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Thoughts on A Family Well Ordered by Cotton Mather

The core of all society is the family. If our families are not in order, we have no hope of anything else being in order. In the family the parents have a great responsibility, but the children also have a responsibility to respect the parents.

It is the parent’s responsibility to feed their children, physically and spiritually. No parent would deprive their children of physical food when it is within their power to provide it. Why would they dare deprive them of the spiritual food of the word and teachings of God when it is so readily available to them? It is the parent’s responsibility to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Parents are there to take care of their children’s physical bodies but they must remember that their child has a soul that will live on in eternity and they must strive to bring their children unto an understanding of and a relationship with the Lord. This must be a parent’s highest goal. The best way to teach your kids this is to show them. You must lead by example and show your children what it is like to have a relationship with the Lord. It is good for your children to see you reading the word and praying. This is a high and heavy responsibility and calling that the Lord gives unto parents. But the Lord also says that children are a blessing and are like arrows in the hand of a mighty man.

But just as the parents have a great responsibility, so do the children. Honoring and respecting our parents has a high reward in the Bible and it also has high consequences for failing to. It says that those who make light of (make fun of, do not respect) their parents will have the curse of God upon them. In the ten commandments we are told to honor our parents that we may have a long life. God promises to bless those that honor and respect their parents and he promises to punish those that don’t. God doesn’t take this lightly and we shouldn’t either. Each and every day we should be striving to do better at this than we did the day before.

In the last chapter of the book Cotton Mather talks about the need for Godly schools. Although I do agree that Godly schools would be better than what we have now we are not aiming for better we are aiming for Gods plan. I believe that God wants parents to educate their children at home. (Deut. 11:19) This is yet another responsibility of parents.


I encourage you to look to the Lord for help as we as children and parents strive to fulfill our God given duties.

Keeley Buffin

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