In spite of all the revolutionary changes in the social context of our country, generally related to political, economic and religious liberties, recent decades saw the traditional family values as a common expression of our national identity going down. At the same time, it should be acknowledged, that some families went through a personal freedom realization and responsibility increase, the quality of decent and equitable relationship between spouses. The more disseminated assertion of a woman’s worth and the important role she plays in the society should be also accepted. Although, many families display an improper understanding by the spouses of their mission, including those related to the authority towards their children, their duties in passing the essential moral, spiritual and religious truths to their children. The number of divorces is growing up. The number of unborn child murders is growing up as well. A temporary, experimental marriages and civil extra-marital relationship, which diminish the significance of a responsible decision of a whole and undivided family creation, become more and more popular.
From one side, finding new basic citizens’ political rights and liberties should have influenced and enabled the development and consolidation of the society in cultural aspects, education, upbringing, in various kinds of societal interaction, let it be public morals, human communication, mass-media or fruitful generations’ relationships. From the other side, despite all the positive achievements in political sphere, a significant regress is evidently observed in respect of societal interaction efficiency, consolidation and implementation of ethic Christian values, which are traditional for our Moldovan society. First of all, it refers to family.
In my opinion, the starting point of this regress is the concept of truth relativity. As many supporters of this idea think, morals and ethics of relationship can possibly exist only in limits of an individual’s personal freedom. In other words, value meaning of morality as a reflection of generations’ experience and Divine revelation of the man and the world he lives in, is not merely denied by this world outlook supporters, but even rejected in an unvarnished way, being perceived as “an intervention with civil liberties’. Thus, only political and civil rights become the most important and determining priorities in society development. Human dignity and spiritual values are substituted by ‘civil rights” and human spirit – by “a personality” and a set of various practical skills, needed in society.
Spiritual and religious revelations, generations’ wisdom and Christian values to which our society is fortunately quite open, affirm the essential truth about Man: it is about an incarnated spirit, about a “living soul”, that lives its life in a physical body, endowed with intelligence, mentality and self-consciousness.
But practice shows that moral and spiritual principles were substituted by political liberties and social and economic possibilities. Along with this, quite a few people can really take advantage of these short-time civil and economic rights for their own benefit and development. As a result, social disparity increases, fairness becomes relative, legality is placed under the command of conjuncture interests, and spirituality and morality are depreciated to the personal business of one’s own. Moreover, the adepts of such a position purposely “confuse the cards”, narrowing down any spiritual or ethical discourses to the questions of confession, though they just partially have to do with religion. Suchlike worldview is at least fabulous, and in its extreme practical realization it is a mere hypocrisy.
The fact, apparent at least for the majority of our society, is rejected: marriage and family was designed by the Creator, if you will, by the Nature, once with Man creation, in a communion of a man and a woman, expressed definitely and unambiguously, created by God’s image and semblance. Thus, public good is closely related with a family’s welfare. Family and society complement and support each other. But along with this, the state should not consider family as a creature of its own, destined to serve the state; but as a community that has an authentic sense of its existence and the right, presupposing any kind of support, firstly, related to protection of its moral and spiritual determining base, guaranteed by the public laws.
Undoubtedly, we can specify community members more or less responsible for the current circumstances in any certain situation. Acceptance of this responsibility primarily presupposes realization of your own moral and spiritual beliefs in family vision. By the way, sometimes it can lead to recognition of the fact that some definite beliefs do not exist in reality. A man often limits himself only with the values that are ideally formulated, but never uses them in practice. I think it is just about quintessence of unawareness! Man is not aware of his living without practicing his own beliefs, but practices what is imposed from outside and does it only for the sake of fleet benefits, success, money or satisfaction. It may sound absurd, but neither success, nor wealth, nor even satisfaction is achieved.
Whatever theories should come out into this world, the evident fact remains the same: up-to-date parents are children, who were brought up in a certain manner by the previous generation, and up-to-date children represent an active part of today’s society, which is educated by up-to-date parents’ generation. It is necessary to take responsibility and accept the fact that the main reasons of family problems result from unconscious upbringing of children, moral irresponsibility and spiritual pessimism of spouses and parents. First of all, parents should keep constant strengthening in faith and spiritual development, to discover new inborn abilities in order to become loving spouses and decent educators, they should consequently advance their knowledge and skills and virtues. Many mothers and fathers are not able to smile. It requires readiness for changes, reassessment of own beliefs and life experience. They should learn how to face untraditional challenges of time and former circumstances, including those from our childhood, far from serenity.
