It produces good fruit
Elder Filotheos Zervakos
How is it possible for your children to become good people when you yourselves often become angry in front of them and swear by the holy things? When you take what’s not yours and cheat other people? When you steal and lie, when you slander and commit perjury? When the whole of your mind and your efforts are on material things? When you take no care of your soul, don’t even go to confession, take communion, don’t pray or study improving or religious literature? Put all that sort of thing out of your mind. It’s impossible for your children to become good people unless you, as parents, set them a good example. And if it ever happens that you get good people from bad parents, it’s a rare thing indeed. A good tree produces good fruit and good parents produce good children. So if you want your children to turn out well and be a joy to you as they grow, then get them used to proper devotion from an early age. If all you care about is leaving them wealth and an inheritance, and don’t pay attention to their upbringing, then you’ll be unhappy and, one day, your children will also become miserable, a blight on themselves and on society.
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