J.C. Ryle to Parents: Go Forward and Obey

Here is a great quote from J. C. Ryle’s little Booklet The Duties of Parents. It is under the heading of “Train your children with an abiding persuasion on your mind that much depends on you.”

Beware of the miserable delusion into which some have fallen, that parents can do nothing for their children, that you much leave them alone, wait for grace, and sit still. These persons have wishes for their children in Balaam’s fashion; they would like them to die the death of the righteous man [Numbers 23:10, 31:16], but the do nothing to make them  live his life. They desire much, and have nothing. And the devil rejoices to see such reasoning, just as he always does over anything which seems to excuse indolence, or to encourage neglect of means.

I know that you cannot convert your child. I know well that they who are born again are born, not of the will of man, but of God. But I know that God says expressly, “Train up a child in the way he should go,” and that He never laid a command on a man which He would not give man grace to perform. And I know, too, that our duty is not to stand still and dispute, but to go forward and obey. It is just in the going forward that God will meet us. The path of obedience  is the way in which He gives the blessing.