The Weight of Parenthood

Wise advice for considering the weight of parenthood and the importance of teaching your children the things of God:

  • When we have a child we just say to ourselves, “We are the guardians and the custodians of this soul.”  What a dread responsibility!  In business and in professions, men are well aware of the great responsibility that rests upon them in the decisions they have to take.  But are they aware of the infinitely greater responsibility they bear with respect to their own children?  Do they give even the same amount of thought and attention and time to it, not to say more?  Does it weigh as heavily upon them as the responsibility that they feel in these other realms?  The Apostle Paul, in Ephesians 6:4, urges us to regard this as the greatest business in life, the greatest matter that we ever have to handle and transact.  – Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • Precious, no doubt, are these little ones in your eyes; but if you love them, think often of their souls.  No interest should weigh with you so much as their eternal interests.  No part of them should be so dear to you as that part that will never die.  The world with all its glory shall pass away; the hills shall melt; the heavens shall be wrapped together as a scroll; the sun shall cease to shine.  But the spirit that dwells in those little creatures, whom you love so well, shall outlive them all, and whether in happiness or misery will depend on you.  This is the thought that should be uppermost on your mind in all you do for your children.  In every step you take about them, in every plan and scheme and arrangement that concerns them, do not leave our that mighty question, “How will this affect their souls?”…A true Christian must be no slave to fashion if he would train his child for heaven. He must not be content to do things merely because they are the custom of the world; to teach them and instruct them in certain ways, merely because it is usual; to allow them to read books of a questionable sort, merely because everybody else reads them; to let them form habits of a doubtful tendency, merely because they are the habits of the day. He must train with an eye to his children’s souls. He must not be ashamed to hear his training called singular and strange. What if it is? The time is short—the fashion of this world passed away. He that has trained his children for heaven rather than for earth—for God, rather than for man—is the parent that will be called wise at last.  – JC Ryle from The Duties of Parents
  • However carefully we may educate children, yet we cannot be said to educate them for God unless we believe that they are His; for if we believe that they are ours exclusively, we shall and must educate them for ourselves and not for Him…We must be governed therefore by this motive in the education of our children if we would educate them for God and not for ourselves.  In all our cares, labors, and sufferings for them, a regard to the divine glory must be the main spring that moves us….You will constantly labor to impress upon their minds a conviction that you consider religion as the great business of life, the favor of God as the only proper object of pursuit, and the enjoyment of Him hereafter as the only happiness, while everything else is comparatively of no consequence, however important it may otherwise be.  – Edward Payson in Children to be Educated for God
  • If you wish you instructions and admonitions to your family to be successful, enforce them by the power of a holy example.  It is not enough for you to be pious on the whole, but you should be wholly pious; not only to be real disciples, but eminent ones; not only sincere Christians, but consistent ones.  Your standard of religion should be very high….Beware how you act, for all your actions are seen at home.  Never talk of God, but with reverence.  Do not speak openly about the faults of your fellow Christians.  Never raise complain or find fault with the sermons of the minister.  Rather, commend his messages in order that your children may listen to them with greater attention.  Direct their views to the most eminent Christians.  Point out to them the loveliness of exemplary piety.  In short, seeing that your example may be expected so much to aid or to frustrate your efforts for the conversion of your children, consider “what manner of persons you should be in all holy conversation and godliness” (2 Peter 3:11)  – John James from The Christian Father’s Present to His Children
  • It is of great importance that children early imbibe an awe of God and a humble veneration for His perfections and glories.  He ought, therefore, to be represented to them as the great Lord of all.  And, when we take occasion to mention to them other invisible agents, whether angels or devils, we should…always represent them as entirely under the government and control of God…  – Philip Doddridge from The Godly Family

Source: Biblical Parenthood

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