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Training your children well and not causing them to stumble in any way ought to be one of the highest priorities of Christian parents. In The Duties of Parents, J. C. Ryle presents seventeen simple and yet profound responsibilities of Christian parents. Nothing new is contained in this little volume, yet what is presented has the potential to change future generations bo Training your children well and not causing them to stumble in any way ought to be one of the highest priorities of Christian parents. In The Duties of Parents, J. C. Ryle presents seventeen simple and yet profound responsibilities of Christian parents. Nothing new is contained in this little volume, yet what is presented has the potential to change future generations both now and for eternity. Learn how to shepherd your children; learn how to utilize the most significant key of all – love; and learn first and foremost how to present and represent Christ to your children. As you read this book, expect to find yourself both challenged and excited to begin a wonderful, appropriate, and growing relationship with the most wonderful gift God can give us in our lifetime – our dear children. About the Author John Charles Ryle (1816-1900) graduated from Eton and Oxford and then pursued a career in politics, but due to lack of funds, he entered the clergy of the Church of England. He was a contemporary of Spurgeon, Moody, Mueller, and Taylor and read the great theologians like Wesley, Bunyan, Knox, Calvin, and Luther. These all influenced Ryle’s understanding and theology. Ryle began his writing career with a tract following the Great Yarmouth suspension bridge tragedy, where more than a hundred people drowned. He gained a reputation for straightforward preaching and evangelism. He travelled, preached, and wrote more than 300 pamphlets, tracts, and books, including Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, Principles for Churchmen, and Christian Leaders of the Eighteenth Century. Ryle used the royalties from his writing to pay his father’s debts, but he also felt indebted to that ruin for changing the direction of his life. He was recommended by Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli to be Bishop of Liverpool where he ended his career in 1900.


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Training your children well and not causing them to stumble in any way ought to be one of the highest priorities of Christian parents. In The Duties of Parents, J. C. Ryle presents seventeen simple and yet profound responsibilities of Christian parents. Nothing new is contained in this little volume, yet what is presented has the potential to change future generations bo Training your children well and not causing them to stumble in any way ought to be one of the highest priorities of Christian parents. In The Duties of Parents, J. C. Ryle presents seventeen simple and yet profound responsibilities of Christian parents. Nothing new is contained in this little volume, yet what is presented has the potential to change future generations both now and for eternity. Learn how to shepherd your children; learn how to utilize the most significant key of all – love; and learn first and foremost how to present and represent Christ to your children. As you read this book, expect to find yourself both challenged and excited to begin a wonderful, appropriate, and growing relationship with the most wonderful gift God can give us in our lifetime – our dear children. About the Author John Charles Ryle (1816-1900) graduated from Eton and Oxford and then pursued a career in politics, but due to lack of funds, he entered the clergy of the Church of England. He was a contemporary of Spurgeon, Moody, Mueller, and Taylor and read the great theologians like Wesley, Bunyan, Knox, Calvin, and Luther. These all influenced Ryle’s understanding and theology. Ryle began his writing career with a tract following the Great Yarmouth suspension bridge tragedy, where more than a hundred people drowned. He gained a reputation for straightforward preaching and evangelism. He travelled, preached, and wrote more than 300 pamphlets, tracts, and books, including Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, Principles for Churchmen, and Christian Leaders of the Eighteenth Century. Ryle used the royalties from his writing to pay his father’s debts, but he also felt indebted to that ruin for changing the direction of his life. He was recommended by Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli to be Bishop of Liverpool where he ended his career in 1900.

30 review for The Duties of Parents: Parenting Your Children God's Way

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy

    Readers should probably know a little about the author--that he was an Anglican Bishop of Evangelical persuasion who lived most of his life in the 1800s (he died midway through 1900). Yet, this short work turns out to be still relevant for parenting today. There were nuggets of wisdom offered throughout the work. For instance, the author brings out a great point that it's easy for parents to see what other parents does wrong. Yet in the midst of this parents must examine themselves that they are Readers should probably know a little about the author--that he was an Anglican Bishop of Evangelical persuasion who lived most of his life in the 1800s (he died midway through 1900). Yet, this short work turns out to be still relevant for parenting today. There were nuggets of wisdom offered throughout the work. For instance, the author brings out a great point that it's easy for parents to see what other parents does wrong. Yet in the midst of this parents must examine themselves that they are parenting in a way that honors God. I like the point Ryle made about making sure we teach our children to obey even if they don't understand, but that they understand your love for them and care should be something they trust in even if they don't understand with their feeble minds. I thought that was a good analogy of our Christian faith with God the Father as well. Also a good point was made about not spoiling your kids because a spoiled child in the end is not going to be a happy child. I also was much encouraged by the point the author made that sometimes it's okay to teach our children spiritual matters even if they might not understand it right then and there (of course, that's not an excuse to work hard in bringing things down to the kid's level). This work was an encouragement for me as a new father of a child less than one year old--and as I realize the need of our times is Christian parents to raise up their children under the admonition of the Lord and the discipleship of children under a Christian worldview.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    A short, biting "book." A concise, needed reminder of things I need to focus on and pray for as a parent and for my kids. I love JC Ryle -- everything he writes is gold. A short, biting "book." A concise, needed reminder of things I need to focus on and pray for as a parent and for my kids. I love JC Ryle -- everything he writes is gold.

