Reciprocal Responsibilities

I am not endorsing or promoting John Flavel and Thomas Vincent as true Christians when I quote from them.  This is additional stuff on the history and theology of child-rearing and parental responsibility.  Basically, the duties of parents to children and duties of children to parents.

“Let it warn parents to do what in them lies to prevent the ruin of their children by this sin, (1.) By filling their heads and hands with lawful business. (2.) By serious admonitions and prayers for them. (3.) By keeping them from vain and tempting company. (4.) By disposing them seasonably in suitable marriage” (John Flavel).

I forget the *specific sin* Flavel is directing parents to prevent in their children.

Thomas Vincent was a contemporary of the men who penned the Westminster Shorter Catechism.  The following is from his work entitled An Explanation of the  Assembly’s Shorter Catechism.

“Q. 5. What are the duties of children to their parents?

A. The duties of children to their parents, comprehended in the general precept, ‘Honour thy father and thy mother,’ are —

1. Inward honour, reverence, and estimation. ‘A son honoureth his father.’— Mal. 1:6. ‘Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father; I am the Lord your God.’— Lev. 19:3.

2. Outward reverent carriage and behaviour. ‘Her children rise up, and call her blessed.’— Prov. 31:28. ‘The king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and caused a seat to be set for the king’s mother; and she sat on his right hand.’— 1 Kings 2:19.

3. Diligent hearkening to their instructions. ‘Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.’— Prov. 4:1. ‘My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding.’— Prov. 5:1.

4. Willing obedience unto all their lawful commands. ‘Children, obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right.’ — Eph. 6:1. Children, obey your parents in all things; for this is well pleasing to the Lord.’— Col. 3:20.

5. Meek and patient, bearing their reproofs and corrections, with amendment of the faults they are reproved and corrected for. ‘We have had fathers of our flesh, which corrected us, and ye gave them reverence.’— Heb. 12:9. ‘He that heareth reproof getteth understanding.’— Prov. 15:32.

6. Ready following their reasonable counsel, in reference to their calling, station, marriage, and any great affairs of their lives. ‘So Moses hearkened unto the voice of his father-in-law, and did all that he had said.’— Exod. 18:24. ‘And he came to his father and mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath; get her for me to wife.’ Judg. 14:2. 7., Grateful kindness to them, in nourishing them, providing for them, and bearing with their infirmities, when aged, and fallen into want and poverty. ‘He shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age.’— Ruth 4:15. ‘And Joseph nourished his father with bread.’— Gen. 47:12. ‘Despise not thy mother when she is old.’— Prov. 23:22.”


“Q. 6. What are the duties of parents to their children?

A. The duties of parents to their children, are —

l. Tender love and care of them, especially when infants and helpless; particularly, mothers ought to give suck to their children, if they are able. ‘Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?’— Isa. 49:15.

2. Training them up in the knowledge of the Scriptures, and principles of religion, and giving them good instructions in the laws and ways of the Lord, so soon as they are capable of receiving them. ‘And ye fathers, bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord ‘— Eph. 6:4. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.’— Prov. 22:6. ‘From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures.’— 2 Tim. 3:15.

3. Prayer for them, and giving good examples of holiness, temperance and righteousness unto them. ‘Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt-offerings, according to the number of them all.’— Job 1:5. ‘I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.’ — Ps. 101:2, 3. 4. Keeping them under subjection whilst young, yet requiring nothing of them but what is agreeable to the law of the Lord. ‘And he went down with them, and was subject unto them.’— Luke 2:51. As children must obey, so parents must command in the Lord.— Eph. 6:1, 4.

5. Encouragement of them by kind looks and speeches, and rewards in well-doing, together with discountenance, reproof; and loving and seasonable correction of them for evil-doing. ‘And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong, and of good courage,’ &c. — l Chron. 28:20. ‘Chasten thy son whilst there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.’— Prov. 19:18. ‘The rod and reproof give wisdom; but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight to thy soul.’ — Prov. 29:15, 17.

6. Provision for them of what is needful for the present; as also laying up for them, according to the proportion of what they have, for the future. ‘If any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.’— 1 Tim. 5:8. ‘For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.’— 2 Cor. 12:14. 7. Disposal of them to trades, callings, and in marriage, when grown up, as may be most for their good; therein using no force, but consulting and considering their capacity and inclination. ‘And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived and bare Cain. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.’— Gen. 4:1, 2. ‘But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely towards his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not; let them marry.— So then, he that giveth her in marriage doth well.’— 1 Cor. 7:36, 38.”