It’s June the most wonderful month! It will forever have a special place in my heart as the month I became a mother and first laid eyes on my sweet girl. In eight days I will have a one year old! That is both a wonderful and frightening thought. Wonderful because I’ve so enjoyed this last year in all it’s joy, laughter, tears and struggles and am eager to continue this journey.
Frightening because I am keenly aware of the task before me in raising a Godly Child and I am only given a certain number of years to carry out this task. All the different Orthodox Parenting books and pamphlets have convinced me how truly vital these first years are. Nothing is more important than this task! I pray that the Mother of God will intercede and complete what was lacking in my mothering over the past year and guide me during the coming year.
“What saves and makes for good children is the life of the parents in the home. The parents need to devote themselves to the love of God. They need to become saints in their relations to their children through their mildness, patience, and love. They need to make a new start every day, with a fresh outlook, renewed enthusiasm and love for their children. And the joy that will come to them, the holiness that will visit them, will shower grace on their children. Generally the parents are to blame for the bad behavior of the children. And their behaviour is not improved by reprimands, disciplining, or strictness. If the parents do not pursue a life of holiness and if they don’t engage in spiritual struggle, they make great mistakes and transmit the faults they have within them. If the parents do not live a holy life and do not display love towards each other, the devil torments the parents with the reactions of the children. Love, harmony and understanding between parents are what are required for the children. This provides a great sense of security and certainty.”
The above selection is from Wounded by Love: The Life and Wisdom of Elder Porphyrios, trans. by John Raffan (Limni, Evia, GRE: Denise Harvey, Publisher, 2005), 196.