Duties Of Parents #4 and #5

by Richard Baxter

4. Let it be the principal part of your care and labor in all their education, to make HOLINESS appear to them the most necessary, honorable, gainful, pleasant, delightful, amiable state of life; and to keep them from apprehending it either as needless, dishonorable, hurtful, or uncomfortable. Especially draw them to the love of it—by representing it as lovely. The whole skill of parents for the pious education of their children, consists in this—to make them conceive of holiness as the most amiable and desirable life—by representing it to them in words and practice—not only as most necessary, but also as most profitable, honorable, and delightful. “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” Proverbs 3:17. 

5. Speak often to them of the brutish baseness and sinfulness of FLESH-PLEASING SENSUALITY; and of the greater excellency of the pleasures of the mind, which consist in wisdom, and in doing good. Your chief care must be to save them from flesh-pleasing; which is not only in general the sum of all iniquity—but that which in particular, children are most prone to. For their flesh and sense are very lively—and they lack not only faith, but clear reason to resist it. And so (besides their natural depravity) the custom of obeying sense (which is in strength) without reason (which is in childhood is almost useless) does much increase this pernicious sin. And therefore continually labor to imprint in their minds an odious dislike of a flesh pleasing life. Speak bitterly to them against gluttony, and drunkenness, and excess of amusements.

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