1. Train them in the way they should go, and not in the way they would.
2. Train up your child with all tenderness, affection and patience.
3. Train up your children with an abiding persuation on your mind that much depends on you. “Beware of that miserable delusion into which some have fallen – that parents can do nothing for their children, that you must leave them alone, wait for grace, and sit still … The devil rejoices to see such reasoning.”
4. Train with this thought continually before your eyes – that the soul of your child is the first thing to be considered.
5. Train your child to a knowledge of the Bible. No one but the Holy Ghost can make a child love the Bible. But we must do all we can to make them acquainted with it. See that your children read the Bible reverently. See that your children read the Bible regularly. See that they read it all.
6. Train them to a habit of prayer.
7. Train them to habits of diligence and regularity about public means of grace. It is a foolish argument that children should not attend because they cannot understand. Even the apostles did not understand all that the Lord spoke to them – but they did later.
8. Train them to a habit of faith. Train them to believe all you say, and to know it is true.9. Train them to a habit of obedience. Children must obey. Even the Lord Jesus “was subject to Mary and Joseph.”
10. Train them to a habit of always speaking the truth.
11. Train them to a habit of always redeeming the time. “Idleness has led to more sin than alomst any other habit that could be named.
12. Train them with a constant fear of over-indulgence. To spoil a child is a terrible thing. Scripture is very strong on this. Yet many saints of God have made shipwreck here – especially Eli and David.
13. Train them remembering continually how God trains His children; – training them, teaching, correcting them. God withholds things from His children they very much long for. God commands His children to do things when they do not understand why. God chastens His children.
14. Train them remembering continually the influence of your own example. Children will not practise what they do not see in you.
15. Train them remembering continually the power of sin.
16. Train them remembering the promises of Scripture.
17. Train them, lastly, with continual prayer for a blessing on all you do. God is sovereign – but He is a God who works by means.
“Take heed lest your own neglect should lay up misery for you in your old age.”
Condensed from “Training of Children,” by J.C. Ryle. Taken from “The Gospel Standard,” May 1993.