of life in Judaism, that I cruelly persecuted the Church of God, and devastated it, and succeeded in Judaism more than many peers in my generation, being an immoder zealot of my father's traditions. But when God, who chose me from the womb of my mother and called by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me, so that I would preach the Gospel to the Gentiles - I did not consult flesh and blood at the time, and did not go to Jerusalem to the apostles that preceded me, and went to Arabia, and again returned to Damascus. Then, three years later, I went to Jerusalem to see Peter and stayed with him for fifteen days (Gal. 1, 11-18). "To tell him everything I saw, so as not to make any mistake." So that my path and struggle are not in vain.
The apostle, who had the assurance from Christ Himself in his mission, preaching and ways, was not content with this, but went to seek the holy apostle Peter to ask: "Am I doing well? Is this what I should do? "
I think this is said for all of us so that we have a good concern for our families, our homes and do not remain self-reliant in such serious matters. So who are we to ask? Not a neighbor, of course: do not ask yourself a block, are we good people. And what can neighbors tell us?
- Yes, you are good people!
And if they do not tell us this, we will stop greeting them. Or, if someone tells us the truth, let's say:
"How can he not be ashamed to talk about me like that!" Yes, he just envies me!
So who are we to ask? And ask your wife and children. The French proverb says: "If you want to find out if you are a saint, ask your servant." He is the only one who will tell you whether you are holy. Or ask your assistant at home. Ask her:
"Tell me, dear sister, am I a holy man?"
So she said everything about you ... So who do we ask in your family? Just do not ask this:
- And tell me, my beloved wife, am I good as a husband?
Although it is okay, it is possible and so, why not? But only I think that in marriage one must learn the great art of hearing the message that the other sends us. The child can not speak to us on the forehead about his problems, but to do so that he will send us a thousand messages an hour - not by SMS, but by his behavior, antics, silence and rebellion against us.
It's the same with my wife. She may not have the courage and courage to tell us in person, they say, "I have such a complaint against you." But we must be ready to listen to her so that she will tell us everything she wants with her behavior or face.
We need to learn the great art of understanding the other, hearing it
We need to learn this great art - to understand the other, to hear it. And who hears the other? The one who is silent. Who stops talking, ceases to spread his arguments, etc., that is, who himself is silent, so that the other one speaks. Unfortunately, we have this huge problem. We do not learn to listen to other people, because we do not need to hear them.
Do you know how often young people come to me with big drug problems? Parents lead them. And the parent knows that his child has a problem, because he himself brought it. But he begins to dictate to us and assert that he has no problem:
- Yes, he has nothing! Just took a little drugs! Yes, and he took them not because he had a problem, but just like that, jokingly, for fun.
Try to convince this person now that his child has a problem! How does the child tell him that he has a problem when he lives in the delirium of his egocentrism and is never ready to listen to another? And how does he listen to his child, his wife, if he constantly abides in this delirium and repeats himself the opposite, so as not to interrupt his blissful self-abuse in the pier that he himself created?
Often our quays are imaginary
Because our piers are often imaginary. We created them ourselves and think that it's a wharf. That is, a storm is roaring around us, and we are not doing anything: we are in a deep sleep and we have no idea what is really happening, because we think as we want. And our imaginary wharf turns into the most formidable danger, where everything can go to the bottom, and we do not even care. And when we wake up, it is already too late, and we will fall into either despair or cruelty - into two extremes, worst of all: either cruelty and inhumanity, or despair and hopelessness.
Calmness, composure and balance of the middle path, characteristic of a humble person, disappear, because, as the elder Paisius said, the endless questions of "why" begin:
- Why did this happen? Why did he do this? Why did he betray me? Why me? Why do not they understand me?
And so a person enters a vicious circle of innumerable questions that have no answer, no end, and exist only to torment him.
Keeping in mind this huge responsibility that we all bear as parents, as a family, we should always be on the alert and never be satisfied that everything is supposed to be all right. Yes, we will rejoice, enjoy the moments of peace, happiness, eat all the benefits that our family, children and marriage offer to us, let us not allow anxiety to function unhealthy and bring us to illness. But at the same time, we always have to look, whether we are doing well, whether everything is going right, is it the way I should be, do I give others what they want? Do I hear what messages the family, wife (husband), children send me? Do I hear myself? In doing this, we will be spiritually alert and able to meet any difficulty at any time.
You know, one of the biggest problems in the family is that we are afraid to open another, which worries us. A woman comes, I give an example, and says:
- You know, one person at work (on the bus, the entrance) makes me immodest proposals (or something else) and does not give a pass. I'm in a difficult situation, I'm in temptation, I see that I do not have enough strength, and I'm already starting to hesitate, so I'm afraid.
It is very likely - and most likely - that you will say to her:
"Tell your husband about this!"
"How can I tell him about this?" He will kill me, or him!
And why? Because he can not hear about it.
Another example. A child comes to us and admits that he is taking drugs, and we say to him:
"Tell your parents!"
"How can I tell them about this?" Mom can not stand it! Will lay hands on himself! Or he will kill me.
This situation often happened to us. Several times I was tempted to tell my parents about it. Was still inexperienced and made many mistakes of this kind. Said the guy:
"Well, if you do not dare, do you want me to tell them?"
"Yes, Father!" Tell them you!
Said. But, Lord, have mercy, that here has begun!
- Yes, full of you, daughter, stop! Calm down! Be cool!
Where there ... she even said a funeral word:
"He's dead, he's dead!"
"He did not die, daughter!" Have enough patience, coolness.
And you look at them: one completely falls into powerlessness and tears his hair, and the other is ready to kill him!
How can you create a family and save it that way? And how not to react if you have been hovering in a sweet ecstasy for all the years that you are a good father, a good husband, that everything is all right and your boat is at the pier?
Unfortunately, the pier is often very dangerous, and it is in it the most cruel shipwrecks. Let us always have good concern - not about others, to spy on them, but about ourselves, to test ourselves, to doubt ourselves and thus to be ready calmly, with equanimity and coolly, relying on God's love, to meet everything in family life. I pray to God, may He bless you, bless your families, children, all people and cover you from all evil!