Gardeners know that in order for a tree to be healthy and develop strong roots, it must be watered deeply and fed well while young. Later, when the inevitable storms come, the strong roots will be deep enough to prevent the tree from blowing over. If the roots are shallow, the tree will be lost.
In the sacrament of holy marriage we hear: Your children will be like olive shoots around your table (Psalm 128:3). A verdant and fruit-bearing olive tree requires cultivation, and all the more does the raising of our children. If we teach them all we can about their faith as early as possible, giving them spiritual roots that are strong and run deep, then when they face the world their faith will not blow away like seedlings in a storm.
This book is especially designed for busy Orthodox Christian parents. It is the fruit of the labors of many pooled resources: Scripture, holy fathers, clergy, clergy families, monastics, and Orthodox parents. In the end, our children are the fruit of God's grace and our labors. If we spiritually tend to them in their youth, we will have nurtured their potential to grow into amazing, faithful, fruitful, even holy Orthodox Christians. Let us work diligently when they are young and the harvest will be plentiful.
Author: Marie L. Eliades