Duties of Parents

Gill instructs, “And this exhortation may have respect to the training of them up in a religious way; in the external ways of God, and paths of godliness, in which they should walk; from whence they will not easily and ordinarily depart (Prov. 22:6). It becomes them to set good examples to them, of sobriety, temperance, prudence, &c. and to keep them from the company of such from whom they may learn what is evil; for evil communications corrupt good manners; and whereas the seeds of all sins are in children, which soon appear, they should check them early, and nip them in the bud, and expose the sinfulness of those vices they are most inclined unto; as using naughty words, and telling lies, &c. they should frequently pray with and for them, as Abraham for Ishmael; whereby they will be sensible, that they have not only their temporal good, but their spiritual and eternal welfare at heart; and they should bring them under the means of grace, the ministry of the word; and teach them to read the scriptures as soon as may be; and instruct them in the knowledge of divine things, as they are able to receive it; which seems to be meant by paideia, the nurture of the Lord.

Though I cannot say I truly approve of the method of education used by some good people; as by teaching them the Creed, a form of belief, saying, I believe, so and so, before they have any knowledge of and faith in divine truths; and to babble over the Lord’s Prayer, as it is commonly called, and other forms of prayer; which seems to have a tendency to direct them to rest in an outward form, and to trust in an outward show of righteousness; which they need not be taught to do, it is natural unto them; and whenever they receive the grace of God, all this must be untaught and undone again. It is proper to instruct them in the necessity of faith in God and in Christ, and of the use of prayer; and to lay before them the sinfulness of sin, and show them what an evil thing it is, and what are the sad effects of it; to teach them their miserable estate by nature, and the way of recovery and salvation by Christ; and to learn them from childhood to read and know the holy scriptures, according to their capacity; and by these to be “admonished” of sin, and of their duty, to fear God, and keep his commandments; which may be meant by the “admonition of the Lord”; and the proper opportunity should be taken to instil these things into their minds, when their minds begin to open, and they are inquisitive into the meaning of things; (see Deut. 6:20) and these several respective duties are to be carefully attended to; since the peace and order of families, the good of the commonwealth, and the prosperity of the church, and increase of the interest of Christ, greatly depend upon them.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s