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Author Topic: The Orthodox Husband (and Home)  (Read 2783 times) Average Rating: 0
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CDHealy
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I'm a philosophy major.

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« on: October 04, 2002, 09:59:06 AM »

When I become Orthodox (note the "when" of hopeful prayer), I understand that doing so will entail much more than is asked of one in evangelical Christianity, not merely in terms of the observance of the traditions of the faith, but to be more deeply "moral" as well (theosis).

I do understand that what I am to ask is ultimately something I should discuss with my priest and heed his wisdom.  However, I was also interested in hearing from members on the list what being an Orthodox husband is like.  Doctrine and theology is great here, but I am interested in the practice and experience right now.
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Clifton D. Healy
email: chealy5@yahoo.com
blog: http://benedictseraphim.wordpress.com

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
--Hamlet,
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2002, 03:47:51 PM »


<snip>

However, I was also interested in hearing from members on the list what being an Orthodox husband is like.  Doctrine and theology is great here, but I am interested in the practice and experience right now.

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Just to let you know, Clifton, your interest in hearing from members of this forum on what being an Orthodox husband is like is not being ignored by me.  I'm just too "chicken" to be the first to answer on this topic.  But I'll let you in on a secret: I converted to Orthodoxy from the Unia with my wife and four children (followed later by my mother, now of blessed memory) some 25 years ago.  My wife went along rather easily because along the road to our conversion I read aloud from Orthodox books to her and shared my thoughts.  Then I asked her to read and share her thoughts with me.  We came to a prayerful, considered consensus.  She became the more devout, pious Orthodox Christian and puts me to shame in her practice of the Faith!

In Christ,
Hypo-Ortho
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Mor Ephrem
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2002, 09:26:50 PM »

And I suppose a reason why some others, like me, may not be answering the question is because we're not married.  Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2002, 10:01:23 PM »

That's why I hadn't responded, I'm not married yet Wink A number of Fathers say that we shouldn't try to teach others about what we haven't ourselves experienced/gone through... Ask me this time next year and I could probably say a little more Smiley

A good place to start might be the various Orthodox books put out on the subject, and to read the relevant homilies by Saint John Chrysostom (I can give links if you want). I'm sorry I can't say more than that, and I'd really like to say more, but I think that's my prideful "always share what you know to anyone who will listen" side, and not my Christian side.

God Bless you on your journey!
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« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2002, 01:20:20 PM »

I understand that doing so will entail much more than is asked of one in evangelical Christianity, not merely in terms of the observance of the traditions of the faith, but to be more deeply "moral" as well (theosis).

Glory to Jesus Christ!

I'll give you a few comments.  I'm going to write this as if I know what I'm talking about, but don't take me too seriously.

The model of the Orthodox father and man is under-clarified in American Orthodoxy (if not everywhere) these days.  We can say some things for sure, but many things are unclear.  One thing to keep in mind though, is that not only is much more required of us, but much more is given to us.  This is the key.  Thanksgiving for the blessings of God.

1.  The husband is the bishop of his home.  Your home is your Church 7 days a week.  Thus we need to lead our families in prayer. I am pitiful at prayer so we only have one absolute set prayer time.  We need to do better about a compline service or some part thereof in my house.  Sometimes I think husbands get caught up on the mechanics.  Just do what you are going to do absolutely unabashedly and it will fly.  Learn to chant.  If it is not natural to you, just chant in a complete monotone, clearly and honestly.  It doesn't need to be fancy.    Start with something you can stick to and only very slowly move forward (that advice I'm sure you've read in many saints.)

2.  Teaching.  Unfortuantely, in many ORthodox parishes catechesis is weak.  Fortunately, we have the great works of so many saints available to us to help.  I've found an interrogatory didactic style works best.  For instance, a little question like "Why do we get up in the morning" can provide a great table discussion topic.  (Read your morning prayers for the answer!)  "Thou hast raised us up as we lay in despair that we might sing the Glories of thy majesty!"

If you have a good discussion, come back to it a month later and see who remembers.

3.  If your parish serves vespers on Saturdays make a commitment to it.  Our children don't have the option to go out on Saturday evenings.  It extracts one from the culture very powerfully to set aside the 5 p.m. sat to 5 p.m. sunday time block.  But make it a time the children look forward to.  Reading great stories as a family, preparing for Sunday guests, writing letters to faithful far away.  Writing in journals, etc. are good Saturday p.m. activities.  SUnday is like a little Pascha each week.  Celebrate it.  Save the treats for Sunday.  have guests over, especially people who might not usually get invited anywhere.

4.  Intercede persistently and regularly for those under your care.  Keep lists of godparents, god children, children, wife, family, neighbors, those who've asked you for prayer, those who ahve offended you, those you ahve offended, etc.  

5.  be thankful for all God's grace.  Try to find every possible opportunity to be agreeable with men and disagreeable with ourselves only.

Now if only I could do it.

In the dark,

The Sick Canary
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CDHealy
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I'm a philosophy major.

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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2002, 01:23:27 PM »

anastasios:

Powerful stuff.  Maybe I'll get consistent in most of them by the time I die!  Tongue

Seriously, though.  Thank you.
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Clifton D. Healy
email: chealy5@yahoo.com
blog: http://benedictseraphim.wordpress.com

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
--Hamlet,
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