Baptism & Childrearing

“Baptism and Childrearing” – 1-3

XIV. – XVI. Texts that Transform

Ephesians 6:1-4

November 5, 2017, January 28 & February 4, 2018


The revivalistic tradition in which I spent my childhood and youth could conceive of only one type of conversion, what we might call the “crisis” model. One is saved when one understands that one is an unsaved, lost sinner and trusts Christ. This usually, if not always, took place in connection with an “altar call,” and was accompanied by a testimony of resulting profound change, a dramatic story of before and after. 


This model was problematic for me, as it has been for countless children reared in this tradition. Why? Because we could not remember a time in which we didn’t not believe the Bible was true, that we were sinners, and were looking to Christ for salvation.  We never had a crisis conversion because we were never in crisis about our faith. We couldn’t remember a “before” and so could not testify to an “after.” We believed, yet the crisis model could not accommodate our experience. Consequently, the persistent expectation that we walk the aisle, pray the prayer, or sign the card tormented us. Over and over again we asked Jesus into our hearts, but it never seemed to “take” because we failed to experience the dramatic “after.” “Covenant theology is Reformed sacramental theology,” says Hughes Old (1933-2016).1 Covenant theology developed in the context of the debates beginning in 1524 between Zwingli and his Anabaptist challengers. The nature of the covenant of grace is foundational to the practice of infant baptism, as we have seen. Yet this “superlative mercy,” as George Swinnock calls covenant baptism, is also foundational to Christian nurture of the young.2 Biblical covenants helped explain my Christian experience as a child and informed how I would later rear my own children. After writing a paper on the covenant my first year in seminary, I came home that next summer and explained my thinking to my sisters. What I said resonated with their experience of their childhood and youth in the church as well as mine.


Christian nurture

My children, I concluded, would be reared as Christians. They will be told from childhood that Christ has placed His mark upon them (baptism), and that they belong to Him. We will teach them to pray, “Our Father…,” calling upon God as their Father. Don’t all Christian parents teach their children do so? Not all, of course, though most do, yet only because their instincts are better than their theology. Unbelievers have no right to call God “Father.” That privilege belongs only to believers (Jn 1:12). However, believers’ children have a right to call God “Father,” while others don’t, because they are in the covenant and enjoy the privileges of the covenant, less communion (and thus they are “non-communing” members in Presbytery parlance).  They may grow up as rebels and later have a crisis conversion, like the Apostle Paul’s crisis on the Damascus Road (Acts 9). Or like the prodigal son of Luke 15, they may stray and later come to their senses and return to a Father, by the way, who has never ceased to be their Father, and they His children. 


More likely, given the promises of Genesis 17:7 and Acts 2:39 reviewed last time, their Christian experience will be like Timothy, who was taught the Scriptures by his mother and grandmother, and who “from childhood” knew the sacred writings that led to the knowledge of salvation through Jesus Christ (2 Tim 3:14, 15). Consequently, I will not expect or demand a crisis conversion from them. I will instead hope and pray that they “will never know a day apart from faith in Christ,” as we often say. They will be reared in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,” as the old version reads, not out of it. This path may not produce the most dramatic testimony, but it results in the best testimony. Children who know salvation from childhood may be spared the wounds and scars of a life of rebellion, with which former rebels may wrestle for the rest of their lives.


Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Eph 6:4)


“Fathers,” says the Apostle, “bring them up” (ektrephō), a word used of physical nourishment. We are to “nourish” our children in the Lord’s “nurture and admonition.” “As you feed them with milk and bodily food,” says Richard Baxter, “so you must carefully and constantly feed them with the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”3 The Apostle also uses it in Ephesians 5:29, where he combines it with “cherish” in his exhortation to husbands regarding this issue. Fathers, take responsibility for the spiritual nurture of your children. God assigns that responsibility. Do not shirk it. Don’t delegate it away. We men are to “nourish and cherish” our wives, and “nourish,” “discipline,” and “instruct” our children. 


