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Sunday, March 26, 2023

The paragon of perfection, the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the epitome of excellence.

In the parish club “Family” of the Tula Church of the All-Believing Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky, another meeting took place within the framework of the project “Portrait of a Woman”. Its organizers, with the help of guests, try to “draw” the ideal image that an Orthodox woman should aspire to. This time the guest of the parish club was priest Vadim Sebyakin, cleric of St. Alexis Church.

The questions of the moderators of the meeting – Elena Polomoshnova and Olga Orlova – focused on the following topics: how should a Modern Orthodox woman behave in a family? Should she occupy positions of “command” and dominate the house? Who should you listen to first – your confessor or your husband? How to follow fashion, look modern and not sin? How to combine family concerns with God’s command – “don’t worry about tomorrow?” What is the grace of God, how to acquire it and not lose it in everyday problems, and many other topics were discussed in a conversation with a priest. It was no coincidence that Father Vadim was invited to the meeting, because it was in the church of the holy, well-believing prince Alexander Nevsky that his service to the Church began.

The starting point of the conversation was that “the ideal of a woman for Orthodox Christian women is the Most Holy Theotokos”. But we know so little about his earthly life. Knowing this little, how should a modern woman behave – at home, with her husband, with children? asked the hosts.

“It is not for nothing that little is known about the earthly life of the Most Holy Theotokos,” said Father Vadim. – The gospel provides what a person needs for salvation. We know from Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition that She possessed three qualities on which monks make vows today: obedience, non-possession, chastity. Obedience is the basis of everything. The elders of Mount Athos say: obedience is the second holiness. And chastity is not only the purity of relationships, it is “integral wisdom”, the integrity of a person, which protects all the virtues.

If we are committed to these three qualities, all private matters – how to behave with a husband, in the kitchen, etc. – will be solved by themselves, any particular follows from the whole. The problem is that we are constantly busy with “private matters”, trying to solve them “by ourselves”. And everything flows from the main thing, it is the main thing and you have to learn, strive for it.

If a person does not feel the breath of the Holy Spirit in his life, which should be the heart of his life, he will always be “on the periphery of events”, asking many questions. You must enter into the life of the Church, of the community, acquire the grace of God, and then the Lord Himself will teach you everything. In the words of the psalmist: “The Lord teaches the humble.

Responding to the question of how to acquire grace, the priest continued, “Receiving baptism, living a church life. “Acquire the Holy Spirit” – by good deeds, all your life; strive for it, for that is the goal of the Christian life. If grace touched you once, then you must seek it all your life. We feel when grace comes to us: from prayer, from participation in the sacraments of the Church, from good deeds. From all this we please God. If we have the spirit of Christ, the grace of God, we will solve all our problems! If it does not exist, we will “dig” them…

Speaking of a woman’s original vocation, Fr. Vadim remarked, “We have a critical demographic situation in our country today, we are dying. And, in the end, everything may end with the fact that we simply will not exist! The main purpose of a woman is the birth of children. No one except a woman will give birth to children. Yes, today they are trying to “grow up children in a test tube” – this is the dream of atheists. By this we go against God – and “we will collect firebrands on our heads”…

“Man’s life is service. To serve God – Love, Truth – this is his first service, – the priest continued the conversation. – In second place comes the service to the earthly Fatherland, which he must take care of. After all, God gave this earth to man as an inheritance, he is responsible for it. And the third service is rendered to the family, so that love reigns there. And for himself there is already the fourth place in this hierarchy. If we observe it, God blesses us, the Fatherland thanks, everything is safe in the family. The problem is that if a person puts himself in the first place! Then the family may not take place, fall apart. If you put your family first, the Fatherland will not stand. And if the Fatherland does not seek God, does not seek the Truth, does God need such a land, such a people?

“Even if the husband is an unbeliever, he is still the head of the family,” Father Vadim said. – Through him, the Lord gives grace to this family, and if the wife obeys him, the grace of God will not be impoverished, and the Lord will govern, including her husband. Women do not believe in it, but every man has a “boss” – the Lord God. You’ve got to complain to Him, and He’ll correct the husband, put him in his place if something’s wrong. A family is two oxen in a team. If one starts pulling to the left and the other to the right, there will be trouble! We have to somehow adapt, but, of course, not indulge in sin. We are saved as a family when we serve one another. When the husband is for the wife, and the wife is for the husband. Starting a family is the starting point, and it is very important to choose the right path in life from the beginning. In the beginning, people are bound by love, and love is born in marriage, it can appear after a while, even after years. Love grows in the service of the other.

Responding to the question of how to combine non-covetousness with caring for the family, where everyone needs to be fed, clothed and shod, Father Vadim said: “For a member of the family, the non -greed is to provide your family with everything necessary, in accordance with the conditions it is in. Maybe someone is sick, and we need to take care of treatment, medicine. Or a large family lives in cramped conditions , then one of the tasks of the head of the family is to enlarge the dwelling. Take care of the necessities, the “daily bread”, but not of the luxuries. We must come to a state where the Lord will be close to us, and He Himself will then teach everything, promptly, we will feel what we really need. Our mind is not enough for everything, because we can make decisions based on ambition, pride, envy. If, for example, we want to make a lot of money, but may the Lord not don’t bless us, we won’t make it! So we lean on God. He is the Giver of everything. We have to live with God. He will give both joy and strength to be saved in this life.

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