The writings of Richard Baxter are an excellent resource for parents seeking to raise their children to love the Lord.  His work The Duties of Parents for Their Children has survived the ages because its content has value that is timeless.

The first “Direct” in this work is confused by Baxter’s paedobaptist theology but the remainder is chock full of careful thinking and practical advice.  One example is found in “Direct V”.  There Baxter offers counsel to Christian parents about how they use Scripture in the discipline program of their home.  Baxter’s idea is to show children the discipline they are receiving is rooted in the clear Word of God.

Labour much to possess their hearts with the fear of God, and a reverence of the holy Scriptures; and then whatsoever duty you command them, or whatsoever sin you forbid them, show them some plain and urgent texts of Scripture for it; and cause them to learn them and oft repeat them; that so they may find reason and divine authority in your commands…

The result of this practice should be a well trained conscience that guides them in the private moments parents don’t have access to.

It is conscience that must watch them in private, when you see them not; and conscience is God’s officer and not yours; and will say nothing to them, till it speak in the name of God.

Ultimately the desired aim is heart transformation – the kind that arises from the child’s connecting the parent’s discipline to Scripture and thus see the action of their parent reflective of the will of the Lord for their lives.

This is the way to bring the heart itself into subjection; and also to reconcile them to all your commands, when they see that they are first the commands of God.

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