  3. 4 out of 5

    David Schultz

    Helped me to review and refocus on the importance and urgency of training up a child in the way he should go.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kofi Opoku

    Great!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Maybe our favorite parenting book (actually booklet) of all time. We used to buy them and give them as baby shower gifts. Ryle is an excellent teacher.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    I began reading this book when we had a miscarriage. This book is filled with much practical information such as taking children to church, teaching them how to pray, requiring obedience, etc. No major breakthroughs, which makes me very thankful for my upbringing. Alan Witchalls has edited the language into modern English, and it seems that certain parts have been added. For example, in various sections he mentions the Internet (24) and DVDs (86). So besides obvious parts, it's difficult to know I began reading this book when we had a miscarriage. This book is filled with much practical information such as taking children to church, teaching them how to pray, requiring obedience, etc. No major breakthroughs, which makes me very thankful for my upbringing. Alan Witchalls has edited the language into modern English, and it seems that certain parts have been added. For example, in various sections he mentions the Internet (24) and DVDs (86). So besides obvious parts, it's difficult to know exactly what is Ryle's and what is Witchalls's. I'd like to read Ryle's version, just to see if the parts that I disagreed with were Witchalls's additions. 4.5 stars (maybe because of Witchalls) 1: reality of death 2: edited into modern English 10: parents don't want to be told about their kids' problems 11: kids' desires aren't naturally good and need to be trained 15: lots of good comparisons 16: [fear section is incomplete; in a fallen world, fear and love are not mutually exclusive (Prov. 1:7, 9:10)] 17: [false dichotomy in notes: discipline vs. love] 19: training does much to determine our end; precious window of opportunity 20: delusion that parent cannot train their children 23: souls never die 24: pampering/pandering is cruelty 28: tales of irrelevant little storybooks 29: don't skip parts of the Bible 32: prayer leads to spiritual prosperity 33: engine, weapon, key, hand, silver trumpet, cry 34: don't let children pray flippantly 37–39: regular church attendance is a blessing; families should stay together, not separate into adults and children 43: teach children to belief you and God (strengthening/training their faith) 44–45: don't cruelly withhold reasons, but at the same time, children should learn to trust their parents 48: require obedience 53: require the truth 55: avoid idleness and encourage work; don't let imaginations breed mischief 56: Sodom (Ez. 16:49) and David (2 Sam. 11:1) were idle 57: teach children to use their time well 60: allowing children to have their own way ruins their souls 61: Eli and David failed to discipline their own children 69: discipline is good for children's souls' health; constant indulgence leads to selfishness and unhappiness 72: children learn much from our example; [school influence is diminished] 73: Penelope's loom as a metaphor for undoing all the good [misapplication] 75: sin's power means that we can't simply follow a formula and expect everything to turn out right 76: knowing sin's power should make us more diligent in training children well 79–80: persevere, because God's promises do not arrive all at once 82–83: Jacob acknowledges twice that children come from God 85: God uses means 86: disciplines consistently; much formation happens at home; foundations for character are laid; tastes/opinions are formed; trained children lead to contented parents

  7. 5 out of 5

    Eric Keel

    Put this in the hands of parents! It's not an intimidating book at just under an hour to read... but man is it good. Consider this a primer on parenting. I need to get like 15 copies and just pass them out now. Put this in the hands of parents! It's not an intimidating book at just under an hour to read... but man is it good. Consider this a primer on parenting. I need to get like 15 copies and just pass them out now.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Schultz

    A power boost for parents that takes not long to read and is what like $4 on Amazon. Writing so crisp. Chooses just the right word. Straight to your heart.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    Great short read! Loved all his wisdom and hearing a little about his life at the end.

