Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Don't Leave Them to Themselves

Nineteenth century minister and writer J. C. Ryle is a favorite around here for quite a few reasons, among which are his concern for and advice to parents and children in many of his writings. So it seems fitting that we should from time to time bless you with some of his words. 

We're going to start with a little weekly installment of quotes from his beloved booklet entitled "The Duties of Parents." This book is a gem. There is no other way to put it. The various pieces of advice he gives parents in this work are beyond rich and valuable for any home where children are being brought up and nurtured. And if that's your situation, I'd urge you to get this book. One of many places you can find it is here.

Well, today is as good as any to start. The book is separated into twelve sections, or topics. So let's digest a "piece", or nugget from the first one. Mostly we'll be quoting directly from the book with little or no comment. After all, what can we add to what Mr. Ryle has to say?

Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6. This is the text for the entire book, in which Mr Ryle discusses many of the various ways we should "train" our children. So first:

I. Train them in the way they should go, and not in the way that they would.

"...He knows not yet what is good for his mind and soul, any more than what is good for his body. You do not let him decide what he shall eat, and what he shall drink, and how he shall be clothed. Be consistent, and deal with his mind in like manner. Train him in the way that is scriptural and right, and not in the way that he fancies.

"If you cannot make up your mind to this first principle of Christian training, it is useless for you to read any further. Self-will is almost the first thing that appears in a child's mind; and it must be your first step to resist it." ~ J.C. Ryle

(Remember now, this is just a portion of the first topic. He says much more about why we need to help steer them away from their natural bent, because after all, they're sinners...as are we all.)

UPDATE 10/24/13: While we started out with the intention of making this a weekly post, as it turned out, it's been more like every other week or so. It seemed better to stretch it out more. ~ mr 

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