Challenge to Orthodox Parents: Start Reading the Bible with your Kids
“So, how many of you guys read the Bible at home?” I asked a Sunday school class full of 4th-6th grade kids about a year ago.
About ten pairs of eyes stared back at me, totally blank.
“You guys don’t read the Bible at home…?”
More blank stares.
That was an enlightening experience. Here we are, the one true church, and our kids aren’t learning the stories of the early Christians who went before them. Their lives aren’t being touched by the daily reminders and wisdom of proverbs and comfort of the psalms. Instead of reading the daily reading, they’re playing video games and watching TV. Not exactly spiritual fulfillment.
I am guilty of this as a parent myself. I get busy and life gets in the way. I forget to set aside a few minutes in silence and set my day right with scripture and prayer. As a result, my kids don’t get that either.
But, look at the world around us. We are spiritually starved. Our souls need nourishment, and our children need something to grab onto to keep them anchored. It’s not easy growing up in today’s world, but when your daughters remember how Esther risked her life to save her people, they can be inspired to stand up for their Orthodox values. When your sons struggle with doubt, they can remember the Apostle Thomas, that he doubted too.
My husband went to an Evangelical Christian private school when he was growing up. He learned the order of the books of the Bible, memorized scripture verses and psalms, and became familiar with both Old and New Testament scripture. As a father, he still tells the stories he learned and shares the miracles and moral lessons with our children. What did I learn, growing up in the Greek Orthodox Church? A lot about the sacraments, and a few things in Sunday school, but not much in the way of daily, practical Bible knowledge.
I know Orthodox Christian parents who homeschool their children usually incorporate scripture into their learning. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that with all of our Orthodox children, whether they go to public or private school, or are homeschooled?
A good friend of our family works in prison ministries. He prays with young inmates and shares the Bible and God’s love with them. Many of them beg for more, because they have not had this experience in their life.
As I write this, my Orthodox Study Bible sits on my office shelf. I know that I need to use it more, and I need to share it more, both in my life and as a parent.
So, what are you waiting for? Pull your Bible off the shelf and read it to your kids. Make God’s Word an everyday part of their life.