[This is a guest post from Stephen Leckvold, a Th.M. student at Western Seminary.]
St. John Chrysostom preached many sermons throughout his ministry and covered a vast array of passages and topics. When I first decided to spend time gleaning from some of them, his treatment of marriage and family life caught my attention. Newly married and perhaps and (Lord willing) a prospective father some day, I wondered what would this powerful voice from the past have to say about raising children.
As I dove into his words, I wasn’t disappointed. Among the many exhortations to raise a family in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, three struck me and resonated deeply in my heart.
1. Express Concern for Spiritual Things
Our concern for spiritual things will unite the family. John told his listeners, “We are so concerned with our children’s schooling; if only we were equally zealous in bringing them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord!” It seems that in the case of many families, not much has changed. Children aren’t often sent to the greatest schools in the region to learn rhetoric among the philosophers and master rhetoricians, but many Christian parents are far more concerned with their children’s school grades or athletic achievements than their spiritual development and their conformity to the image of Christ. Algebra and history win the place of humility and love, and their discipleship becomes the job of the youth pastor. Having been one, I’ve seen it firsthand, and it isn’t pretty.