Original Sin

Yet they will also be reared in light of the sobering reality that they are infected by original sin. For years I have assigned to parents during their pre-baptismal counseling the reading of J. C. Ryle’s “The Duty of Parents,” a wonderful booklet of 30-plus pages and 17 parenting principles.4 I regard it as the best, wisest, most comprehensive short treatment of parenting ever written. He begins by lamenting the short-sightedness of parents with respect to their own children, in relation to whom they are often “blind as bats.” He says, “I have sometimes been perfectly astonished at the slowness of sensible Christian parents to allow that their own children are in fault, or deserve blame.”5  Somehow even somber, Calvinistic parents lose sight of the fact that their children are born with what Ryle calls “a decided bias towards evil.” This means that whether they believe “from childhood” or come to faith much later, they need to be nourished in the Lord’s “discipline and instruction.” These two words constitute the two sides of Christian childrearing. Because of the pervasive confusion in recent times about childrearing, we will draw from the wisdom of older and previous generations, believing that they might help us to see clearly through the current fog.



First, they need “discipline” (paideia), which means “the timeous, seasonable, and compassionate correction of children,” says James Fergusson (1621-1667).6 They need timely and constant correction. Why? Because by nature our children are willful, demanding of their way, insisting that their needs be met, their timetable followed, their commands obeyed. Our children come into the world hoping that they might be “like God,” the center of the universe, around which all else must revolve (Gen 3:5). Persuading them otherwise requires constant discipline, constant correction, and consistent punishment, including corporal punishment. Withhold discipline and parents will create little monsters. Children are not like baby sharks, who upon birth swim away from their mothers and are on their own. Children require years and years of patient oversight, supervision, instruction, and correction. They can and must be trained, and parents are called to train them (Prov 22:6). 


Current issues

A few years ago an exasperated John Piper (b. 1946) wrote a short article on parenting. He described his motive: 


I am moved to write this by watching your children pay no attention to their parents’ request, with no consequences. Parents tell a child two or three times to sit or stop and come or go, and after the third disobedience, they laughingly bribe the child.7


He tells of a scenario he witnessed while traveling by plane:


I was sitting behind (a mother) and her son, who may have been seven years old. He was playing on his digital tablet. The flight attendant announced that all electronic devices should be turned off for takeoff. He didn’t turn it off. The mother didn’t require it. As the flight attendant walked by, she said he needed to turn it off and kept moving. He didn’t do it. The mother didn’t require it.

One last time, the flight attendant stood over them and said that the boy would need to give the device to his mother. He turned it off. When the flight attendant took her seat, the boy turned his device back on and kept it on through the takeoff. The mother did nothing... The defiance and laziness of unbelieving parents I can understand. I have biblical categories of the behavior of the spiritually blind. But the neglect of Christian parents perplexes me...


He laments:


To watch parents act as if they are helpless in the presence of disobedient children is pitiful. God requires that children obey only because it is possible for parents to require obedience. Little children, under a year old, can be shown effectively what they may not touch, bite, pull, poke, spit out, or shriek about. You are bigger than they are. Use your size to save them for joy, not sentence them to selfishness.8


Wise parents will discipline their children. Listen to the biblical book of wisdom, the Proverbs:


Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Prov 22:6)

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
    but the rod of discipline drives it far from him. (Prov 22:15)

Whoever spares the rod hates his son,
    but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. (Prov 13:24)

13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
    if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
14 If you strike him with the rod,
    you will save his soul from Sheol. (Prov 23:13, 14) 


What is wrong with our children? They are foolish. Left to themselves, uncorrected and undisciplined, left to make their own choices, “they are certain to choose wrong.”9 Folly is natural to them (Prov 22:15). “It is not only found there, but it is bound there,” says Henry.10 Left to themselves, shame is what they will bring upon themselves and their mothers (Prov 29:15). “Spare the rod and spoil the child” is a bit of old biblical folk-wisdom. Use the rod, says John Trapp, “to chase away evil by chastisement, seasoned with admonition, and seconded with prayer.”11 Use the rod “where words will not do,” says Trapp again.12 Notice the association of discipline “(“with the rod”) and salvation (“save his soul from Sheol”). Foolish parents, he says in his comments on Proverbs 23:13, 14, are “parricides” rather than parents, since “by not saving their children they slay them.”13 Philip Doddridge (1702-1751) asks on the basis of the same text, “Is it kindness in a parent to spare the flesh to the hazard of the soul?”14 


Children must be “trained” in the direction that they should go, not left to go their own way (Prov 22:6). We cannot regenerate a child’s heart. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. Yet discipline is a tool that God places in the hands of parents that He uses to lead our children to salvation. Wise parents won’t fear that their children “won’t like them,” or that discipline will produce rebellion, rather than the opposite. The uncorrected and undisciplined child is far more likely to pursue his unrestrained self-interest than the child whose parents lovingly and persistently correct him. “Self-will is almost the first thing that appears in a child’s mind,” says Ryle, “and it must be your first step to resist it.”15 This, after all, is our Father in heaven’s way with us. Whom the Lord loves, He disciplines, even if it is grievous to the disciplined (Heb 12:6ff). 



