Dear Sovereign Redeemer and other friends,
Scott and Dan are both in Harrisburg, PA for the “History of America” conference. Scott sent this from a message that was given by Paul Jehle last night:
“The pilgrim church was a holy commonwealth. They trained their children by voice obedience in a soft voice on the first command. Parents were put in stocks if a child disobeyed in public.”
Wow – voice obedience, soft voice, first command. However near or far from it we are, THAT IS THE TARGET. We need to be nearer and nearer and nearer to this target. When we can give instructions in a soft voice that are followed immediately the first time, it is likely that we have secured what Paul calls “in submission with all reverence” (1 Timothy 3:4). It is every child’s duty before God to honor his or her parents, and it is the duty of every godly parent to work diligently to secure that honor. That is part of what it means to “bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
So if we have in any way succumbed to thinking that the dutiful parents are the ones who are loudly and angrily correcting and commanding their children, we need to retrain our brains to think more biblically. Often the parents who are parenting most closely to the counsel of the word of God aren’t noticed at all, because they are able to direct their children once with a soft voice. The hard work of parenting – and hopefully of discipleship – has been done at home, and the wise and judicious use of the rod is yielding good fruit in public settings. This amazes worldlings when they see it, by the way.
May we be so thorough in parenting according to the Bible that our normal pattern is voice obedience, soft voices, and one-time commands, and the rare exception is public disobedience that requires a raised voice and retiring to a place of privacy where sterner discipline can be administered.
Now that is a target fully worth aiming at!