A special attention should be paid to the fact that the active part of our society consists of definite people that once were children as well and some day or another they are going to become parents. Society consists of us. As it has been already mentioned, up-to-date children, brought up by modern parents’ generation, over time will determine the quality of our society. Parental responsibility in education issues should be considered as a mission, vocation and duty. This refers to multiple aspects of human awareness and behavior. For instance, parents are able to and must contribute to a child’s growth in conditions of genuine attitude and freedom towards material goods, asserting significance of existence over the possession in him. The determinant factor for a child’s evolution is his sexual education and authentic sexuality development, which is also his parents’ duty, which cannot be passed to other persons or establishments. School, specialized organizations and especially mass-media should play secondary role in these issues and coordinate their programs with parents under their diligent guidance.
A number of other key reasons of family values degradation are briefly listed here, among them the following ones:
• disintegration, diversity, lack of mutual trust among the representatives of various Christian confessions, which slacken the efforts taken to consolidate family as a responsible union of a man and a woman, blessed by the Creator;
• throughout all the levels, absence of statesmen’ political will to take personal decisions and those of public interest with due account for moral and spiritual beliefs;
• immoral and cynic position openly demonstrated by some civil society associations and mass-media persons;
• excessive spread of electronic mass-media devices, television and Internet alongside with inability of those who has a vocation to use these means for the benefit.
Quite few people nowadays contest the meaning of a family as a social institute. The state is evident to consider family as a “society unit” to be a “useful invention” in human history, such as wheel or light bulb or democracy and market economy. Moreover, the value of a family sometimes is nothing more but a social and civil agreement, which stipulates among the others and the environment where children, i.e. new citizens are grown in.
In the result, everything is degraded to economic relationship and civil liberties. But if a degradation of family can come down to the rank of socio-economic subject, then it should be recognized the fact that family members are considered only as taxpayers, consumers and labor force, producing national domestic product. But relationships of spiritual character, love and mutual understanding, personal growth and development of spouses, marital union of a man and a woman, consolidated by the Creator’s grace, mutual support, forgiveness, fidelity, marriage indissolubility, a responsible child-bearing and upbringing, awareness of Divine role in spouse and children relationship formation – all these and many other characteristics of a family genuineness cannot be limited only by socio-economic regulations. And this is not an issue of religion! This is the issue of Man’s verity!
Lately a tendency has been observed: to degrade family to a primitive level of registration and evidence of socio-economic cohabitation of two citizens, irrespective of gender. This is explained and justified by civil rights’ protection. Along with this, the truth about the Man is not considered as a foundation for adopting certain legislative acts. The maximum the supporters of such an approach are capable of is a kind of anthropologic materialism, discerning the man as an essential category of world outlook, on the basis of which a whole system of world perception can be built. Naturally, any social system is not subject to any kind of authority.
Thus, according to this idea, definite lifestyle and meaning of being are based on right, and not on truth. Family becomes a “hostage” of freedom of speech and so called political correctness. But as it is known, a primitive expression of any kind of right is a will, which, in the result, without adequate moral and spiritual values of high-order just fades away and enslaves the man. The less we are aware of this dependence degree, the more man drifts away from the verity of his being and meaning. That is exactly how degradation of family values happens, such values as: love, fidelity, unity, forgiveness, preciousness of authentic sexuality, a conscious child bearing and upbringing, a responsible reality perception, protection of life from the very beginning and till its natural decline, and so on, and so forth.
Verity consciousness on the contrary brings a relief! The verity the man is constantly aspiring to transforms and refines him in fact. A kind of spiritual metamorphosis takes place, and when a man learns the verity of himself, he just discovers all his qualities and abilities, which are much more important than any other values, imposed by the society, let it be eagerness to success, wealth or sensuous satisfaction. Suchlike experience can be gained only in family! Family is an integral part of life and Man meaning. Family involves close communication and interaction between the spouses in verity and love, opening up valuable significance of a man and a woman. At the same time, family serves for common good. It is exactly the family that represents a natural medium for man inclusion to verity of himself, and so for genuine freedom, on the basis and by virtue of which it becomes possible indeed to live and advance yourself.
Deacon Edgar Vulpe
Director of Charitable Foundation “House of Providence”
Married, three children