“Devotions From the Heart”
“Blessed Children: Must Read Books”
The Bible is the #1 book for Christians for training in righteousness and faith and important that in training our children that they enjoy a regular Bible reading and study schedule. In addition, biblical Christian books are also on our list for both parents and children. Additionally, the following “must-read” books are excellent tools to help us in our responsibilities as parents to bring up our children “in the fear and admonition of the Lord.” These are a few of our favorites and recommendations. Be encouraged to read them as God’s means of help to you.
“1. Evangelizing Children”
The relationship between discipline and evangelism is very close, for both are made necessary by the reality of sin. Every occasion for discipline is an opportunity to point our children to God as their Creator and to Christ as the only Redeemer. Every day provides us with many such opportunities.” p.129
4. Yet, there will be certain evidences of the saving work of Christ:
- Look for a spontaneous interest in the things of Christ. When children are found engaged in spiritual activities because they want to, and not merely because their parents say so, there is ground for real hope.
- Look for expressions of simple love and devotion to the Savior.
- Look for a willingness to be conformed to the Scriptural expectations of them as children. Christian children are not perfect anymore than Christian adults are perfect. But they will generally want to obey the Lord and their parents.” p.130.
“I as a parent and teacher administer discipline only as an ambassador, as a representative of God. Thirdly, to bring up my children under God’s authority means that parental guidance and correction is intended to be a reflection of God’s dealings with His spiritual offspring. Not only should the child see the authority of God behind the authority of the parent, but the child should also see the manner and attitude of God reflected in the parent as administers discipline and correction in His name. God’s goodness, God’s justice, God’s mercy, God’s loving concern, and God’s care for His people should all be identifiable in the parent’s approach to discipline. In effect, through administering biblical correction the parent is preaching a sermon to his child.” p.60. Bruce A. Ray, “Withhold Not Correction”
“Like Jesus, you must be realistic in your attitude toward your children. You must realize that your children have the potential for great wickedness(Ps. 51:5; 58:3). They are born sinners and must be regenerated by God’s Spirit and redeemed by God’s grace. Your children need God’s forgiveness for their sins. They need His help to become truly worthwhile,God-honoring, olive-plant persons. Without Him, they cannot bear fruit for God (John 15:1-6). Let your thinking be gripped by the realization that each of your children are destined to live forever. Recall that he or she has the potential to do immense good–or evil. Understand that by God’s grace your child has great potential to become a thriving olive plant according to Psalm 128. pp. 41, 42. Wayne A. Mack, “Your Family God’s Way”
I. 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.
The mother cannot tell what her tender infant may grow up to be tall or short, weak or strong, wise or foolish he may be any of these things or not, it is all uncertain. But one thing the mother can say with certainty:he will have a corrupt and sinful heart. It is natural to us to do wrong. “Foolishness,” says Solomon, “is bound in the heart of a child” (Prov. xxii.15). “A child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Prov. xxix.15). Our hearts are like the earth on which we tread; let it alone, and it is sure to bear weeds.
If, then, you would deal wisely with your child, you must not leave him to the guidance of his own will. Think for him, judge for him, act for him, just as you would for one weak and blind; but for pity’s sake, give him not up to his own wayward tastes and inclinations. It must not be his likings and wishes that are consulted. He knows not yet what is good for his mind and soul, any more than what is good for his body. You do not let him decide what he shall eat, and what he shall drink, and how he shall be clothed. Be consistent, and deal with his mind in like manner. Train him in the way that is scriptural and right, and not in the way that he fancies. If you cannot make up your mind to this first principle of Christian training, it is useless for you to read any further. Self-will is almost the first thing that appears in a child’s mind; and it must be your first step to resist it.
IV. Train with this thought continually before your eyes-that the soul of your child is the first thing to be considered. Precious, no doubt, are these little ones in your eyes; but if you love them, think often of their souls. No interest should weigh with you so much as their eternal interests. No part of them should be so dear to you as that part which will never die. The world, with all its glory, shall pass away; the hills shall melt; the heavens shall be wrapped together as a scroll; the sun shall cease to shine. But the spirit which dwells in those little creatures, whom you love so well, shall outlive them all, and whether in happiness or misery (to speak as a man) will depend on you.
This is the thought that should be uppermost on your mind in all you do for your children. In every step you take about them, in every plan, and scheme, and arrangement that concerns them, do not leave out that mighty question,”How will this affect their souls?” Soul love is the soul of all love. To pet and pamper and indulge your child, as if this world was all he had to look to, and this life the only season for happiness to do this is not true love, but cruelty. It is treating him like some beast of the earth, which has but one world to look to, and nothing after death. It is hiding from him that grand truth, which he ought to be made to learn from his very infancy, that the chief end of his life is the salvation of his soul. J.C. Ryle, “The Duties of Parents”
William & Colleen Dedrick: “The Little Book of Christian Character and Manners”
Sinclair Ferguson: “The Big Book of Questions and Answers About Jesus”
Starr Meade: “Training Hearts, Teaching Minds”
Family Devotions: “Donald Van Dyken, “Rediscovering Catechism”
For our other book recommendations-suggestions, see our “Tolle Lege” page linked above.
Soli Deo Gloria,
“Always add, always walk, always proceed; neither stand still, nor go back,nor deviate; he that standeth still proceedeth not; he goeth back that continueth not; he deviateth that revolteth; he goeth better that creepeth in his way than he that moveth out of his way.” _St. Augustine
“Devotions From The Heart” by TheologyGirl-ReformedWomen
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Original posting TheologyGirl-ReformedWomen Studies ©2005