July 11, Evening – Our First Duty

“Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation” (Joel 1:3)

“In this simple way, by God’s grace, a living testimony for truth is always to be kept alive in the land: The beloved of the Lord are to hand down their witness for the Gospel and the covenant to their heirs, and these again to their next descendants. This is our first duty; we are to begin at the family hearth: He is a bad preacher who does not commence his ministry at home. The heathen are to be sought by all means, and the highways and hedges are to be searched, but home has a prior claim, and woe to those who reverse the order of the Lord’s arrangements.

To teach our children is a personal duty; we cannot delegate it to Sunday school teachers or other friendly helpers. These can assist us but cannot deliver us from the sacred obligation; substitutes and sponsors are wicked devices in this case: Mothers and fathers must, like Abraham, command their households in the fear of God and talk with their offspring concerning the wondrous works of the Most High.

Parental teaching is a natural duty. Who is better fitted to look after the child’s well-being than those who are the authors of his actual being? To neglect the instruction of our children is worse than brutish. Family religion is necessary for the nation, for the family itself, and for the church of God. By a thousand plots empty religion is secretly advancing in our land, and one of the most effectual means for resisting its inroads is routinely neglected—namely, the instruction of our children in the faith. It is time for parents to awaken to a sense of the importance of this matter. It is a pleasant duty to talk of Jesus to our sons and daughters, and the more so because it has often proved to be an accepted work, for God has saved the children through the parents’ prayers and admonitions. May every house into which this volume shall come honor the Lord and receive His smile.”

– Charles Spurgeon, Morning by Morning and Evening by Evening, A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on the ESV Bible

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The Greatest Unkindness You Can Do To a Child

“Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod–he will not die. Punish him with the rod–and save his soul from death!” (Proverbs 23:13-14)

Some parents have such weak hearts, that they cannot bear to correct a child lest they cause it pain.

They forget that to leave an uncorrected fault in a child, or to allow any wrong habit to grow up in its life unchecked–is the greatest unkindness they could possibly do to the child! To leave the roots of weeds growing in the garden among the flowers–is to insure the springing up of those weeds by and by, to mar the beauty of the garden.

No tender feeling should ever prevent a parent from correcting a fault in a child. Love must always seek the best.”

– J.R. Miller