Bible and Education
Anonymous asked this question on 6/26/2000:
Would you please list for me some areas in the bible that instructs parents on raising children. I also want to know what the bible says about disciplining our children. Sometimes I don't feel sure if I'm being too strict or too easy on my daughter. I just need to search for some spiritual guidance on talking with her. What do you say when your 13 year old gets mad at you reading her letters and says she hates you and wishes you were dead? The dirty language and name-calling in her writing was something I felt I needed to know. I have never been hurt like this before. Please tell where to go in the bible for the lord's help?
mscperu gave this response on 6/27/2000:
You are hurt because you have hurt. Adolescents have a difficult time to understand themselves. So they need patience and more patience. Sorry if I can't console you in this.
You have done wrong reading her letters. Children need their privacy even from loving parents. You should ask her to forgive you. Then get her a closet, or a box or something that only she can open. And she has the only key to it. If they can't trust you they won't tell you anything. Education is to prepare them to live their life with responsibility. So it has to be with trust. There is no other way.
There are no receipts in the Bible how to educate children. It has to be an atmosphere, a Christian ambiance. So I describe how you can create it:
Bible and children
An old Latin proverb "Nemo dat quod non habet = nobody can give what he does not have" is valid especially in the religious area. Parents who want to open the Bible to their children need to be immersed in Scripture to be able to transmit the contents.
Origene, a Father of the Church, tells us that the incarnation of the Son of God is twofold: in the womb of Mary and in the Divine Word of Holy Scripture. That is no to say that the book as such is the Word. No, it is the Word when proclaimed in the assembly of the faithful, in the liturgy of our Church. And the family?
The Holy Father has spoken frequently of the domestic church where the parents are the liturgists, the catechists. They direct the prayer in this holy assembly of the family. Commenting the custom to proclaim the Word in the family he says it should be done with joy because the Holy Ghost is teaching at this moment.
And a later Father Saint Jerome suggest that you can approach the Bible "only on your knees", in other word with an attitude of faith and prayer.
So if the parents "eat frequently the bread of the Word" as an illumination for their daily life (our elders in faith have transmitted us the Lectio Divina) they will be able to open the book of the seven seals (Revelation 5:1ss) in a spirit of faith and prayer.
There are different ways to open the Bible in the family.
Little children (up to 6 or 7) love stories. The Bible if full of them. Almost every night at bedtime Father o mother tell their children biblical stories trying to finish always to Christian application of the happenings. Finding them together with the children can be quite wonderful. Baptized children are imbued with the gifts of the Spirit. Please, don’t degrade God’s Word so it is an instrument of moral exhortation to be good. Scripture is frequently abused this way. God’s word is before all the way a loving God talks to His children. The prayer after the story is frequently quite inspired.
There are families that try to have together at least one meal during the day. Some of them con be together only for breakfast. Everybody gets up even if they could sleep late. Everybody helps to get the table and the food ready. The all sit down, the father or the mother reads a short passage of the Bible and the other parent gives a (very short) explanation. If an other member wants to say something they can do it. Than a member of the family blesses the Lord and everybody digs in.
Other families have a family reunion on Sunday morning. The table is set very nicely. After breakfast there is on the table only a cross, and lightened candle and some flowers. The family reads or (better) sings the psalms of the day. There is a reading of Scripture and a short explanation. Then everybody is invited to comment the Scripture AND to tell what he or she thinks the Lord has done for him or her during the week. They help each other to discover His presence. Then everybody says a short prayer in his or her own words ending together with the Our Father… Hopefully the celebration is enlivened with hymns and Christian songs. This is the domestic Church where the parents are the priests.
Let me tell an experience. A mother observed that her youngest son invited every time a different boy to pass the weekend. She asked him the reason. The boy answered: "Mom, in my class they say that God does not exist. That is what their parents tell them. I tell them that God exists and that my father talks to Him every Sunday morning. And we do all for that matter. So they want to come and see. I can’t bring the all at once so it has to be one by one. My friend understands".
Those children live their live with God and in His presence.
So please, ask your daughter to forgive you and promise her you won't do it anymore. Than you have to search together how the live life in the presence of God. You talk everything over with her. You hear her reasons. But then you take the necessary decisions and tell her why.
And try to remember how difficult it was for you at that age.
God bless you both