“Parents must teach their children from their earliest days. They must teach them the fear of God, must cut their bad impulses and faults, and mustn’t fawn upon them or satisfy their bad desires and appetites. The small child is like the soft candle that you shape as you like and which accepts whatever seal you put on it. Whatever letters you write on a clean sheet of paper will remain imprinted. In the same way, whatever the small child learns when he is small will remain imprinted until old age… When the tree is small, if the wind blows, it bends. If we put a pole next to it, it becomes straight. If we don’t put up a pole, and it remains bent, it will always remain bent. If, when it has grown up and is well rooted, we want to straighten it, it breaks and is cut down. It is the same way with our children. Let us support them in the faith and in the fear of God when they are small. Let us fence them in and surround them with walls of instruction and good examples until they get rooted in virtue, when they won’t fear any danger.” – Elder Philotheos Zervakos
An Except from Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit: PG. 153
This book was recommended by Sylvia of http://www.orthodoxmom.com and I can truly say it’s been a fantastic book for me. It contains the lives and teachings of 8 contemporary Orthodox Elders. Elder Amphilochios of Patmos, Elder Epiphanios of Athens, Elder Iakovos of Evia, Elder Joseph the Hesychast, Elder Paisios the Athonite, Elder Philotheos of Paros, Elder Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia, and Saint George of Drama. It’s truly a gem of a book packed full of spiritual guidance on a range of topics. It’s a book that I turn back to again and again. I cannot recommend it enough!