Even though I should not complain, but rather thank God, for all my worthy children, I will still try to awaken you to more carefulness, humility, virtue, honor, and obedience, so that you at no time in joy or sorrow become unthankful for your parents. I have often been asked, “Why can a father and mother raise twelve children, but twelve children cannot take care of their father and mother?”
Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the LORD’S anointed. 1 Sa. 24:10
Should there be but one verse in the Bible to unveil to us the heart of God towards His most beloved creation, this one would suffice. Perhaps one may complain that this particular verse is not direct speech from God, and therefore does not qualify for such an honor. To me, the very circumstances under which these words were uttered adds to, rather than diminishes, their power. Most of us know the story, so I will only highlight the peaks.
I mean, if I let my son Daniel use that humongous chainsaw for a toy, you would rebuke me wouldn’t you?
660 Stihl chainsaws are a very efficient tool for milling logs like the one Daniel is standing on. In about six minutes, I could cut off a board 22 inches wide by eight feet long.
But you need not rebuke me: I never let Daniel play with that saw, other than to hold it up for the picture perhaps. Faster than you could say “Be careful with that saw, son!”, it could rip off a little boy’s leg. In fact, that saw was so powerful that I was almost afraid to run it myself!
I say all this to make a point: tools are tools, and toys are toys.
The Internet can be a useful tool. I myself have used it to find a manual for my wife’s sewing machine, got a good bargain for a vehicle on an online auction, located hard-to-find parts for small engines, and other practical uses.
“Train up a child in the way he should go.” Proverbs 22:6
Education in modern parlance, means nothing more than instruction, or the communication of knowledge to the mind; and a good education means, the opportunity of acquiring all kinds of learning, science, and what are called achievements.
“For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” Genesis 18:19
There are three things very remarkable in this verse.
1. That Abraham used parental authority in governing his family: “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him.” He did not think it enough to pray for them, or to teach them, but he used the authority which God had given him—he commanded them.
2. That he cared for his servants as well as his children. In Genesis 14:14, we learn that Abraham had three hundred and eighteen servants born in his house. He lived after the manner of patriarchal times; as the Arabs of the wilderness do to this day. His family was very large, and yet he did not say, “They are none of mine.” He commanded his children and his household.
3. His success: “they shall keep the way of the LORD.” It is often said that the children of good men turn out ill. Well, here is a good man, and a good man doing his duty by his children—and here is the result. His son Isaac was probably a child of God from his earliest years. There is every mark of it in his life. And what a delightful specimen of a believing, prayerful servant was Eliezer! (Gen. 24.)
It is a great duty of husbands and wives to live in quietness and peace, and avoid all occasions of wrath and discord. Because this is a duty of so great importance, I shall first open to you the great necessity of it, and then give you more particular directions to perform it.
1 Your discord will be your pain, and the vexation of our lives. Like a bile, or wound, or fracture in your own bodies, which will pain you till it is cured; you will hardly keep peace in your minds, when peace is broken so near you in your family. As you would take heed of hurting yourselves, and as you would hasten the cure when you are hurt; so should you take heed of any breach of peace, and quickly seek to heal it when it is broken.
He that is the master of a family, he has, as under that relation, a work to do for God; the right governing of his own family. And his work is twofold. First, Touching the spiritual state of it. Second, Touching the outward state of it.
As touching the spiritual state of his family; he should be very diligent and circumspect, doing his utmost endeavor both to increase faith where it is begun, and to begin it where it is not. For this reason, he should diligently and frequently lay before his household such things of God, out of his word, as are suitable for each particular.