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Apostle Paul about the Upbringing Children

How Would You Interpret “Fathers Do not Embitter Your Children”?

father and sons

Question: How would you interpret the words of the apostle Paul “Fathers do not embitter your children”?

Answer: I cannot be certain here, but if we do not go deep into different translations and interpretations - and apostle Paul may have also meant something of his own - I really think it’s all on the surface. We often hurt one another, we annoy each other all the time. Everyone annoys everybody else close to them and around them.   There is a good video with Dmitriy Smirnov on the subject. You can find it on the internet easily. The son says to his father, “Look at your face! Everyone annoys you – Putin, Obama, Grandfather, Grandmother... Good good weather, bad weather, complete silence and a loud noise. Even your bed is never good enough. One moment it is too hard, and the other too soft. You are angry at slow driving or fast driving at being alone and a being around others.»  People are always annoyed – by their fathers, sons, grandchildren, whoever.... It is only when God touches someone with His Grace that one begins to appreciate the good side of things. We’ve stopped - What a good thing! Someone shouted  - how nice! He had a loud voice!  Here is my criterion. I suggest that we all look inside us. Our hearts are like barometers that tell us the weather. Look at yourself in the mirror and ask how you feel about what is happening around you. If you are happy, and nothing annoys you, then you can be sure you have been touched with God Grace. You have His blessing. This may be a fleeting state,  it may only last a moment, but it’s real. There are people who can keep this state of mind throughout their whole lives. People who have God's blessing, and it never leaves them. They have his spirit, their hearts are full of peace and sweetness. They are people who can see God's in all the things that happen, who can empathize with others, who are can reach out to them, who share their joys and ease their sorrows. They are truly blessed. Life is quite different for most of us. In it, most things go off track as soon as our day begins. Someone opens the window and makes us uncomfortable – it is too cold. The sounds around us are too loud, or it is too quiet. It is the same thing for children. Most of us have to learn how not to annoy them. It’s much harder for them not to become upset, simply because they are not as experienced as we are. So we need to wait for the right moment to sit down with our child and talk. It’s hard. But we must learn understanding. We need to know how to be sympathetic. We should remember that people can have their hard times, that they may find it difficult to control their moods. But life is hard by itself. It is always full of difficulties.

Priest Sergius Nezhbort

June 22, 2022
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