  10. 5 out of 5

    wpschrec

    Very good, short book on the main duties of parents

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mike E.

    [Nice PDF of the book available here: http://www.chapellibrary.org/files/ar...] Classic Ryle, 17(!) clear and concise points; short booklet worth reading . . Ryle gives godly counsel from another generation which ours needs to hear: 12. Train them with a constant fear of over-indulgence. This is the one point of all on which you have most need to be on your guard. It is natural to be tender and affectionate towards your own flesh and blood, and it is the excess of this very tenderness and affectio [Nice PDF of the book available here: http://www.chapellibrary.org/files/ar...] Classic Ryle, 17(!) clear and concise points; short booklet worth reading . . Ryle gives godly counsel from another generation which ours needs to hear: 12. Train them with a constant fear of over-indulgence. This is the one point of all on which you have most need to be on your guard. It is natural to be tender and affectionate towards your own flesh and blood, and it is the excess of this very tenderness and affection which you have to fear. Fathers and mothers, I charge you solemnly before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, take every pains to train your children in the way they should go. I charge you not merely for the sake of your children’s souls; I charge you for the sake of your own future comfort and peace. Truly it is your interest so to do. Truly your own happiness in great measure depends on it. Children have ever been the bow from which the sharpest arrows have pierced man’s heart.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Zilkie

    The BEST parenting book I have ever read! There are a lot of parenting books out there and there are a ton of "theories" about the different approaches to and aspects of parenting. Usually, they are contained in a book of about 200 pages and yet only 30-40 pages of the material is actually useful and worthwhile. Ryle's book, though very old (written in the 1800s), cuts to the chase and instructs parents in THE MOST IMPORTANT goals of parenting. Raising a child to love Jesus, resist the devil, and The BEST parenting book I have ever read! There are a lot of parenting books out there and there are a ton of "theories" about the different approaches to and aspects of parenting. Usually, they are contained in a book of about 200 pages and yet only 30-40 pages of the material is actually useful and worthwhile. Ryle's book, though very old (written in the 1800s), cuts to the chase and instructs parents in THE MOST IMPORTANT goals of parenting. Raising a child to love Jesus, resist the devil, and understand the dangers of this world and the dangers of their own human flesh and impulses-is not easy. Ryle, in short chapters, effectively addresses the important pieces of godly parenting. Beware of all of the psychology that has been developed in the last 50 years. Some of it is good and wise counsel, but it can also distract from the most important actions of parenting. If I was to write a book about parenting, this is the book I would write and in the manner it is written.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mark A Powell

    Though first published more than a century ago, this little booklet from Ryle contains principles of parenting that still resonate today. He reminds Christian parents that their main concern is the eternal souls of their children, not primarily their comfort or convenience. Although much of his counsel seems to run counter to modern culture’s approach to rearing children, it lines up perfectly with Scripture’s admonitions to parents. Ryle has written a highly helpful, highly recommend book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brandon R

    Second time through. It was just as good. I wonder how many parenting books today were based off of this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kara Larson

    I listened to this book (more like a booklet) which is full of scripture, very convicting and practical. At first it felt very law-heavy, but I saw throughout how Ryle weaves in grace and gospel. I was particularly challenged by the passages on prayer and the general encouragement that we parent best when our own souls are captured by the gospel and quickened by the Holy Spirit. Here are the 17 principles 1. Train them in the way they should go not the way they would go. 2. Train up your child wit I listened to this book (more like a booklet) which is full of scripture, very convicting and practical. At first it felt very law-heavy, but I saw throughout how Ryle weaves in grace and gospel. I was particularly challenged by the passages on prayer and the general encouragement that we parent best when our own souls are captured by the gospel and quickened by the Holy Spirit. Here are the 17 principles 1. Train them in the way they should go not the way they would go. 2. Train up your child with all tenderness, affection and patience. Love opens their hearts so when you punish they know it is for their own good. Woo them with kindness to win their affection. 3. Train your children, for much depends on you. We only have to fill the water pots with water, then he will turn it into wine. 4. Train them, knowing that the soul of your child is most important. Soul love is the soul of all love. 5. Train your child in a knowledge of the love of the Bible. 6. Train them in a habit of prayer. 7. Train them in habits of diligence and regular church attendance. 8. Train them to form a habit of faith. Train them to to believe what you say--to feel confident in your opinion. Learn that your knowledge is better than theirs. That there is a reason/need to do everything you require them to do. Explain often but don’t allow them to expect an explanation before doing what is asked. 9. Train your children to develop a habit of obedience. Obedience is visible, acting and personified faith. 10. Train children to always speak the truth. 11. Train them to redeem the time. And idle mind is the devils play. Work is good. Teach them the value of time and the habit of using it well. 12. Train them and beware of overindulgence. Whatever pain it costs you to correct them is worth it. Ryle doesn’t recommend a specific way to punish due to variety of personalities or children but does recommend spanking in the right circumstances. 13. Train them as God trains his children. He knows everything about us and orders all things for our good. He assigns what we need (both the good and the hard) to bear the most fruit. 14. Train them by the instruction of your own example. Children learn more by the eye than by the ear. Don’t say “Go forward but rather come forward.” (Ceasar) Be a living epistle of Christ my family can read. 15. Train them to realize the power of sin. Guard against unscriptural expectations. They are not blank slates but rather corrupt sinners. 16. Train them to know the promises of scripture. Remember who it is who promises! The word of the King of Kings who never changes. 17. Train them with continual prayer for a blessing on all you do. Without God’s blessing I will weary myself with no fruit. Home is the place where habits are formed.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Della Ray Dodgen

