By Steve Higginbotham
William Shakespeare is regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. Although four hundred years have passed since his death, every school student will study the life and works of William Shakespeare. However, there is a startling fact about Shakespeare that few know. When Shakespeare’s daughter, Judith, married, she signed her marriage license with a mark or the equivalence of an “X”. In other words, she was illiterate, being unable to read or write!
Here is my question, “How is it possible for the greatest writer in the English language to allow his daughter to be illiterate?” You would think that to a man like Shakespeare reading and writing would mean everything. Surely, he would have taken the time to teach his daughter to read and write, but the stark reality is he didn’t. Let this soak in, “The greatest writer in the English language had children who could not read or write.”
As unimaginable as this fact is, how much more unimaginable is it that Christian parents would not pass on their knowledge of God to their children? In the days of the judges, a generation of God’s children were allowed to grow up not knowing the Lord or the works He had done for them (Judges 2:10). I’m afraid many parents are allowing the same thing to happen today. What are we to think of parents who don’t teach the Bible to their children at home?
Not only do they not teach their own children, it’s not enough of a priority to allow others to teach them in Bible class. It’s puzzling!
A better question than asking how William Shakespeare could allow his children to remain illiterate is to how we can allow our children to grow up biblically illiterate! Give it some thought.
Editor’s note: We are not sure if the author is correct in surmising that Shakespeare did not teach his children, but we found this article thought provoking. We know the Lord instructs us to teach our children.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! And you shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your might. And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your hearts; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. And you shall write them on the doorposts of our house and on your gates. “
Psalms 78:5 “For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should tech them to their children.”
Obviously, teaching our children about God is of utmost importance! We suspect this is even more important today when our kids are being bombarded with all forms of anti-God propaganda on a daily basis.