Wednesday, 22 September 2010

J.C. Ryle on the Duties of Parents

Feedbooks make available (here) a pamphlet on the duties of parents, originally published in 1860, written by J.C. Ryle (1816-1900), the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool.

In the Introduction, Ryle writes that this ‘is a subject that concerns almost all’, that ‘all of us, I suspect, can do something here, either directly or indirectly’, also reminding his readers that ‘this is preeminently a point in which men can see the faults of their neighbours more clearly than their own’!

He calls the following points ‘hints about right training’, and asks readers not to reject them ‘because they are blunt and simple’ or ‘contain nothing new’.

1. Train Your Child Rightly

First, then, if you would train your children rightly, train them in the way they should go, and not in the way that they would.

2. Tenderness, Affection and Patience

Train up your child with all tenderness, affection, and patience. I do not mean that you are to spoil him, but I do mean that you should let him see that you love him.

3. Much Depends on You

Train your children with an abiding persuasion on your mind that much depends upon you.

4. Consider the Soul of Your Child

Train with this thought continually before your eyes – that the soul of your child is the first thing to be considered.

5. A Knowledge of the Bible

Train your child to a knowledge of the Bible.

6. A Habit of Prayer

Train them to a habit of prayer.

7. Diligence in the Public Means of Grace

Train them to habits of diligence, and regularity about public means of grace.

8. A Habit of Faith

Train them to a habit of faith.

9. A Habit of Obedience

Train them to a habit of obedience.

10. Always Speaking the Truth

Train them to a habit of always speaking the truth.

11. Redeeming the Time

Train them to a habit of always redeeming the time.

12. Fear Over-Indulgence

Train them with a constant fear of over-indulgence.

13. How God Trains His Children

Train them remembering continually how God trains His children.

14. The Influence of Your Example

Train them remembering continually the influence of your own example.

15. The Power of Sin

Train them, remembering continually the power of sin.

16. The Promises of Scripture

Train them remembering continually the promises of Scripture.

17. Continual Prayer for Blessing

Train them, lastly, with continual prayer for a blessing on all you do.