    "Learn to say 'No' to your children." "Reader, be not wiser than God-train your children as He trains His." "No school will make such deep marks on character as home." "Home is the place where habits are formed; home is the place where the foundations of character are laid; home gives the bias to our tastes, & likings, & opinions." When I started reading, I thought this book was somewhat recent, since there was so much pertaining to parents who are afraid to upset their child or make them obey. Then "Learn to say 'No' to your children." "Reader, be not wiser than God-train your children as He trains His." "No school will make such deep marks on character as home." "Home is the place where habits are formed; home is the place where the foundations of character are laid; home gives the bias to our tastes, & likings, & opinions." When I started reading, I thought this book was somewhat recent, since there was so much pertaining to parents who are afraid to upset their child or make them obey. Then, I discovered this was published in 1888! That further proves these principles are timeless, because sin is timeless, and there will always be parents who struggle to parent in our Father's way. This book is old, but parenting does not change- because God does not change. I will definitely read this again when I have my own kids!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Charise

    I found this book both convicting and encouraging in my current stage of parenting. It explains very well the gravity and importance of training our children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. The author clearly articulated how valuable these biblical principles are and how important they are in being incorporated in the home. We are either setting our children up for success or failure, in how we respond, how we teach, in essence, how we live our own lives right before them. It’s a good I found this book both convicting and encouraging in my current stage of parenting. It explains very well the gravity and importance of training our children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. The author clearly articulated how valuable these biblical principles are and how important they are in being incorporated in the home. We are either setting our children up for success or failure, in how we respond, how we teach, in essence, how we live our own lives right before them. It’s a good check for where you as a parent are spiritually, and is a great resource that I will go back to in future!

  18. 4 out of 5

    LeAna Randolph

    Excellent book for parents to encourage to raise their children in the way of the Lord. Ryle does well at bringing out scripture and how we, as parents, are to obey how God says to raise these children not only for peace of mind on Earth but also for their eternal souls. Very convicting and short read of only 48 pages. If you are a parent, soon to be parent, want to be a parent or one who takes care of children, this is a must read. This book takes hold of the scripture and it’s promise, “Train Excellent book for parents to encourage to raise their children in the way of the Lord. Ryle does well at bringing out scripture and how we, as parents, are to obey how God says to raise these children not only for peace of mind on Earth but also for their eternal souls. Very convicting and short read of only 48 pages. If you are a parent, soon to be parent, want to be a parent or one who takes care of children, this is a must read. This book takes hold of the scripture and it’s promise, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

  19. 4 out of 5

    Emma Ferguson

    This tiny book was filled so much insight and great advice! I really appreciated the author’s thoughts on prayer and praying with your children. We need more books like this!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    Originally published in 1860, this brief “paper” is a beautiful gem for married Christian couples who want to have children or who have young children. I was convicted and encouraged by the tiny chapters that lovingly got straight to the point. You aren’t going to find long meandering anecdotes here. More than likely you can find this as a PDF online, but I read it as a free download on my iPhone Book app.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Josiah Young

    Great tips in Ryle's typically straightforward style. Especially good because it is brief--he keeps his comments focused and doesn't belabor any points. Great tips in Ryle's typically straightforward style. Especially good because it is brief--he keeps his comments focused and doesn't belabor any points.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jonna Ventura

