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TRADITION


 

 

 

THE FOUR BOOKS OF TIMOTHY TO THE CHURCH

 

 

No. 4     TRUE LOVE OF CHILDREN

Parents should love their children above all material things; and nothing must be preferred to them except God alone.  For this is to love in a special way. . .to place God above our children.  There is no better way to love our children than that taught by God who created both parents and children.  

How did God order that children be loved?  Let us listen to God himself saying, "They should put their hope in God and not be forgetful  of the works of their God and they should seek His commandments."  "And you, fathers. . .bring them up in the discipline and correction of the Lord."
This is what God ordered parents to give their children: not money or bags of gold, not excellent houses in distinguished places.  God provides for all men. . .but not to live lavishly.  The things man needs are few but salutary, easy but holy, sparing but great in result, short in writing but eternal in happiness". . .so that they will place their hope in God and not be forgetful of the works of their God and they should seek His commandments.  

This is what God wants parents to give their children: faith, fear of God, modesty, holiness and discipline. . .nothing earthly.  Parents should give their children things they can use for eternal life and not things that lead to eternal death.  

For most men, riches are the cause of their spiritual death.  "How difficult is it for those who possess money to enter the kingdom of Heaven."  God, therefore, specially commands:  "Do not store up treasures for yourself on earth, but lay up treasures for yourself in heaven."  

Parents who lay up treasures for themselves in heaven instruct their children in their duty to God in the fear of the Lord.  Because parents love themselves truly, they use their transitory goods for their spiritual welfare and confer eternal goods on their children because they love their children more than themselves.  Bu transferring their earthly wealth into heavenly treasures, parents acquire happiness and gain immortal goods for their children.  

Why do you gather earthly treasures for your child?  Instead, work so that your child becomes a TREASURE OF GOD.

St. Salvian, Presbyter.

 

 

 

 

 

(03-30-04)

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