“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Beloved in Christ,
Christ is in our midst ~ He is and ever shall be. These are words of great comfort to know that our Lord is with us. As parents we beg of our Lord to come into our home and bless our children and family. As parents however, we must remember that we are models for our children, that they watch us closely and learn from our behaviors. The essential teaching here is that we must be Orthodox for our children to be Orthodox.
Truly, our Lord works in wondrous ways and I have seen examples of children in pious homes wandering off and totally abandoning the faith; and I have also see children reared in mostly secular and liberal environments, who later were baptized in the Church. There are always the exceptions. This does not invalidate our assertion and challenge to parents – if we want our children to grow in the faith, they need to see us also grow in the faith.
Great Lent is a wonderful ‘spiritual reboot’ – a time to purge our lives from those things that separate us from God. This is a fantastic time to more closely engage our children in spiritual endeavors, encouraging them to close-out all of the distractions surrounding them and us. This is where and how we can carve out the time to solve the quintessential issue facing so many today – “I don’t have time”. Well, in Great Lent, or other Lenten seasons, we can abandon some of those things that needlessly steal our time – TV, Internet, etc. – and recycle that time for our growth and the reconnecting with our children.
The spirit of these times is a direct challenge to our faith. All of the pieces of our faith are under attack: quiet and stillness, prayer and vigil, fasting and temperance. Our lives are inundated with noise. We can remember a different time/a different world in the days of our youth – our children cannot. This is their reality – a reality of supersized value meals, on-demand movies, music, media, increased worry and anxiety, and on and on. The Church provides the cure for these social ills. Great Lent is the solution for us parents who lament our growing disconnection from our children. Great Lent is also the time to rekindle the divine spark in our lives and family.
Beloved, let us start today, now! to reconnect and rebuild our love for Christ and His Church and thus share this love with our Children! Spending eternity with your children in the Kingdom depends on it!