Every school student will eventually read many of the works of William Shakespeare. He was considered one of the greatest writers in the English language and four hundred years after his death his works are still read and studied.
Sadly, the man many consider a literary genius had two daughters who could neither read nor write; Judith and Susanna. When Judith married, she signed her name with a mark—the equivalence of an “X”. Paleographer E. Maunde Thompson describes this “mark” as a “painfully formed signature, which was probably the most that she was capable of doing with a pen.”
How could the man considered one of the greatest writers in the English language allow his daughters to grow up illiterate? One would think that such a man would make sure his children would be taught two of the basic skills of life—reading and writing—but he didn’t.
Before any of us start criticizing Shakespeare for not teaching his children to read and write, how many parents fail in teaching their children to read and study the bible? In the days of the judges, a generation of God’s children grew up without knowing the Lord or the works He had done for Israel. Judges 2:10 Sadly, many parents are allowing this to happen to their children today.
What does God think about parents who neglect to teach their children the truths found only in His word? What does God think about parents who find time to teach and involve their children in all the activities of the world while neglecting the spiritual needs they have? We wonder why Shakespeare allowed his children to be illiterate. A better question is: How can we allow our children to grow up biblically illiterate?