Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Duties of Parents: Being an Example

One of the hardest jobs in the world is that of being a parent. We pour ourselves into our children and wait to see the fruit that we pray we will get to see one day. It takes much work to build a strong Christian home, you cannot expect it just to happen by itself. It takes toil and sacrifice, but the reward is holy and sweet. 

An 18th century preacher had some wise thoughts about it that I wanted to share with you...

"Fathers and mothers, do not forget that children learn more by the eye than they do by the ear. No school will make such deep marks on character as home. The best of school-teachers will not imprint on their minds as much as they will pick up at your fireside. Imitation is a far stronger principle with children than memory. What they see has a much stronger effect on their minds than what they are told.

Take care, then, what you do in front of your child. It is a true proverb, "Who sins before a child, sins double." Strive rather to be a living epistle of Christ, such as your families can read, and that plainly too. Be an example of reverence for the Word of God, reverence in prayer, reverence for means of grace, reverence for the Lord's day. 

Be an example in words, in temper, in diligence, in temperance, in faith, in charity, in kindness, in humility. Do not think your children will practice what they do not see you do. You are their model picture and they will copy what you are. Your reasoning and your lecturing, your wise commands and your good advice, all this they may not understand, but they can understand your life!

Children are very quick observers, very quick in seeing through some kinds of hypocrisy, very quick in finding out what you really think and feel, very quick in adopting all your ways and opinions. You will often find as the father is—so is the son.

Remember the word that the conqueror Caesar always used to his soldiers in a battle. He did not say "Go forward," but "Come!" So it must be with you in training your children. They will seldom learn habits which they see you despise, or walk in paths in which you do not walk yourself. He that preaches to his children what he does not practice, is working a work that never goes forward.

It is like the fabled web of Penelope of old, who wove all day, and unwove all night. Even so, the parent who tries to train without setting a good example is building with one hand—and pulling down with the other."


  1. Yes! That is so true. I hope to remain diligent of my conduct in front of my children daily... I'll be llooking up some more of JC Ryles writing!

  2. such an awesome reminder! I was just saying to myself the other day to exude more optimism in my approach to frustrating moments. My daughters are watching.

  3. This is so true. I teach and with everything I want to instill in my kids I need to remind myself that I NEED to model it for them first! Thank you for a wonderful post!

    Maria @

  4. June,
    Thank you for bringing such encouragement to Christian women. I have watched your blog grow so quickly, and it's no wonder!
    I'm sorry for contacting you this way, but I'd like to know if you are interested in hosting a giveaway for a conference on The Worship of God. Both your family and one reader's family would receive free lodging and registration (or audio, if it's not practical for you or them to attend).
    I think it would be wonderful for both you and your readers!
    Please email if this is something you'd like to do, and share with your readers. (kimcoghlan [at] g mail dot com)

    1. Dear Kim,

      Thank you for the kind words--to God be the glory! Thank you for contacting me, I have responded via email this morning and looking forward to hearing back from you!

      Many blessings...


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