A Great Reminder For Our Parents
Early this morning I was reading a book by a man named John Flavel and this truly struck me. It made me want to pray for our youth, for my future children (God willing), and also our parents at Blue Sky Church. I truly hope this stirs something in all of us to long after God and pray for our posterity. Enjoy!
“One performance of Providence which must be carefully noticed and weighed is the designation of the stock and family out of which we should spring and rise…First, temporal and external mercies to your outward man. You cannot but know that as godliness entails a blessing, so wickedness and unrighteousness a curse upon posterity…It was no small mercy to Timothy to be descended from such progenitors (2 Tim. I. 5), nor to Augustine that he had such a mother as Monica, who planted in his mind the precepts of life with her words, watered them with her tears, and nourished them with her example.
What a mercy was it to us to have parents that prayed for us before they had us, as well as in our infancy, when we could not pray for ourselves?
What a special mercy was it to us to have the excrescences of corruption nipped in the bud by their pious and careful discipline! We now understand what a critical and dangerous season youth is, the wonderful proclivity of that age to everything that is evil. Why else are they called youthful lusts (2 Tim. 2. 22) When David asks: ‘Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?’ it is plainly enough implied in the very question that the way he takes lies through the pollutions of the world in his youth (Ps. 119. 9). When you find David praying that God would ‘not remember the sins of my youth’ (Ps. 25. 7), and a Job bitterly complaining that God ‘made me to possess the iniquities of my youth’ (13.26), Surely you cannot but reflect with a very thankful heart upon those happy means by which the corruption of your nature was happily prevented, or retrained in your youth…
And how great a mercy was it that we had parents who carefully instilled the good knowledge of God into our souls in our tender years?...As they thought no pains, care or cost too much for our bodies, to feed them, clothe and heal them; so did they think no prayers, counsels, or tears, too much for our souls, that they might be saved…
They were not glad that we had health and indifferent whether we had grace. They felt the miseries of our souls as much as of our bodies; and nothing was more desirable to them than that they might say in the great day: ‘Lord, here am I and the children which thou hast given me.’
And was it not a special favor to us to have parents that went before us as patterns of holiness, and beat the path to heaven for us by their examples? They could say to us: ‘those things yea have heard and seen in me, do’ (Phil. 4.9); and ‘be ye followers of me, as also I am of Christ’ (1 Cor. 11. 1) The parents’ life is the child’s copy. O, it is no common mercy to have a fair copy set before us, especially in the molding age.”
-John Flavel, The Mystery of Providence.