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Beeke: Puritan Child-Rearing (Part 1) October 1, 2008

Posted by heldveld in Christian Parenting, Joel Beeke, Puritans, Sermons.
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Dr. Joel Beeke provides a short study on the subject of Puritan child rearing. This is very interesting and challenging information for today’s families.

He indicates that the information is primarily based on a chapter in his new book ‘Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism’, which I’m planning on picking up soon. He also mentions that he had to exercise restraint in not writing an entire book on the subject, I certainly hope that his will is not that strong!

He starts by explaining how the Puritan view, seeing the family as a little church and children as gifts from God, was a radical change from the medieval period where marriage and family were looked down open. I thought the Puritans had a great view of the wife, seeing her as the husband’s coworker, counselor and comforter. Three principles are then laid out concentrating specifically on newborns (and younger).

  1. Child-Rearing begins at conception where parents are to protect and care for the unborn but also importantly to pray for its salvation
  2. Mothers were to be the primary care takers, forming a bond with the child. Bonding of the family as a whole was seen as very important.
  3. Baptizing of the child since our children are born in sin it is important to recognize this but also to see them as part of the covenant.

I am really looking forward to hearing the other message(s) in this series.

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