“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the
right to become children of God” (John 1:12)
Humans born as mortals, seek redemption since birth for they inherited debit from the first mankind Adam. Living on earth, obligatorily seize from sinning and obliging GOD’s commandment.
LORD Jesus Christ gave his life to mortals for salvation, crafting the way to heaven upon the miraculous of the cross for Mortals in carrying the cross also and become Christians; whereas to be children of GOD, is to first to be baptized at infancy. In John 3:3, LORD Jesus said, “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven.” Then He explains how to be born again in John 3:5, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” When one is born again by being baptized into Christ he becomes a child of God.
Baptism at the Orthodox Church is the foundation of Christianity and those baptized become GOD’s children. In Ephesians (5:8-19), it exemplifies as being the light of the world. Saint Paul explains it as; Christians shall live by his words, good thoughts and deeds. It is to be child of GOD of which baptism is its first step.
Being Christian is to have faith in GOD; hence we are obliged to follow his rule and live in his kingdom. LORD Jesus said, “Thus also faith, by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:17) Mankind is saved not only by his faith but by his works; “You see then that a man is justified by works and not by faith only.” (James 2:24) A dead faith will do us no good on the Day of Judgment. The bible stated about foolish man without works. It refers to one who believes in “faith only” as “O foolish man.” “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:20)People also have responsibility of becoming parents and raise their children to be Christians. Children are GOD’s gift; in the Psalms it’s written, “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD; in which the fruit of the womb is a reward.” (Ps. 127:3) Children are the fruit of their parents through upbringings to live by their rule and guidance. Hence, it is the responsibility of parents to raise their children by GOD’s law. Saint Paul said, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4)
Israeli children learned the commandments from their parents that GOD thought them; the bible states, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deut. 6:6-7)
Parents shall raise their children through Church liturgy and Christian life for them to be Christians. They have the responsibility of making them be Orthodox. This include helping them in having faith in GOD, in their baptism, praying, fasting and participating in the work of worship including divine liturgy beginning from their seventh years of age. During their growth, children should be raised and when fail; pull them back and help in improving their conduct and discipline accordingly. Saint John Chrysostom said, “Like ones who make statues, removing the excess and correcting the imperfections. Examining their children day after day to see what virtues they acquired is of the essence so as to envisage more of it and what shortcomings they have so as to remove. He even elaborated it more saying, “We have to care for these beautiful statues in our hands to shape them for the sake of God. They are not hard and inanimate, but the King of the universe has desired to dwell in them. Therefore, let us use GOD’s words to form the child, because you raise a godly wise person or a hero racing towards the Kingdom of God to become a heavenly citizen.”(Homilies on the Statues)
Children can have good discipline since childhood if their upbringing is by GOD’s commandment. LORD Jesus Christ said, he is the shepherd and hence children are his lamp. “I am the good shepherd.”(John 10:11) In this regard, children have the right to walk by the light of GOD and parents have the responsibility of supporting them go through that path. Parents should pave the way for their children at early age; their childhood is the base for their growth. They need to establish Christianity for their Christian and future life, inherit GOD’s kingdom in eternal life. “If the good commandments are imprinted on the soul while it is still young, then no one can destroy. The child still has fear and awe in his sight, his speech and in everything else.” (Homilies on the Statues)
Children’s mind is as clear as a white sheet and shall be envisioned by good thoughts and images. We shall tell them about GOD’s righteousness, goodness and almightiness; we shall read them stories of righteous people and Saints; teach them bible quotes.
Saint John said, “Let the image of a Saint be imprinted on the child by one way or another. Let us provide the child with opportunities to allow him to escalate in goodness by means of the name he is given. Let us not give the child the name of one of the family members, but rather the name of one of the righteous Martyrs, Apostles or Saints. This way we start caring for our children and instructing them, as well as introducing the Saints’ names into our homes. As a result, the parents will also meditate on the life of the Saint, whose name they have given to their child. If the Saint’s name happens to be the same like a departed relative, then as both the parents and the child meditate on the life of this Saint and pray with him, they will find comfort in losing their relative.”(Homilies on the Statues)
All through their maturity, children will develop their faith and manner to be as good Christians that their parents craved them to be. They will have the capability and diligence in living Christian life. They could also be servile in the Orthodox Incarnation Church. This life cycle could continue by their children also after their adulteress.
May GOD grant that we receive him and become fully his children!