Over-indulgence of fond and foolish parents!

(John Angell James, "The Duties of Parents" 1838)

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"I am going to carry out all my threats against Eli and his family. I have warned him continually that judgment is coming for his family, because his sons are blaspheming God and he hasn't disciplined them." 1 Samuel 3:12-13

There is, in some households,
  no family government,
  no order,
  no subordination,
  no discipline.
The children are kept under no restraint, but are allowed to do what they like. Their faults are intentionally unnoticed and unpunished, and their corruptions allowed to grow wild and headstrong; until, in fact, the whole family becomes utterly lawless, rebellious against parental authority--and grievous to all around them!

How many have had to curse the over-indulgence of fond and foolish parents! How many, as they have ruminated amid the desolations of poverty, or the walls of a prison, have exclaimed, "O, my cruelly fond parents, had you exercised that authority with which God entrusted you, over your children, and had you checked my childish corruptions, and punished my boyish disobedience; had you subjected me to the beneficial restraint of wholesome discipline, I would not have brought you with a broken heart to your grave, nor myself with a ruined life to the jail!"

Overindulgence of children is awfully common, and continually making shocking ravages in human character. It is a system of great cruelty to the children, to the parents themselves, and to society. This practice proceeds from various causes; in some instances, from a perverted and intentional sentimentalism; in others, from absolute indolence, and a regard to present ease, which leads the silly mother to adopt any means of coaxing, and yielding, and bribing--to keep the "young rebels" quiet for the time!

It is not uncommon for parents to treat the first acts of infantile rebellion rather as accidents to be smiled at, than as sins to be disciplined. "O," says the mother, "it is only play, he will know better soon. He does not mean any harm. I cannot discipline him."

Lack of parental discipline, from whatever cause it proceeds, it is in the highest degree injurious to the character of the children!

"Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul."
Proverbs 29:17

"Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death." Proverbs 19:18
"Children are better whipt, than dam
ned!" Cotton Mather, Puritan

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For those who are looking for a simple and sound catechism for family devotions, we have just published Gadsby's Catechism, 1809.