Often, the greatest inhibitor of proper parental discipline is parental weariness. Piper describes the problem:


If you tell a child to stay in bed and he gets up anyway, it is simply easier to say, go back to bed, than to get up and deal with disobedience. Parents are tired. I sympathize. For more than 40 years I’ve had children under eighteen. Requiring obedience takes energy, both physically and emotionally. It is easier simply to let the children have their way.

The result? Uncontrollable children when it matters. They have learned how to work the angles. Mommy is powerless, and daddy is a patsy. They can read when you are about to explode. So they defy your words just short of that. This bears sour fruit for everyone. But the work it takes to be immediately consistent with every disobedience bears sweet fruit for parents, children, and others.16


Our family referred to 5-8 p.m. as the “hurricane hour.” Feed them, bathe them, diaper them and read to them, pray with them, lights out and collapse on the couch. If one of them gets up, the temptation always was just to scream upstairs, “Get in your bed!” Training children is hard work. Toddlers are in perpetual motion. We sit down in our easy chairs and don’t want to deal with the little insurrection that is brewing. Verbal correction isn’t working. We tell them to stop and they’re not stopping. So we shrug. You win, we tell them by our acquiescence. String enough of their victories together and one has a little tyrant on one’s hands. Ryle warns us, “If you do not take trouble with your children when they are young, they will give you trouble when they are old. Choose which you prefer.”17 Even more alarming is Swinnock’s warning: “Those that neglect to scourge their children, have found their children to scourge them… God often whips the fathers by those children that were unwhipped at first.”18



Another problem is parental inconsistency. Children are directly addressed by Scripture and told to obey and honor their parents. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  ‘Honor your father and mother’ (this is the first commandment with a promise) (Eph 6:1, 2). In this one sentence the Apostle gives us “both the reason (‘this is right’) and the rule (‘in the Lord’) of children’s obedience.”19  Children must obey and honor their parents, and parents must require them to do so. Parents are told to command their children. Abraham is told to “command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice” (Gen 18:19). Abraham’s descendants are expected to do the same. Command them. Don’t ask. Don’t plead. Don’t request. Don’t beg. Disobedience to parents is one of the signs of the latter days (2 Tim 3:2) and in Romans 1:30 is listed “among that herd of monstrous lusts,” Swinnock warns.20 Officers are reminded to keep their children “submissive” (1 Tim 3:4; cf 3:12; Titus 1:6). Children are to be taught to obey, says Matthew Poole, “with inward reverence and promptness, as well as in the outward act.”21 


The goal of parental discipline should be first-time obedience. First-time obedience simply is obedience. Second-time is obedience after disobedience. Parents stand in the place of God in relation to their children, as the immediate source of provision, protection, and authority. The goal should be to establish a pattern of obedience for them that will easily transfer to their relationship with God.  “Listen to my voice,” God tells us (Ps 95:7; Num 14:22). Do what I say. Don’t make it necessary for me to go further and warn, threaten, and punish in order to get compliance. The goal, then, is “exact obedience to yourselves,” says Richard Baxter, and to “break them of their own will.”22


When parents do not require first-time obedience, they are unwittingly teaching disobedience. Children are not little animals. They are clever. They quickly discern when compliance is required. They figure out that they safely can defy the first instruction, and the second, and the third. They are precisely attuned to the tone of voice, decibel level, and bodily gestures that indicate obedience is necessary. They learn from their parents that defiance, willfulness, disrespect and disruption are allowed, acceptable, tolerated up to that point. They learn to disobey through parental indulgence. 


Teach them to trust their parents’ word. Teach them to believe what you say. J.C. Ryle calls it “an unsound and rotten principle that everything which parents require must be explained, that a reason must be given, that they must know why.23 Train them, Ryle insists, in the “habit of implicit faith,” that is, “faith in their parents’ word, confidence that what their parents say must be right.”24 He advises, “Let there be no questioning, and reasoning, and delaying and answering again.” “Parents,” he asks, “do you wish to see your children happy? Take care, then, that you train them to obey when they are spoken to –– to do as they are bid.”25 As they learn to trust your word, they will learn habits of faith that will transfer to their relationship with God. They will learn to trust Him. 


