Sunday, February 12, 2017
1 Samuel 2:18-21
Across this nation, there is profuse crying in hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of homes. Parents are shocked and bewildered over the loss of sons and daughters to social radicalization through drugs, unfiltered social media, transgenderism and deviancy, promiscuity, criminality, defiance and depression. Their children are not teachable or reachable, living recklessly, seeking fleeting thrills that darkens their souls. Parents have forgotten that God had entrusted them with a soul, and child rearing is about the formation of their souls.
The Home Must Be Holy. A home set aside for holiness, including prayer, blessing the meals, Christian study and church attendance, will set the foundation for children’s spiritual development. A Swiss government study showed that if both parents regularly attend church, 33% of their children will attend regularly as adults, with 41% attending irregularly and the remaining quarter not attending at all. However, if the father attends irregularly and the mother regularly, only 3% of the children will subsequently become regular worshippers, with irregular attendance and non-attendance rates growing to 59% and 38%, respectively. If the father is no-practicing, only 2% of the children will become regular worshippers, 37% will attend irregularly, and over 60% will be lost to worship. But if the father attends regularly and the mother irregularly or non-practicing, the percentage of subsequent regular attendance by the children goes up from 33% to 38% with the mother attending irregularly, and to 44% if the mother is non-practicing. Thus, the father is key to establishing and leading spiritual direction in the home.
The Home Must Be Rooted In Love But Tempered With Discipline. The home must be rooted in love, but tempered with discipline. Much love, few laws and much understanding, but when the few laws are broken, discipline must be certain. The priest Eli did not discipline his sons, who became lawless, unmanageable, and corrupt in the Tabernacle. As a parent, you cannot close your eyes to evil; it will only get worse. Without temperance you cannot please God, so be sure to cultivate a soul that pleases, not one who grieves others.
The Cultivating Of Modesty Of Spirit. The love, understanding and discipline of a holy home fosters the Godly virtues of compassion, generosity, kindness and excellence of spirit. When the interior life, inner man, spirit man or soul is well functioning, everything else falls into place.