I remember when one day a man came to me and said, “Father! My wife is telling me that it is Great Lent now! But she behaved the same way as on other days! And then there was no fast, no Lent, nothing! But she kept her distance too!” I drew some conclusions, and we did not address this question again. For when the truth is seen, the lips are silent, and the excuses disappear. We are fake. We are lying. Sometimes even to ourselves. We find plenty of excuses to hide. And many of us avoid even a direct look at ourselves. In addition, we shelter behind the name of God. We call the One Who is great Love to justify our loveless appearance and unhealthy soul.
I believe you understand that God has nothing to do with an unhealthy state of our body and soul. Although many men and women use Him to explain erotic coldness and indifference. The whole point is that we have no love for ourselves. We have a misconception about our body and its functions, about love and marriage. Mainly about love. But these are gifts! Gifts that are given by God to take our life to another level and make it high quality. They were given for rest, calmness, relaxation, praise of God and eternal gratitude to Christ.
But we use these gifts in a strange way. Instead of being happy, we suffer terribly. This situation affects all of our family members. Children understand what kind of atmosphere prevails in the house. They see their parents unloving, dissatisfied, unhappy, constantly irritated, upset and they realize that they are not all right. Children understand everything because it concerns their parents! Children are well aware of the fact that their parents’ main problem lies in their distance as husband and wife. They will never tell you about it, but most of the time they understand what is going on. They just feel it. We have to think about all of that if we want to be honest with ourselves. I understand that it is difficult to see and admit this truth. It is a lifelong struggle to overcome our mistakes, which have almost merged with our “ego”.
My friend, a clergyman, once told me that guilt was not created by the Church. It was not the Church that laid the foundation of human guilt. Guilt had been there before the Church. Guilt is inherited in our being. We feel it for the many gifts that God has given us. You often feel guilty about everything that brings pleasure, joy and happiness in your life.
From the book “On Certain Difficulties in Marriage” by Father Andrew (Konanos)
Translated by pravmir.com