Parents, don’t torture your children, yourself, and all those around you with warning after warning after warning after warning. Don’t raise your voice ever higher. Don’t scream and shout. Don’t count to ten. Parent by the motto coined by Elizabeth Elliot: “slow obedience is no obedience.” Or as it is put in Huguenot Garden, one of our family’s favorite children’s books: “Slow obedience is disobedience.”26 Begin at home and with every small thing. Piper urges, 


One explanation why children are out of control in public is that they have not been taught to obey at home. One reason for this is that many things at home don’t seem worth the battle. It’s easier to do it ourselves than to take the time and effort to deal with a child’s unwillingness to do it. But this simply trains children that obedience anywhere is optional. Consistency in requiring obedience at home will help your children be enjoyable in public.27


During the 1990’s the crime rate plunged in New York City due largely to aggressive policy known as “broken window” policing. The authorities cracked down on minor offenses in order to send a message to criminals. Broken windows left unrepaired send the message that the streets have been surrendered to lawlessness. Arrests for graffiti and lesser infractions send the message of zero tolerance. Enforcing little things brought about compliance even in big things. The same principle applies to parenting. Seize control of the house by disciplining even small infractions, and rebellious acts will plunge. We disciplined language at the point of approximate euphemisms. “S,” “F,” “G” and “D” words were not considered acceptable substitutes. “Gosh” is too close to the divine name, as is “Jeez.” “Shoot,” and “flippin'” are too close to commonplace profanity. They are broken windows. Actual profanity was out of the question. The message will be clear: the parents are in charge. The need for discipline will nearly disappear. Insist on immediate compliance with directions, so that they’ll stop when you yell “Stop!” as they’re darting into traffic. They’ll be happier and you’ll be happier. This is not rocket science. This is not complicated. Just insist that they do what they’re told when they are told. 


Blinding affection

Another problem is blinding parental affection.  Parents have powerful bonds of affection with their children. It happens quickly, if not instantly, from the moment they are born. We immediately come to love them even more than we love ourselves. When injuries or disappointments come, we hurt more for them than we do for ourselves. We are more protective of them than we are of our own interests. The sacrifices of mother-love and father-love are legendary. God made them pitifully helpless as infants and irresistibly cute when they are toddlers so that our hearts would be knit to theirs with unbreakable chords. God Himself in order to portray the strength of His affection for His people invokes both mother-love and father-love. Through Isaiah He asks,


“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
    that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
    yet I will not forget you. (Isa 49:15)


Forget her nursing child? Unimaginable. God allow the bonds of affection for His people to be severed? Even a mother may forget her child, but God never. Through the psalmist he declares,


13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
    he remembers that we are dust. (Ps 103:13, 14)


How great is God’s “compassion” or “pity” (NASB) for His people? As great as a father’s for His children. Both mother-love and father-love are assumed to be the strongest love bonds in the world. Many of us would say that we have shed more tears for our children than we have ever shed for ourselves. As Judah said of Jacob’s affection for Benjamin, “His life is bound up in the boy’s life,” so our lives, our happiness and well-being are bound up in the lives of our children (Gen 44:30).


Yet we cannot allow our affection for them blind us to the necessity of afflicting them through discipline. God is the perfect Father. Whom He loves He disciplines (Heb 12:6; Prov 3:12). His pattern of love must be our aim. Indeed Proverbs warns:


Whoever spares the rod hates his son,
    but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. (Prov 13:24)


 “Take heed,” says Ryle, that excess of affection for your children “does not make you blind to your children’s faults, and deaf to all advice about them.”28 Remember the bad examples of parental over-indulgence such as the priest Eli, whom Doddridge refers to as “a very eminent saint in a degenerate age,” yet whose sons Hophni and Phinehas were “worthless men,” desecrating the temple sacrifices and fornicating with women at the temple entrance (1 Sam 2:12-17; 22-25).29 Eli’s household was rejected by God because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them” (1 Sam 3:13). Restraining his sons was his responsibility. 


Parents, are you restraining your children? Or are you allowing them to be disrespectful to teachers? Or are you allowing them to be defiant of other adults? Or are you allowing them to be disobedient to you? Are you restraining the carnal impulses? As they get older, are you restraining their desire to watch sensuous programming? Are you restraining their attempts to experiment with drugs and alcohol? Are you limiting their access to social media and all its attendant dangers? Are you monitoring their involvement with the opposite sex?  “Some parents kill their children with kindness, with fondness,” Swinnock maintains.30 Doddridge warns mothers in particular not to “smother their children in their embraces.”31 David repeatedly indulged his children’s evil: Amnon’s incest (2 Sam 13:1-19), Absalom’s murder and rebellion (2 Sam 13:23ff), Adonijah’s conspiracy (1 Kings 11:5ff). His failure? We are told in the latter case:


His father had never at any time displeased him by asking, “Why have you done thus and so? (1 Kings 1:6)


Was the relationship between David and Adonijah such that David couldn’t even ask the question? Was Adonijah manipulating his father’s emotional weakness? Was David intimidated by Adonijah’s bad temper and withdrawal of affection? 


