[Part 8 of a 10 part series of book notes
taken from On the Upbringing of Children by Bishop IRENAIUS]
The Root of All Evil
- The love of money is the root of all evils (I Tim. 6:10)
- Greed can bar a man from the Kingdom of Heaven (Eph. 5:5)
- Greedy people are “accursed” (II Peter 2:14)
- Parents must guard themselves from this sin first AND protect their children from it.
How to protect your children from greed and love of money:
- Avoid discussing salaries
- Do not regard wealth as a blessing and poverty as a curse
- Worship of money replaces the worship of God
- Teach your children generosity and sharing from earliest age possible
- Teach almsgiving to beggars and the poor
“Teach them ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’.” (Acts 20:35)
- Teach them to be satisfied with their food, clothes, toys and everything around them [let us model this too as parents first!]
- The temptation to steal may happen to a child that falls into greed, therefore be aware of their possessions and strictly rebuke any forms of stealing as soon as possible.
- Teach children early difference between mine and yours so they respect belongings of others, yet at the same time teach them to share what they have been given by God.
“Explain to the children that money and possessions are not the highest good upon earth. The highest good is virtue and righteousness, bercause only these things have value before God.” (p49)
- Teach them by example:
- Don’t neglect your religious duties
- Don’t neglect prayer and church attendance
- Show your children by your whole life that your chief care is not the acquiring of money and possessions, but salvation and the future blessedness of your soul.
About the book…
“It was not that long ago that pious parents raised their children to become Saints, to serve God in this world and the next. Perhaps only two generations ago, parents were still raising Saints in Orthodox countries. But the success of anti-Christianity in our time has been so complete that concern for one’s own salvation is considered, at best, a harmless eccentricity, while concern for one’s children’s salvation is sometimes even considered dangerous by forward-looking educators…To parents struggling in this cold modern climate, we off a small book of timeless guidance on how to teach virtues to children. The homilies in this book were originally published in Russia in 1901. The times have changed considerably since then, but human nature has not. We still have the age-old struggle with the passions, the world, and the fallen spirits. We must still strive to train out own and our children’s souls to the high ideals of holiness given us by Christ. May God grant that this book may assist parents in their difficult and delicate task of raising children fit for His Kingdom.”
– St. Xenia Skete (October 13/26, 1991)