Each month, as part of our children’s education at Agia Sophia Academy, we focus on a different Virtue. Our weekly Bible quotations for memorization, our faith lessons, and our discussion and articles are based on that particular virtue. For our first month of school our virtue is obedience.
For some, obedience has a negative connotation- you must do exactly what I tell you to do when I tell you to do it, whether or not the request is reasonable or unreasonable. For others, as long as I give my child a lengthy explanation of the why’s and how’s of what I would like them to do, then they should do it. Neither of these examples are obedience but different forms of coercion. And while within a family, school, and community there is a certain level of expectation to do certain “jobs” or “chores” even when we do not want to, our attitude towards those jobs and our love for one another can lead us to St. Porphyrios’ definition of obedience:
“I can’t give you an example of what real obedience is. It’s not that we have a discussion about the virtue of obedience and then I say “go and do a somersault,” and you obey. That’s not obedience. You need to be entirely carefree and not thinking at all about the matter of obedience, and then suddenly you are asked to do something and you are ready to do it joyfully.”
~ St. Porphyrios
May we have a blessed school year as we learn to acquire obedience to the point that when asked, we “do it joyfully”!