Friday, March 28, 2014

The Blessing of Godly Parents

The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.   Psalm 16:6
The providence of God designates the family out of which we should rise.  This affects both our temporal and eternal good.  If your family feared God, and took care to train you up in the nurture of the Lord, you can reckon this among your chief mercies to spring from such parents.  What a mercy to have parents that prayed for us before they had us, as well as in our infancy when we could not pray for ourselves!  At the throne of grace they poured out their souls so affectionately for you, carrying all your concerns, especially your eternal one before the Lord.  They prayed weeping with their heart-strings breaking for you.  O put a value upon such mercies for they are precious!  To have parents that nipped in the bud the outbreak of your corruptions by their pious and careful discipline.  They carefully instilled the knowledge of God into your souls in your tender years.  As no pain, care, or cost was too much for our bodies to feed and clothe us, so they considered no prayer, counsel, or tears too much for our souls that we might be saved.  They knew that a parting time would come, and strove to make it as easy and comfortable to them possible by leaving us in Christ.  They were not satisfied with mere physical health, but desired that we were in grace.  There was nothing more desirable than to be able to say in the great day, ‘Lord, here I am, and the children which you have given me!’  How many children are drawn headlong to hell by their ungodly parents who teach them to curse and swear as soon as they can speak!  Ah, my friends!  Let me beg you to take special note upon this divine providence to have parents as a pattern of holiness that beat the path to heaven for us by their example.  Let your hearts become thoroughly warmed in the sense of it.

From Voices from the Past, Puritan Devotional Readings, Page 337. From the writings of John Flavel, 17th century.

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