Tag Archives: Raising Orthodox Children

Orthodox Church quotes about raising Orthodox children

St. Justin Popovich: Let us ask what the goal of education is . . .

Icon of St. Justin Popovich“Let us ask what the goal of education is, if it is not the enlightening of man, the illumining of all his abysses and pits, the banishing of all darkness from him. How can man disperse the cosmic darkness that assails him from all sides, and how can he banish the darkness from his being without that one light, without God, without Christ? Even with all the light that is his, man without God is but a firefly in the endless darkness of this universe.”

— St. Justin Popovich

St. Silouan the Athonite: We may study as much as we will . . .

Icon of St. Silouan the Athonite“We may study as much as we will but we shall still not come to know the Lord unless we live according to His commandments, for the Lord is not made known through learning but by the Holy Spirit. Many philosophers and scholars have arrived at a belief in the existence of God but they have not come to know God. And we monks apply ourselves day and night to the study of the Lord’s command but not all of us by a long way have come to know the Lord, although we believe in Him.”

— St. Silouan the Athonite

St. Theodore the Studite: . . . God, who fashioned us and brought us out of non-existence into being . . .

Icon of St. Theodore the Studite“Brethren and fathers, God, who fashioned us and brought us out of non-existence into being, has placed us in this life as in a schoolroom to learn to gospel of his kingdom.”

— St. Theodore the Studite

St. John Chrysostom: Teach him to sing those psalms . . .

Icon of St. John Chrysostom“Teach him to sing those psalms which are so full of love of wisdom; as at once concerning chastity or rather, before all, of not companying with the wicked, immediately with the very beginning of the book; (for therefore also it was that that prophet began on this wise, ‘Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly’; Ps. i. I, and again, ‘I have not say in the council of vanity’; Ps. xxvi. 4, Sept., and again, ‘in his sight a wicked doer is contemned, but he honoreth those that fear the Lord,’ Ps. xv. 4, Sept.,) of companying the good, (and these subjects thou wilt find there in abundance,) of restraining the belly, of restraining the hand, of refraining from excess, of not overreaching; that money is nothing nor glory, and other things such like[…]When in these thou hast led him on from childhood, by little and little thou wilt lead him forward even to the higher things. The Psalms contain things, but the Hymns again have nothing human. When he has been instructed out of the Psalms, he will then know hymns also , as a diviner thing.”

— St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Colossians, Homily 9

St. John Chrysostom: Let everything take second place to our care of our children . . .

Gospel Reading“Let everything take second place to our care of our children, our bringing them up to the discipline and instruction of the Lord. If from the beginning we teach them to love true wisdom, they will have great wealth and glory than riches can provide. If a child learns a trade, or is highly educated for a lucrative profession, all this is nothing compared to the art of detachment from riches; if you want to make your child rich, teach him this. He is truly rich who does not desire great possessions, or surround himself with wealth, but who requires nothing…Don’t think that only monks need to learn the Bible; Children about to go our into the world stand in greater need of Scriptural knowledge.”

+ St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Ephesians, Homily 21

St. John Chrysostom: . . . that he should be a diligent hearer of the divine Scriptures . . .

Icon of St. John Chrysostom“Never deem it an unnecessary thing that he should be a diligent hearer of the divine Scriptures. For there the first thing he hears will be this, ‘Honor thy father and thy mother’; so that this makes for thee. Never say, this is the business of monks. Am I making a monk of him? No. There is no need he should become a monk. Why be so afraid of a thing so replete with so much advantage? Make him a Christian.”

— St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Ephesians, Homily 21

St. John Chrysostom: So let the name of the saints enter our homes . . .

Icon of St. John Chrysostom“So let the name of the saints enter our homes through the naming of our children, to train not only the child but the father, when he reflects that he is the father of John or Elijah or James; for, if the name be given with forethought to pay honor to those that have departed, and we grasp at our kinship with the righteous rather than with our forebears, this too will greatly help us and our children. Do not because it is a small thing regard it as small; its purpose is to succour us.”

— St. John Chrysostom,  An Address on Vainglory and the Right Way for Parents to Bring Up Their Children 50.

St. Bede the Venerable: Better a stupid and unlettered brother . . .

Icon of St. Bede the Venerable

“Better a stupid and unlettered brother who, working the good things he knows, merits life in Heaven than one who though being distinguished for his learning in the Scriptures, or even holding the place of a doctor, lacks the bread of love.”
+ St. Bede the Venerable

St. John Chrysostom: But now your children will utter songs . . .

Icon of St. John Chrysostom“But now your children will utter songs and dances of Satan, like cooks, and caterers, and musicians; no one knows any psalm but it seems a thing to be ashamed of even, a mockery and a joke. There is the treasury house of all these evils. For whatsoever soil the plant stands in, such is the fruit it bears; if in a sandy and salty soil, of like nature is its fruit; if in a sweet and rich one, it is again similar. So the matter of instruction is a sort of fountain. Teach him to sing those psalms which are so full of the love of wisdom. When in these you have led him on from childhood, by little and little you will lead him forward even to the higher things.”

— St. John Chrysostom, Homily IX on Colossians

St. John Chrysostom: When we teach children to be good . . .

Icon of St. John Chrysostom“When we teach children to be good, to be gentle, to be forgiving (all these are attributes of God), to be generous, to love their fellow men, to regard this present age as nothing, we instill virtue in their souls, and reveal the image of God within them.”

— St John Chrysostom