Wednesday, June 19, 2013

They Need to Trust You

VIII. Train them to a habit of faith.

"I mean by this, you should train them up to believe what you say. You should try to make them feel confidence in your judgment, and respect your opinions, as better than their own. You should accustom them to think that, when you say a thing is bad for them, it must be bad, and when you say it is good for them, it must be good; that your knowledge, in short, is better than their own, and that they may rely implicitly on your word...

"I have heard it said by some, that you should require nothing of children which they cannot understand: that you should explain and give a reason for everything you desire them to do. I warn you solemnly against such a notion. . . No doubt it is absurd to make a mystery of everything you do, and there are many things which it is well to explain to children, in order that they may see that they are reasonable and wise. But to bring them up with the idea that they must take nothing on trust, that they, with their weak and imperfect understandings, must have the 'why' and the 'wherefore' made clear to them at every step they take,--this is indeed a fearful mistake, and likely to have the worst effect on their minds.

"Tell your children, too, that we must all be learners in our beginnings, --that there is an alphabet to be mastered in every kind of knowledge,--that the best horse in the world had need once to be broken,--that a day will come when they will see the wisdom in all your training. But in the meantime if you say a thing is right, it must be enough for them,--they must believe you, and be content."

~ From The Duties of Parents, J. C. Ryle
(See our first post in this series)   

 [This particular teaching, I think, is one which will go against the grain of the thought processes of the day in which we live as much as any. This is not  an "old-fashioned" mindset, in my opinion; it is good wisdom for any age, and I would even venture to say that in the dangerous times we find ourselves, especially considering the moral and spiritual dearth of our day and age, understanding and applying these truths is extremely critical. ~ mr]


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