Genevieve Emmelia made her grand entrance into this world on June 11th 2013. It hardly seems possible that she is three weeks old already. She was placed on my chest at 1:29 am after 45 hours of labor. “The girl of great price” her papa calls her, and he was right, but not because of my labor. Bringing her into the world was no cake walk, but it was nothing compared to the task we now have in front of us. St. John Chrysostom said “The fact that someone has helped to bring a child into the world does not make him a father/mother. He must bring the child up properly.”
Properly has nothing to do with worldly success. It is dependent on one thing alone, preparing a child for the heavenly kingdom. Instilling spiritual roots that will withstand the mighty storms that the world hurls at them. Patience, meekness, humility, a spirit of peace, repentance, love. These are the things that matter and they are taught not by words, but by example. If we are to instill these virtues in our children, we must first cultivate them within ourselves. Pray for us as we undertake this great task.
“If parents are not consciously living the ascetical and sacramental life of the Orthodox Church on a daily basic and with great zeal, no matter what else they may do or say, it will prove vain and fruitless. That which remains within a child’s heart and molds him eternally are the Christian virtues they observed in their parents’ own lives”
“If one sees a wild tree in a garden, no one thinks of judging the tree itself. Everyone, however, censures the gardener who let it grow as it wishes, thus letting it become wild. In the same way, parents are responsible for the weeds in their children’s hearts” – Bishop Irenaeus