Watch over your children
‘And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it.’ Exodus 2:9
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Hebrews 12:4–12
Parents, being evil, know how to give good gifts to their children—the good things of this life—to feed, clothe them, and so on,—but to nurse and bring them up for the Lord signifies more:
(i) to endeavour to instil into them religious principles. I mean more by this than to teach them a catechism by rote as you would teach a parrot. They should be conversed with and every occasion laid hold of to explain and make them know that God sees and hears them, and that this God is only to be known and worshipped in Jesus.
(ii) to watch over and govern their temper—this is vastly needful, to take them while they are young—yet how sadly are they hurt by a fond and blind indulgence to their faults and humours. And if any correction or restraint is attempted, it is often in anger and heat, so that the end is not answered. It is but like Satan casting out Satan. If you do not bring in the authority of God and act in a spirit of meekness and steadiness, you may make them fear you, but you will do but little good.
(iii) to take care in particular that they attend on the worship of God on the Lord’s Day, and are not suffered to break the Sabbath. I am afraid many parents have much to answer for in this point. But almost all the evils and abominations to which youth are in time addicted enter at this door.
(iv) to set them a good example. Without this indeed the rest will ordinarily do little. But alas, for many poor children are forced to blush every day for the behaviour of their parents. If you love them, be careful of laying stumbling blocks in their way.
FOR MEDITATION: My dear child [Betsy], … When you read our Saviour’s discourses, recorded by the evangelists, attend as if you saw him with your own eyes, standing before you; and when you try to pray, assure yourself before you begin, that he is actually in the room with you, and that his ear is open to every word you say.… You are not speaking into the air, or to One who is a great way off; but to One who is very near you—to your best Friend.
SERMON: EXODUS 2:9 [2/3]