Consistency is very important in the relationship of the mother with her children. She cannot ask from them what she doesn’t have. How will she teach the child to be honest if for instance the phone rings, someone wants to talk to her and she tells her child to tell that person she is not at home. Attention is needed even in the smallest details. The mother raises the children and she has to think about everything.
She has to take care of the relationships of her children even since they are small. She also has to control all the books, newspapers and magazines that arrive to their house. She will have to protect the children, with fear of God, of the great danger of television and of the bad, uncontrolled use of the computer.
A spiritual father said: `Before the mothers knelt with their children before the icons and prayed a little together and now they spend long hours before the TV. The mother should not watch anything she would have been ashamed of if she would have had her children beside her. Thus she will be able to control what her children see.
Saint John the Chrysostom this great educator and saint of our Church points out the great responsibility of the parents and especially of the mothers in guarding the senses of their children. The world offers the ugliest things for eyes and ears. The mothers should be very careful about what her children see and hear in the house.
The mother is the second guardian angel for the child, says elder Paisios. The children want to play with their mothers as much as they can. They want to feel their mother is present in the house. To talk to them and play with them, to look in their notebooks and prepare their meals, their cakes. Pious Paisios said:`Before the mothers prepared the food and prayed a lot, they put it in the oven and they made the sign of the Cross in the name of Christ and of Theotokos and thus they sanctified themselves and their children.
If the children grow in this way they will evolve with the love of their mother and they will feel the safety of maternal love.
The connection of the mother with her child is a mystery. She should teach them the fear of God to live happily. She should guide them towards the sacraments of the Church. She should teach them how to fast, how to commune with the Holy Eucharist. She should read for them the Lives of our Saints and pray a little with them.
All these lead the mother to a sacred communion with the children and this bond is a nourishment for their entire life. And strife is needed for all these. Nothing is easy, but nothing is impossible. The mothers should take this into account and if they prove a little good intention God will help them.
It is absolutely necessary that the mother tries to find some free time to gather her mind and help her soul a little. She should retire somewhere to read something, for example the Akathist of Theotokos. She should try to attend the holy services of the Church. She shoukd find ways to gain power for her various strife.
The Christian mother is a pleasant and powerful presence in the world. She can influence social life promoting upright personalities. In this great and holy mission she had she has as a perfect model the eternal prototype of worthiness and maternity, the Most Holy Virgin, our Holy Mother.
The maternal heart that lives near Theotokos may become throne of God and in a humble and mysterious way she may experience high spiritual states. Being guided by Theotokos she may become a good guide for children and for the whole family on the path leading to God.
Excerpt from the book Anatomy of famiy problems to be published soon at Evanghelismos.