My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
Christ is in our midst. He was, is, and ever shall be.
LIVING CHRIST IN THE ORTHODOX
The home, in Greek, ο οίκος, is more than a dwelling, or a place of residence. A home, a safe place, a sacred space, is a spiritual nursery where seedlings are raised with the rays of the sun, soil, and water in a pure environment. It is an environment that is conducive to growth and development. It is a place where Christian families are guided and strengthen by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who transforms them into the e-kat’ oikon ekklesia or home church.
Christian families are Christ-centered and adhere to the Divine Teachings and values taught by the Lord. The fidelity was always to our Savior, Who provided the individual Christian and Christian family with divine inspiration to live a righteous, dignified, honorable, and virtuous life. The whole life of the Christian revolved around the commandments of God. Furthermore, they lived in preparation and ancticipation of the Second Coming of our Savior.
Christian parents adhering to the teachings of our Lord are enjoined to take care of the way in which their children develop as they grow; not only intelectually, but morally and spiritually. There is never any doubt that it is a Christian family. Christian parents should maintain a discipline based on love, always mindful not to create confusion in the innocent hearts of their children, nor to lead them to question the motivation of their parents and rebel. The parents set the example of piety, virtue, respect, honesty, integrity, and devotion at home.
Unlike the pagans whose goal was to produce and develop "good citizens" to strengthen and ensure the future of the contemporary society, the Christian household’s focus is the Kingdom of God. Christians have always considered this earthly life as temporary, and therefore, strive to attain the heavenly life. For this reason, the goal of Christian parenthood is not only the development of healthy children, but also the leading them to our Savior Jesus Christ. Christian parents teach their children to become disciples and followers of Christ so that later, when a Christian child lives an independent life from their parents, there is no dichotomy of purpose, nor confusion about who they are.
Christian children are called upon to honor their father and mother. Saint John Chrysostom portrays the act of honor as "filial obedience coupled with respect for one’s parents." He concludes by saying: "If a man have not this honor for parents he will never be gentle toward those unconnected with him."
Nothing has changed within the Christian Church over the many centuries. The same faith is taught, the same Gospel, the same morality, the same values and virtues, the same devotion and piety. The goal of the individual Christian is to live Christ daily. Christians are also always mindful that "all who desire to live in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12).
What non-Christians marvel at is the solidarity, the stability, and the love within the Christian family. Christian marriage is compared to Christ and the Church. Saint Paul’s writing to the Ephesians regarding the mystery of marriage says, "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the Church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the Church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Chuch and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the Church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church. Nevertheless, let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife seethat she respects her husbdand" (Ephesians 5:22-33).;
The sanctity of the Christian home must be preserved and protected from outside forces that threaten it. The unity of the Christian couple, their devotion to their children, their common Christian faith, their love, their mutual respect, and their commitment to Christ, must remain unbroken and true. There are many temptations and distractions in life, but no Christian should succum to them. The parents ought to live their spiritual lives openly in front of their children, so that their children can grow up in Christ and develop a faith of their own. Each Christian household should be sacramentally strong, participate in Holy Communion frequently, consistently pray and worship, always reach out to their fellow men and women who need help, and keep their Christian identity intact. In addition, good Christians pray unceasingly for the protection and salvation of the world.
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostom
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George