Affection For The Parental Home
Photo by Helena Volkova
A lot depends on what our parents prepared us for. Was it for the service of God (and the service of God is a service to one’s neighbor, and therefore to parents, too)? Or was it to serve the family, if you are meant to be a family man? Or to serve the Fatherland? Or to serve yourself?
It often happens that parents love their children so much that they prepare them only for themselves. And as a result, an already matured person is unable to leave the parental home: because of the enormous affection for mom and dad, because of the selfish nature raised in him by overprotection.
Often, even after creating his own family, he remains unwanted in life, lonely, because he was transferred from one mother to another “mother”: mother, not wife!
But, of course, even if you are unable to build relationships for such reasons, this does not mean that you can give up on the family! A person at 25 and at 40 can change: our soul is dynamic, it is able to become more mature. But in order for a person to be able to change and become able to fulfill his destiny, it is very important for him to approach his life and the choice of his “soulmate” sensibly and reasonably.
Photo by James Butler
First of all, you need to understand what we are looking for and whom we are looking for. What qualities should our “soulmate” have? Choosing it according to the principle “Go there, I don’t know where, look for something, I don’t know what”, we follow a dangerous path: through trial and error. At the same time, the soul is emptied, disappointed, dirty, and loses itself. And as a result the worst happens: its degradation. This can be called depression, age crisis, whatever! But there is only one reason: we have lost ourselves. Without knowing ourselves, we do not know what we need, who should be next to us.
In one of the letters of Emperor Nicholas II to his bride and future wife, Princess of Hesse, we find amazing lines: “My wife should be feminine. She should be spiritual, and so I will try to be for her.” And what love was between them! With all the difficulties, with all the sorrows: it was love to the last, to the death, to martyrdom…
Therefore, when we are looking for our “soulmate”, we should clearly understand what we ourselves are and what we should become for him/her. What are we missing? We need to carefully consider ourselves. For example, I am hot-tempered, ardent: that means I need a sensible, calm person who can translate my ardor into rationality. I am immensely kind, to recklessness, to wastefulness: it means that I need a person who is not stingy, but one who knows how to be frugal, to keep house. I am inconsistent in my desires: that means, I need a person who will one day help me understand that the most important position and destination is my family.
You need to look into yourself and try on your own dress, and not the dress that is on your friend.
Girls often say: “My friend has such a good husband! Another friend’s husband is even better… But the third one’s is a bastard.” Do not compare someone else’s husbands! You need to understand what you are like as a future wife, what is good in you and what is unworthy, what is your strength, and what is your weakness, what should help you in family life, and what will hinder you.
Look inside yourself, look into the well of your soul, understand what you need to work on. And look for a person who will become partly a “catalyst”, partly a litmus test, allowing your best sides to manifest, partly your teacher, your educator. Until this image is created in your soul, thus in your feelings, your will, your mind, you will run along unknown paths, to unknown lands, to unknown happiness. And happiness should be known!
Inattention To Detail
Photo by Bennilover
You should understand that the family is, in particular, sacrifice and courage Here courage means bravery, not brutality. When disaster strikes, how do you behave? Are you scared for yourself? Or will you say with mother’s sacrifice: “Take everything from me, let only my neighbors be safe!”
Whether your chosen one is capable of such manifestations, as a rule, can be seen right away. Pay attention to it! You’re just dating, you’re young. Ask your friend: “Do your parents know who you are with? Did you call and tell them when you would be back home?”As a rule, this is of least concern to everyone, although the frivolity in this matter should already be alarming…
There is another “test”: a sandwich with sausage. When we are very hungry, and there is only one sandwich, and there is only one sausage on it. What will your friend do? If he divides it in half, good! Better yet, if he says: “You eat. I’m good.” Or during a walk you casually sat down to rest on a stone. Will he notice this, get scared, say: “No, don’t sit on a cold stone: you can get sick”?
All these are trifles, but you can see in these trifles the one who will notice: where you are sitting, whether you are cold, your legs hurt, or whether your head hurts. This can be noticed already when you are dating.
Ask questions: the one I’m dating, who gives me flowers, is he able to restrain his feelings? Is he really capable of respecting my views, my concepts of purity, of chastity: doesn’t he see some kind of “vestigial” from the last century in them? This is all very important. It is important that the soul of the person with whom I meet is pure, capable of precisely such feelings: care, responsibility, courage, rejection of oneself in the name of one’s neighbor.
Sometimes there are no children in marriages, and this is a great test. How do people feel about it?