Some parents make the mistake of thinking their children’s misbehavior is cute. Little Johnnie is precious. He is throwing food. Mom is smiling at his bad temper. He is disrupting a meeting. He is throwing a tantrum. Dad winks at his “strong will.” Often a child’s misconduct may be cute to the parents and grandparents. Rarely is it to anyone else. Overwrought affection blinds parents to how annoying and irritating their child’s behavior is. 


Far too many parents are unreceptive to any criticism of their children. Informed of their child’s bad behavior, they proceed to shoot the messenger. They will side with their children against teachers and other adults, contrary to the practice of nearly every generation of parents going back to the Garden. Doddridge warns parents who “so magisterially despise the opinions of others,” who imagine they possess “a certain stock of infallible wisdom,” whose “parental pride” is of such a magnitude that “they rather chose their children should be ruined by their own conduct than saved by any foreign (i.e. outside) advice.”32 Not only does this arrogance render the parents ridiculous, Doddridge continues, but its “unhappy consequences” in the “temper and conduct of the rising generation” are a “very serious evil.”33


A few years ago some of our parents observed troubling behavior in one of our young teenage girls. The way she was dressing, the crowd she was “hanging” with, her topics for conversation were alarming. They went to the parents to voice their concerns. Her parents were utterly unreceptive. They complained that the daughter “had a target on her back.” It didn’t end well. Tragically, the concerned parents were proven right. Don’t be the naïve kind of parent who believes his or her child can do no wrong. Don’t punish other adults for telling you about your child’s misbehavior. Rather, assume the good will of the adults. Assume your children are guilty as charged until proven innocent. Create an “open door” climate with other parents where they know it is safe to come to you with their concerns about your children.


Another problem associated with blinding affection is parental division regarding discipline. Doddridge urges particular caution “that the arms of one parent are not a refuge to the children from the resentment of the other.” Don’t allow the children to pit one parent against the other. This is an ancient and effective strategy employed by perceptive children. When our oldest Drew was a very small child and his mother was scolding him with considerable energy, he tearfully turned to me and said, “Daddy, talk to Mommy.” Oops. Clearly he had seen me talk his mother down from her intended wrath at his wrongdoing. Daddy and Mommy were not a united front. Parental corrective action was needed.  When Sam was a barely talking two-year-old and Drew three, Sam was overheard saying to Drew, “You have daddy and I have Mommy.” Oops again. We were not being even-handed. Daddy sides with or prefers Drew, Mommy the reverse. Children are able to discern these differences at a remarkably young age and exploit them. If mom says no, ask dad. Then play dad against mom and divide the household. “Both should appear to act in concert,” Doddridge advised, “or the authority of the one will be despised and, probably, the indulgence of the other abused, and the mutual affection of both endangered.”34 


Ryle warns over-indulgent parents, “It is your first duty to consult their real interests, and not fancies and likings; to train them, not to humor them; to profit, not merely to please.35 Again, Ryle warns, “Depend on it, there is no surer road to unhappiness than always having our own way… to be indulged perpetually is the way to be made selfish; and selfish people and spoiled children, believe me, are seldom happy.”36 



Another inhibitor of parental discipline is fear of provoking rebellion. Parents fear that if they correct and punish their children, the result will be a backlash of rejection and waywardness. This is not a groundless concern but should not be a controlling fear. Hence the Apostle warns, “Do not provoke your children to anger” (Eph 6:4). Don’t by “unreasonable severity, moroseness, unrighteous commands,” etc., exasperate your little ones, says Poole in his comments on this verse.37 “(Parents) are not,” says Charles Hodge (1797-1878), “to excite the bad passions of their children by severity, injustice, partiality, or unreasonable exercise of authority.”38 Human nature being as unstable as it is, we tend to swing from severity to leniency without finding the proper balance. Let not your corrections be “too frequent or too severe,” Doddridge warns. If too frequent, your children may become “like iron… harder under repeated strokes.” Nor should they be too severe, but utilized as a “last remedy, when all others have been tried in vain.”39 Even then corrections should not be inflicted in a passion, in an “unbecoming manner,” or contrary to “due solemnity and decorum.”40 The rod and reproof are to impart wisdom. “But what room is there for the still voice of wisdom to be heard in a storm of fury?”41 Love must be at the foundation of all correction. 


