Playing by the rules

Playing by the rules


Have you ever tried to score, but you broke a rule, so your goal didn’t count? In basketball, maybe you made the basket…but you went out of bounds or pushed another player. In soccer, maybe you made the goal…but you were standing where you shouldn’t have been standing.

As Christians, we have rules to follow too. We are called Christians, but we have to follow the rules to have the wonderful reward of life with Christ in heaven forever.

The epistle today tells us, “In the case of an athlete, no one is crowned without competing according to the rules.”

But what are these rules? Some of these rules include the Ten Commandments, or loving our neighbor, or keeping our actions clean and pure. These rules help us live our lives the way God wants us to live them.When we follow God’s commandments, God is happy with us. These rules, or commandments, help us be safe, happy, and according to what God wants for us.

We are like “athletes” because we are working hard for a goal. As Christian “athletes” we follow the rules so that we will be “crowned” in heaven with the best reward ever: life with Christ in heaven forever!


Do you know how many Christians there are in the world? More than 2 billion! That means that out of every three people in the whole world, one is a Christian.

But how did that happen? Two thousand years ago, there were only a few Christians. Well, the first Christians worked hard to tell other people about Jesus Christ, and they told other people, and so on.

Saint Paul helped many, many people become Christians, but even he couldn’t do it all! He had friends who helped him, too. Two of his most important helpers and friends were Saints Aquila and Priscilla. These two were husband and wife. They taught lots of people about Jesus Christ—about His life, and about how we can be more like Him.

In one of his letters, Saint Paul says, “Greet Priscilla and Aquilla. They risked their lives for me.” Saint Paul shows how thankful he was to these two. And now WE are thankful to them too because of their great work for Christ and His Church.

We celebrate Sts. Aquila and Priscilla on Wed, Feb 13th (Feb 20, OC).

Click here to download your free copy of The Children’s Word.

Welcome to “The Children’s Word,” a weekly ministry of the Orthodox Christian Network. Each week, Presvytera Alexandra Houck writes this little newsletter for young parishioners! You will find age-appropriate articles, stories, and activities in every edition. The newsletter is provided in PDF format so that you can easily download and print it, and share it with your parish, church school, homeschool, family, and friends.

Each issue includes a message on the Sunday Gospel lesson and on one of the saints for the week. You’ll also find a coloring page and other activities. It is designed for a 8.5 x 14 page, so it can be printed and folded.


Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is a 501(c)3 and an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America . It is a recognized leader in the Orthodox Media field and has sustained consistent growth over twenty-two years. We have worked to create a community for both believers and non believers alike by sharing the timeless faith of Orthodoxy with the contemporary world through modern media. We are on a mission to inspire Orthodox Christians Worldwide. Click to signup to receive weekly newsletter. 

Join us in our Media Ministry Missions! Help us bring the Orthodox Faith to the fingertips of Orthodox Christians worldwide! Your gift today will helps us produce and provide unlimited access to Orthodox faith-inspiring programming, services and community. Don’t wait. Share the Love of Orthodoxy Today!

About author

Presvytera Alexandra Houck

Presvytera Alexandra Houck created The Children's Word bulletin so children will know they are not only welcome in church, but even more, an essential part of the Church family. She hopes the weekly bulletin will be just one more way we can make kids feel at home in church. Presvytera Alexandra is a graduate of Duke University and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Her husband, Fr. Jason Houck, is a priest at St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis, MN. Presvytera Alexandra and Fr. Jason have five small children: Lydia, Paul, Silas, Philip, and Sarah. Presvytera Alexandra grew up attending Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Asheville, North Carolina with her nine siblings.