Someone will adopt a child, someone will solve this problem in another way. But the main thing is that people bear their cross to the end, and go through life together, not scattering away and not looking for an opportunity to have a child on the sly. And they would walk holding hands. I know such families, I know what cross they bear and how deeply they love each other, they are not able to betray each other. This is also an indicator of family achievement!
Wrong Priorities When Choosing A Life Partner
Photo by Derek D
One should understand that kindness is not some kind of pleasant “supplement”, but the fundamental quality, which should be at the forefront of the loved one you are looking for. Everyone should seriously think about this! After all, the main criterion for choice is the human soul. How often in newspaper advertisements you can read: “My height, weight, eye color are this and that, I am looking for a man no shorter than 180 cm, no older than 40 years.” External criteria are important to us! But I live with a person, and not with his appearance or with his business qualities. No wonder there is a saying: “Beauty is only skin-deep,” and it is no joke.
Think about it: who are you really looking for?
A strong man? Brutal, overgrown, unshaven, with a three-day stubble, with muscles? If you are looking for this, then you get a male. Who are you looking for? A smart man? But this does not mean that he will be loving. A promising one? But this does not mean that he will be loving. Who are you looking for? A rich man? But this does not mean that you will be loved!
We should look for a person who knows how to be kind. Kindness is caring, it is attention, sensitivity, it is the right word, intonation, it is the ability to remain silent or, on the contrary, assent at the right time, to agree – for example, when a person is hot, excited. Kindness is love: it is strict and demanding, but infinitely caring, sensitive, extremely tender. This is an amazing quality, and if there is kindness, it covers everything else. And if you pay attention to it, look for it, then there will be not a brutal male, but a real man next to you.
Strong marriages are made wisely: decide with whom you are, who is with you, what you are, won’t you disappoint the expectations of this person? In passion you will not see what a person really is: when feelings rage, there is not much to consider. But, as a rule, passions cool down, and then, as if under a magnifying glass, it becomes clear: he is not at all what I thought! Therefore, the choice of their “soulmate” should be approached judiciously and seriously.
Photo by Mike Goren
So we started a new family. How can we save it? It seems like we found what we wanted, but suddenly quarrels and scandals started happening. What should one pay attention to?
The Scripture says, “Let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband”. Yet we have family disputes and debates, we behave ourselves as if we were on the ring, “I hit her, she hit me, I hit her again!” But it is clearly written: a husband is the head of a family.
So let him be the head of a family! We try to carry too much on our shoulders, and then we say, “He is such a slacker, and I am a single mother!”
Think about it: were you not the one, who created this situation? A family is an amazing lifeline when we bear all its burdens, when everyone plays their own roles, everyone carries their own cross. Everyone has their own cross: a wife puts a lot of effort in raising a family and a husband must provide for it. Everyone has their own role, their own responsibilities, their own burdens.
It is easier for a believer to understand. However, we, believers, also pray badly, rarely go to church and even there we pray badly, and as it turns out, family saves us all, paves the way for us to another world: the Heaven World. Whether we believe it or not.
Shifting the Blame to Another
Photo by Stephanie Wallace
Any bias does not happen immediately in a family. Therefore, it is necessary to start sorting out the situation not by thinking that a spouse has become different or bad, but by understanding what I have done wrong.
Sometimes, it seems that your spouse’s attitude to you has changed, that they do not love you like they used to. The key word here is “seems”. It is a very dangerous word!
When such suspicions arise, once again, it is necessary to look at yourself. Yes, life changes people and sometimes for the worse. But it means that I have let this change happen: I was there when my husband was changing, becoming different! It was okay by me, I needed it…
Perhaps, at some point he gave up his conscience because of my silence, my connivance. Isn’t that so?
A person does not change just like that, there is always a reason for these changes. We often push a spouse for wrong decisions and actions. Let’s say, we wanted him to have a bigger salary, a higher position, and he ignored his conscience: and I said nothing, I agreed to that, I have not found very simple words, “Do not do it, we will manage without it. Let us just have peace and quiet”.
Or, sometimes, a husband complains about his wife, “She became so sloppy, flabby…”. Have you looked inside yourself? After all, you once loved her, you have children together, and they were born out of love. So what happened to your beloved wife? And is it so terrible, is it not just a storm in a tea-pot? Look inside yourself: is it not that I love only myself and I need my wife to be beautiful? For what? For pride! For you to walk with her on your arm and for some colleague to say, “Wow, what a wife!” And what if she is the kindest, the most faithful and the most caring person, does it really matter, what clothing size she is? At the same time, remember your loved one as they were before, and slowly go back to that image of them.
