Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Thought for Fathers from Matthew Henry's 1704 Sermon: "A Church in the House"

The authority God has given you over your children and servants is principally designed for this end: that you may engage them for God and godliness. If you use it only to oblige them to do your will, and so to serve your pride, and to do your business, and so to serve your worldliness, you do not answer the great end of your being invested with it. You must use it for God's honor, and use your authority to engage tem as far as you can to do the will of God, and mind the business of Christ.

It is so very easy to simply be content with conformity on the part of our wives and children to our wishes. We must never forget that our goal is to reach their hearts, not just their behavior. We must use the means: the Word of God, family worship, discipline, and doctrine. But all of this must be done by fathers on their knees begging God for His grace and power which alone are able to change the hearts of all those under their care.