Dear Brethren,

I would like to share with you the main points of an article “The Duties of Parents” written by J C Ryle which was first published in 1860. These 17 points are biblical and very applicable today even though written 153 years ago. Children are a gift from God to parents. However, many Christian parents struggle in their duties to bring up their children in a godly way. May we learn and follow the ways of the Lord as taught in His Word.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  Proverbs 22:6

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. Remember children are born with a decided bias towards evil, and therefore if you let them choose for themselves, they are certain to choose wrong.

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. Tell them of the duty and privilege of going to the house of God, and joining in the prayers of the congregation.

8. A Habit of Faith
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.

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. Idleness is the devil’s best friend. It is the surest way to give him an opportunity of doing us harm.

12. Fear Over-Indulgence
Train them with a constant fear of over-indulgence. This is the one point of all on which you have most need to be on your guard. It is natural to be tender and affectionate towards your own flesh and blood, and it is the excess of this very tenderness and affection which you have to fear. Take heed that it does not make you blind to your children’s faults, and deaf to all advice about them. Take heed lest it make you overlook bad conduct, rather than have the pain of inflicting punishment and correction.

13. How God Trains His Children
Train them remembering continually how God trains His children. The Bible tells us that God has an elect people, — a family in this world. All poor sinners who have been convinced of sin, and fled to Jesus for peace, make up that family. All of us who really believe on Christ for salvation are its members. Now God the Father is ever training the members of this family for their everlasting abode with Him in heaven.

14. The Influence of Your Example
Train them remembering continually the influence of your own example. Instruction, and advice, and commands will profit little, unless they are backed up by the pattern of your own life. Your children will never believe you are in earnest, and really wish them to obey you, so long as your actions contradict your counsel. Archbishop Tillotson made a wise remark when he said, “To give children good instruction, and a bad example, is but beckoning to them with the head to show them the way to heaven, while we take them by the hand and lead them in the way to hell.”

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. Without the blessing of the Lord, your best endeavours will do no good.

Elder John Leong