    Short, "simple", and to the point. I love JC Ryle so much. This is a perfect godly and wise resource for Christian parents. Short, "simple", and to the point. I love JC Ryle so much. This is a perfect godly and wise resource for Christian parents.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    A short and compelling book that encouraged me to be more diligent in teaching my children to pray and read their bible even at the tender ages of 3 and 2. It was challenging in many ways and a little frustrating as Ryle seems to tell you to require obedience and trust from your children but doesn't really expand on how. I suppose I need to take the long term view and it is unlikely to have a toddler who is trusting my judgment and obeying me all the time but hopefully I will have 10 year olds w A short and compelling book that encouraged me to be more diligent in teaching my children to pray and read their bible even at the tender ages of 3 and 2. It was challenging in many ways and a little frustrating as Ryle seems to tell you to require obedience and trust from your children but doesn't really expand on how. I suppose I need to take the long term view and it is unlikely to have a toddler who is trusting my judgment and obeying me all the time but hopefully I will have 10 year olds who will be much more willing to do these things after many years of training.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Perteet

    This was a short audio book I listened to on the way to OKC. Short but meaty.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Omar Alberto Heredia

    Great book an aromatic must have for young parents or any christian parents

  26. 5 out of 5

    Will Bassett

    This was absolutely brilliant. Short, sharp, superb. Would love to get this in the hands of every parent.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Rosas

    What a great little book. Seventeen nuggets of wisdom that I’m sure will be a blessing to any current, or aspiring, parent. Christian couples who strive to honor God in raising a godly heritage will benefit greatly. In an age where society and culture greatly de-emphasizes the importance of the family, this book will only fuel your desire to counteract and build a godly family.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Erica Fitzgerald

    Every Christian parent needs to read this book! I am blown away by the amount of biblical wisdom packed into a short and sweet little booklet. I will be rereading this one often! Takeaways: -Love is the most important thing and the easiest way to lead our children's hearts. (This is obvious, but a good reminder.) -The spiritual formation of children is God's work, but by His design it is accomplished through our obedience (just as Jesus told the wedding hosts at Cana to bring Him the water pots, Every Christian parent needs to read this book! I am blown away by the amount of biblical wisdom packed into a short and sweet little booklet. I will be rereading this one often! Takeaways: -Love is the most important thing and the easiest way to lead our children's hearts. (This is obvious, but a good reminder.) -The spiritual formation of children is God's work, but by His design it is accomplished through our obedience (just as Jesus told the wedding hosts at Cana to bring Him the water pots, and they obeyed.) God meets us as we go forward in obedience. -Parents must not be "slaves to fashion." It's ok to say no to things that aren't good for our kids, even if people think we're weird. -Teaching our kids to pray is one of our highest responsibilities. -Part of teaching kids to walk by faith is NOT giving them a reason for every single thing we ask of them but teaching them to obey even when they don't understand. -Cheerful, quick obedience is essential and leads to happiness. We must be willing to discipline for disobedience, even in little things (which, if unchecked, lead to big things!). -God often disciplines us by withholding things we desire (that He knows aren't best for us) and allowing us to walk through hard trials that we don't understand. This is how we should train our children--it is GOOD to say no sometimes; spoiled kids are not happy kids! -Our example is more powerful than our words. -Without the Holy Spirit, our efforts are in vain--we must water the seed we sow with unceasing prayer!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kate Hacker

    I think this is my third time through and as always it's a great read. Both challenging and encouraging. And surprisingly sensitive to the modern reader despite being written in 1860. My only critique is sometimes it over emphasises (as it says in the name) the duties of parents, possibly to the detriment of God's grace at work despite parental failings and in the lives of those children who are born into non-Christian households. But as a book written TO parents (rather than a comprehensive dea I think this is my third time through and as always it's a great read. Both challenging and encouraging. And surprisingly sensitive to the modern reader despite being written in 1860. My only critique is sometimes it over emphasises (as it says in the name) the duties of parents, possibly to the detriment of God's grace at work despite parental failings and in the lives of those children who are born into non-Christian households. But as a book written TO parents (rather than a comprehensive dealing with all the Bible says about parents and children), I understand why it has this emphasis.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Adam Calvert

    Wow. Read this book and read it again! From a theologian in the 1800s this book had a great way of speaking straight to the heart from theological and Biblical principles on what parents ought to do in raising their children. Solidly Biblical, yet very easy to read in a devotional style. Even if you don’t have kids it’s a terrific read in regard to personal sanctification!

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