Join admonition to your correctionThe means of helping forward the good work of nurture are especially two; namely:
- frequent admonition, and
- due correction.
Instruct but also admonish your childrenThe duty which the first of these sets forth is this: parents must oft whet [i.e., often sharpen/grid] instruction upon their children. They [i.e., parents] may not think it enough to tell their children what they ought to do, but to instruction they must add admonition, and, as it were, beat into their children's heads the lessons they teach them, so that they may make a deeper impression in their hearts. Admonition will secure instruction, being like the words of a wife which are as nails fastened (Eccl 12:11), or fast knocked-in. Such words remain firm where they are once fastened, and cannot easily be plucked out (for as many blows knock a nail “up to the head”, as we speak, so many admonitions settle good instructions in a child's heart, and cause the heart to be established in that which is taught, which is a thing to be laboured after Heb 13:9). The general exhortation of being “instant in season and out of season” (2 Tim 4:2) may be applied to this purpose. Even more pertinent is that direction which is given to parents of whetting God's words upon their children (Deut 6:7).
Consider the book of ProverbsTo this purpose Solomon uses to “double” his instructions, urging them again and again in instruction. For example:
- forsake not the law (Prov 1:8):
- receive my words,
- hide my commandments within thee,
- incline thine ears,
- apply thy heart (Prov 2:1-2), etc.