Thoughts from Luther on Parenting
Pastor John Rasmussen
This morning I read through Luther’s explanation of the Fourth Commandment, which is surprisingly longer than any other commandment. In fact, Luther says that honoring father and mother is more important than the following fifth, sixth, etc…
Anyways, he had a few quotes about parenting that I deeply appreciated as a parent…
“God has given this walk of life, fatherhood and motherhood, a special position of honor, higher than that of any other walk of life under it“
Changing diapers. Wiping runny noses. Solving sibling disputes. Reading the same book twenty times… Doesn’t seem that glamorous in the world’s eyes, but honored by God.
Deo, parentibus et magistris non potest satis gratiae rependi, that is, “God, parents, and teachers can never be sufficiently thanked or repaid.”
Isn’t it true that an entire generation depends on good parents and teachers?
“Everyone acts as if God gave us children for our own pleasure and amusement…”
This sounds more like the 21st century than the 16th… but then again, there’s nothing new under the sun.
“For if we want capable and qualified people for both the civil and the spiritual realms, we really must spare no effort, time, and expense in teaching and educating our children to serve God and the world. We must not think only of amassing money and property for them.”
In other words, we always have the long term goal in mind as we raise our kids – solid citizens and servant leaders for church and world (I feel like I just gave an advertisement for Concordia Seward…)
“Therefore let all people know that it is their chief duty – at the risk of losing divine grace – first to bring up their children in the fear and knowledge of God, and, then, if they are so gifted, also to have them engage in formal study to learn so that they may be of service wherever they are needed.“
Two important points here:
1) Teaching the faith to our kids is central, not peripheral. It’s the chief and most important duty and privilege of Christian parents.
2) I love how Luther wants kids to study hard, not to earn a big pay check or feel awesome and successful, but rather that they may be of service wherever they are needed.
That is all.