Without Natural Affection

“Children, obey the parents in all things, for this is pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, that they may not be disheartened.” (Colossians 3:20-21)

Thomas Boston (1677-1732), one of the many representatives of rebellious potsherd Calvinism, writes the following in his commentary on the Westminster Shorter Catechism (all underlining mine):

“As to the relation betwixt parents and children, See Col. iii. 20, 21. ‘ Children obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.’… First, I am to show the duties which children owe to their parents.

1. Singular love to them as the parents ought to bear them. This is called natural affection, the want whereof is accounted among the most horrid abominations, Rom. i. 31.” (Thomas Boston)

Two horrendous examples of “without natural affection” are children who apparently possess the amazing ability to slander their godly parents with a clear (seared) conscience, and those women whose idea of “liberation” includes the choice to murder the tiny little women residing in their wombs.

Continuing the theme of honoring father and mother:

“Submission. They are to submit to their instructions and directions, readily receiving them, and complying with them, Prov. i. 8. Man being born like a wild ass’s colt, has need to be taught. They are to submit to their reproofs and admonitions, to take them kindly, and amend what is amiss, Prov. xiii. 1. Yea, they are to submit to their corrections, for the folly bound up in their hearts makes the rod necessary, Heb. xii. 9. They are children of Belial, indeed, that will not bear this yoke of subjection.”  (Thomas Boston)

And if it indeed be true that one is a “child of Belial,” then they will, of necessity, take up his cause and fulfill his desires (John 8:44-45).  Children of Satan (Belial) will submit neither to God or to His godly (yet imperfect) representatives.  But they WILL submit to one who seeks to devour their souls.  Professed children of God are to firmly resist the Devil, and to obey their parents; they are not to resist their parents and to obey the Devil (cf. 1 Peter 5:8-9).

Bearing with their infirmities, and covering them with the wings of love. Whether they be natural or moral infirmities, they would beware of despising or insulting them on that account, or any way exposing them, as some foolish youngsters are apt to do, Prov. xxiii. 22. Gen. ix. 22.” (Thomas Boston)

If the parental infirmities are egregious enough to rise past the level of covering a multitude of sins and bearing these failings in love (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:7; 1 Peter 4:8-9), then of course, they should be confronted and dealt with.  Many prudent principles can be drawn from even just a few Scriptures in how various situations should be dealt with in the body of Christ:

Brothers, if a man is overtaken in some deviation, you, the spiritual ones, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering yourself, that you not also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks to be something, he deceives himself, being nothing.” (Galatians 6:1-3)

“Then if you offer your gift on the altar, and remember there that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go. First, be reconciled to your brother, and then coming, offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24)

Do not receive an accusation against an elder unless on [the testimony of] two or three witnesses. The ones sinning before all, rebuke, that the rest also may have fear. I solemnly witness before God and [the] Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels, that you should guard these things without prejudice, doing nothing by way of partiality.” (1 Timothy 5:19-21)

But if your brother may sin against you, go and reprove him between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not hear, take one or two more with you, so that on the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. But if he fails to hear them, tell [it] to the assembly. And if he also fails to hear the assembly, let him be to you as the nations and the tax collector. Truly I say to you, Whatever you bind on the earth will be, having been bound in Heaven. And whatever you loose on the earth will be, having been loosed in Heaven. Again I say to you, If two of you agree on earth as to anything, whatever they shall ask, it shall be to them from My Father in Heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst. Then coming up to Him, Peter said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times? Jesus said to him, I do not say to you, Until seven times, but, until seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:15-22)

Then I, the prisoner in [the] Lord, exhort you to walk worthily of the calling in which you were called, with all humility and meekness, with long-suffering, bearing with one another in love, being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.[There is] one body and one Spirit, even as you also were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, the [One] above all and through all and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:1-6)

“Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, fightings, jealousies, angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and things like these; of which I tell you beforehand, as I also said before, that the ones practicing such things will not inherit [the] kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. Against such things there is not a law. But the ones belonging to Christ crucified the flesh with [its] passions and lusts. If we live in [the] Spirit, let us also walk in [the] Spirit. Let us not become vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:19-26)

“For God did not give a spirit of cowardice to us, but of power and of love and of self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)