Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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The letter kills but the Spirit gives life. I have been through some internal fights in the last few years trying to walk the thin line between protecting and giving my biological children and my spiritual children the best spiritual upbringing and being judgmental and.critical to the very few of our priests that sometimes appear to stick to the letter of The Word. Sometimes I have faith that God will protect us all from the letter and I feel that things go well and I am in peace internally. Other times, I feel aches in my heart and my.mind starts telling me I need to speak up. The toughest time is when my children are opening subjects that are causing their confusion about some priests' words and behavior that go against their preaching and our church teachings. My point in the end is how to make my children not become people like the Pharisees that our Lord Jesus.talked about without me being a stumbling block for anybody?

It is good that you are taking the time to examine and evaluate your personal attitude and feelings. Children and youth are quick to notice and interpret the facial expressions, intonation of voice, sarcasm, body language, and demeanor of their parents and teachers. Knowing their sensitivity to your reactions should be a warning call for you to release your emotions in a positive way. Children are like sponges, absorbing whatever is before them. This is very dangerous if they are surrounded by negativity. Children and youth need to be advised to refrain from judging their priests and servants, even when they make mistakes. Moses the prophet made some mistakes which God dealt with him personally, but God punished his sister Miriam the prophetess and his brother Aaron the priest for speaking negatively about him. If and when you find yourself mocking another individual, try to stop yourself immediately and apologize to whoever may have heard your misspoken words. As soon as you have the opportunity, confess this sin to your confession father. Lead by example in helping your children to grow in love and see the good in everyone. Read and contemplate on the holy epistle of St. James who teaches us that faith and deeds must work together and mirror each other in the true believer. "And above all things have fervent love for one another, for 'love will cover a multitude of sins.'" (1 Peter 4:10).

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