Teach These Things to Your Children

holy_family_mengsA single story that brings your child’s heart nearer to God is worth an infinite number of likes and shares on Facebook. Your Internet audience might include any number of people — friends who are already convinced, strangers who will never be convinced, and people who will forget what you said a minute later. Rarely will you exert as strong an influence over the general public as you do over your own children and grandchildren.

Parents are the primary educators of their children, especially when it comes to faith and morals. Evangelizing must begin at home.

Moses emphasized the importance of parents’ teaching their children the law of God, instructing the people of Israel:

“Not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live, but teach them to your children and to your children’s children.” (Dt 4:9)

Our primary responsibility is to remember the Word of God and apply it to our own actions. We must learn it and internalize it before we can pass it on. Secondly, we have the joy and the obligation of handing the faith down to our children as a spiritual inheritance.

Children will remember what we say even if they don’t agree with it or follow it 100% of the time. Years later, perhaps when they themselves become parents, they will look back and realize the worth of the values we tried to inculcate in them. We plant the seeds and wait patiently for them to flourish, letting God and the passage of time soften the ground of our children’s hearts.

So, parents, when you talk to your children today, bring God into the conversation. It’s not hard. If your kids fight, mention Cain and Abel. If they play the blame game, talk about how after the Fall, Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent, everyone turning against one another out of sin. If they say they feel unloved or unimportant, remind them that God has counted every hair on their heads. If they drive you crazy, remember that God “has blessed your children within you” (Ps. 147:13) before they were even born and sent them to you as a gift to propel you along the path to heaven.

Spread the Gospel by beginning at home.

Based on the readings for Wednesday, March 26, 2014: Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9; Psalms 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20; Matthew 5:17-19

Karee Santos is the founder of the Can We Cana? blog and also has written for Catholic Match Institute, Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and CatholicMom.com. Together with her husband Manuel Santos, M.D., she co-authored The Four Keys to Everlasting Love: How Your Catholic Marriage Can Bring You Joy for a Lifetime (Ave Maria Press, 2016). The Santos’s designed and taught a pre-Cana marriage preparation course, and they write a monthly marriage advice column on CatholicMom.com called “Marriage Rx.” They also contribute to FAITH magazine's “Your Marriage Matters” advice column. The couple live in Long Island, New York, with their six children.
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