Make sure parental expectations and demands are age appropriate. I wouldn’t punish a one-year- old for being noisy in the pew. At one, they hardly know that they are persons. They can hardly be reasoned with. I wouldn’t expect a three-year-old to keep up, and not whine for weariness, as the family hustles from ride to ride at its favorite theme park (though on one of our family’s outings the two-year-old Sally refused to get in the stroller, insisting she could keep up with her big “brudders,” so the three-year-old Sammy gladly climbed in and enjoyed the ride). Punishing children for dropping a ball thrown to them or missing a basket or some other athletic failure is cruel. Defiance, willfulness, and rebellion is what we aim to correct, not physical weakness, fatigue, or lack of coordination, or ignorance, or immaturity, or childishness. I wouldn’t punish Sam for touching the burner the first time. He didn’t know any better. But I sure did the second time. What we are looking for is balance. Swinnock urges us “not to suffer thy children to sin, lest they be destroyed,” yet also “not to provoke them to wrath, lest they be discouraged.”42



The second word is “instruction” (noutheteō). Parents need to “instruct” or teach their children right from wrong, truth from error, good from evil, the important from the unimportant, and to distinguish the beautiful from the ugly. They must “labour to mind that by education that they have marred by propagation,” says John Trapp quaintly.43 Surely we cannot take our newborn infants home from the hospital and not sense a solemn responsibility to teach them the things of God and more. Each one is a gift of God, but a vulnerable gift of God. They have entered a hostile world, dominated by a hateful devil. Surely we must teach them, a subject we will examine more closely next time.



 Hughes O. Old, Worship: Reformed  According to Scripture, Revised and Expanded Edition (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 175


 Swinnock, “Christian Man’s Calling,” Works, I:431.


 Baxter, “Directory,” Works, 1:414.


 J. C. Ryle, The Duties of Parents (Savannah, GA: IPC Press, 2015); originally published in J. C. Ryle, The Upper Room: bringing a few truths for the times (1888; Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust,1970), 282-319 .


 Ibid., 2.


 James Fergusson and David Dickson, The Epistles of Paul to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, and Hebrews, A Geneva Series Commentary (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1978), 255.


 John Piper, “Parents, Require Obedience of Your Children,”, Oct. 29, 2013.




 Ryle, Duties of Parents, 2.


 Henry, Exposition, on Proverbs 22:15.


 Trapp, Commentary, III:109.






 Philip Doddridge, “Four Sermons on the Religious Education of Children,” in Don Kistler (ed.), The Godly Family A Series of Essays on the Duties of Parents and Children (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1992), 211.


 Ryle, Duties of Parents, 3.


 Piper, “Parents, Require Obedience of Your Children.” 


 Ryle, Duties of Parents, 23.


 Swinnock, Christian Man’s Calling, “Works, I:414.


 Ibid., I:450.


 Ibid., I:451.


 Poole, Commentary, III:678, (my emphasis).


 Baxter, “Directory,” Works, 1:450.


 Ryle, Duties of Parents, 15.




 Ibid., 17.


 Douglas M. Jones III, Huguenot Garden: A Children’s Story of Faith (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 1995), 28. We also enjoyed two other of Jones’s children’s books, Scottish Seas (Canon Press, 1996) and Dutch Colors (Canon Press, 2000).


 Piper, “Parents, Require Obedience of Your Children,”, Oct. 29, 2013.


 Ryle, Duties of Parents, 20.


 Doddridge, “Religious Education of Children,” Godly Family, 211.


 Swinnock, “Christian Man’s Calling,” Works, I:412.


 Doddridge, “Religious Education of Children,” Godly Family, 212.


 Ibid., 221-222.




 Ibid., 212.


 Ryle, Duties of Parents, 22.


 Ibid., 25.


 Poole, Commentary, III:678.


 Hodge, Ephesians, 264.


 Doddridge, “Religious Education of Children,” Godly Family, 213.




 Ibid., 214.


 Swinnock, “Christian Man’s Calling,” Works, I:414 (my emphasis).


 Trapp, Commentary, V:600.