This is a letter I recently sent to everyone in my parish:
Dear Christ the King Church Family,
I have been thinking about the incredible amount of effort constantly put forth by my precious wife, Sh. Amy, as she daily gives of herself to take care of me and our seven children. I would like to offer my gratitude for her, and for all the Orthodox moms in our parish.
There are approximately 300 million Orthodox Christians in the world today. 150 million of those are Russian Orthodox. Thus, half of all living Orthodox Christians are under the leadership of Patriarch Kirill of Russia.
I came across some excellent statements he made, publicly, regarding the significance of families which practice Orthodoxy at home, and the danger of those which don’t:
Patriarch Kirill understands that the fates of nations are intimately linked to the faithfulness of families. When the Christian home is weakened, civilization itself is endangered. The inner workings of a Christian family are not a private affair. Rather, they are the very underpinnings of our society.
In this article, Patriarch Kirill says that “woman must be focused inwards, where her children are, where her home is . . . . If this incredibly important function of women is destroyed then everything will be destroyed – the family and, if you wish, the motherland.”
The Patriarch honors women, recognizing them as “the guardians of the family fire, the centre of family life”, with no need to look beyond the traditional family for fulfillment.
I applaud the Patriarch for making such a clear and unapologetic defense of the Orthodox family!
I am pleased that the Antiochian Orthodox Church agrees with Patriarch Kirill. In a recent issue of The Word magazine, published by the Antiochian Archdiocese, there is an excellent article titled, The Role of Women in the Orthodox Church. In this article, Bishop Nicholas tells us, “St. John Chrysostom instructs mothers that they are to ‘let everything take second place to our care of our children, our bringing them up to the discipline and instruction of the Lord. If from the beginning we teach them to love true wisdom, they will have more wealth and glory than riches can ever provide'” (Homilies on Ephesians, Homily XXI).”
Thank God for Patriarch Kirill! Thank God for Bishop Nicholas! May God grant them many years!
I offer my sincere thanks and encouragement to all the ladies in our parish. To the extent that your own hearts resonate with the words of Patriarch Kirill, and to the extent that your own lives agree with the words offered by Patriarch Kirill, Bishop Nicholas, and St. John Chrysostom, you are doing your part to change the world for Christ!
Orthodox mothers work their fingers to the bone, cooking, cleaning, nursing, chauffeuring, disciplining, comforting, wiping noses, kissing ouchies, praying with their children, and teaching their children the three R’s. They pour themselves out like a daily drink offering, giving every last ounce of their energy for the well-being of their families. They work three times as long and hard as anyone with a “full time job”, and they usually do it without pay, without vacation, without recognition, and without thanks. Orthodox mothers are “The Giving Tree”.
I can’t give you pay or vacation.
But I can give you recognition. I can give you thanks.
Orthodox Moms, THANK YOU for your humble, loving, patient work on behalf of God and your family. The very future of our society depends on your faithfulness. The work you do for your husband and children matters!