Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Ryle on Training up Children
I was looking online today at monergism and found an online book by Ryle on the duties of parents. In this book, he gives several hints for training your children. I felt chastened when I read hint #2:
"2. 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. Love should be the silver thread that runs through all your conduct. Kindness, gentleness, long-suffering, forbearance, patience, sympathy, a willingness to enter into childish troubles, a readiness to take part in childish joys, — these are the cords by which a child may be led most easily, — these are the clues you must follow if you would find the way to his heart. Few are to be found, even among grown-up people, who are not more easy to draw than to drive. There is that in all our minds which rises in arms against compulsion; we set up our backs and stiffen our necks at the very idea of a forced obedience. We are like young horses in the hand of a breaker: handle them kindly, and make much of them, and by and by you may guide them with thread; use them roughly and violently, and it will be many a month before you get the mastery of them at all."
How often I am rough and violent, attempting to drive my children (especially my son) to obedience rather than drawing them with the thread of love. How harsh and impatient I often am with them. Thank God for the cross...