Inability to “Hold Your Tongue”
It is also very important in a family to be able to be silent. Most often it is women who cannot do this: and then people exchange words as if in a crossfire: and the words that offend and hurt most. It is a woman, who primarily should be silent.
Yet we are proud: how come that I will not have the last word?! This last word, unfortunately, is called “divorce”…
And the true, proper word does not destroy, but creates a family. Truth is not born in anger, there is no truth in anger by design. And for us it is important for truth to be present in our relationship. Therefore, we will not reason, teach and take offense in anger, but we will be silent, we will wait for the storm to pass, to die down. And it will die down, because there will be no reason for it to continue as there was no “crossfire” of words, no picking on words. Next thing you know, a person comes to you, “Why are you silent? Let’s talk…”. There is love and peace once again.
Solving a problem may be possible only then, when our soul is peaceful. If there is no peace, problems cannot be solved, and only a storm of our proud, vain thoughts and feelings is raging.
Ingratitude to a Loved One and God
Photo: 8 Kome
Without a doubt, there is one great quality that allows a family to stay together: each member’s awareness of great God’s mercy shown to them and the awareness of the neighbor’s love for them. The understanding of the fact that I am loved is a powerful defense against stupidity and seeking happiness elsewhere, as it is often advised by friends.
You know that you are loved a lot and that no one else will love you like that! For love you can bear anything: sorrows, small salary, some faults, grunting, and grumbling.
And there should also be awareness of the fact that if you are loved, then you cannot leave that loving person…
Life of spouses is work and a huge achievement. At the same time, think about what a family gives you. Is it a hard labor? Or is it a great God’s mercy that is granted to us? If it is granted, gifts are not thrown away, they are kept and passed down through generations. That is why in families that managed to preserve themselves: did not split up, did not collapse, did not act meanly – children and grandchildren turn out to be happy in marriage, when they grow up. For piousness is the foundation of their family – piety: no one has ever betrayed another, no one has ever cheated, no one has ever condemned anyone.
It often happens that a feeling of gratitude to a person, who is by your side, develops into such deep love. Quiet, silent, sacrificial, but it is so deep! And the love of one person necessarily grows in the soul of another.
No Praying or Trusting
Photo: Anita Hart
As an Orthodox Christian I can say: family and its birth are the Divine Providence. Nothing else! Therefore, one should of course pray for marriage, for choosing the way of living, pray so that God would manifest His will. Otherwise, we will definitely marry a crooked, twisted (first of all, in soul) person: and then we will cry, “Lord, why am I the one to carry this cross?”
If a believer wants a family, then they ask God in the simplicity of their heart, “Lord, if it is Your will, give me a spouse. The one, who will become my husband, my “crutch”, my “soulmate”, a father of my children”. “Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you” (Psalm 55), “Let my vindication come from Your presence”, it says so in the Psalms of King David, and Psalms are not just mere verses, they are prayer verses.
One should ask and look not for an ideal person or a prince, of course, but for someone, who is intended for you. We often do not believe till the end that our destiny comes from Lord’s hands and that everything that happens to us is providential.
In other words, you just need to be a believer! That is to know that you will not escape the destiny that was granted to you by God: it may only happen if a person tramples upon the laws of God: if they do not know the goal and if they ignore their conscience. Ultimately, for a Christian starting and saving a family, finding a life partner is a matter of trusting God. All the simplicity and all the depth lies in this approach.
Pandering to Public Opinion
Photo: Melissa Maples
We got used to some cliché of age gradations and often follow some standard ideas: we must hurry to get married before a certain age or, which is even worse, if we cannot start a family, then we must have a child from just anybody so that somebody would need you. Such attitude often leads to tragedies.
A believer solves this problem by using a simple formula: we need to accept not clichés, but the will of God. And there is no concept of age: we do not know, when we will find our “soulmate” that was intended for us by God: when we are 50, 40, or 25. It is a great mystery. As well as the fact whether your children will be yours or adopted or if there will be any at all.
A Christian understands that the Providence of God is always saving. If you are not given a family at this age, it may mean that we are simply not ready for marriage, we will not carry it, it will not be our cross, but self-consciously taken. Therefore, Lord keeps us away from it. But if there must be your “soulmate”, you will find them! Therefore, it is reckless to jump into the deep end just because everyone around you says, “It is high time for you to get married already.” “No! I will marry, but only the one, who the Lord will grant me. What will this person be like? I will accept them as they are: it means that I need exactly such a spouse”. From the spiritual point of view only this reasoning is possible. And there can be no other.
Translated by Alyona Malafeeva and Julia Frolova