Here are more notes from Richard Baxter on what should motivate us to manage our families well and train them up in Christ.
1. When we govern our families well, this is a major part of God’s government of the world. If families are controlled, reverent and trained in godliness, then we are participating in God’s plan for the world.
2. An ungoverned, ungodly family is a powerful means to the damnation of all the members of it.” In a godly family there are continual motivations and inducements to live as Christ and love as God loves, while in an ungoverned family, no such models, motivations or inducements exist.
3. A well governed family creates safety and ease and pleasure for its members. This is because sin is being nipped in the bud and love is being nurtured.
4. A well governed family prepares its members for a well governed church. This allows ministers to continue to train up the people of God and move them from milk to true food, as well as preparing the way for spiritual discipline and admonition as needed.
Consider this quotation,
“If the churches are sties of unclean beasts, and if they are made up of ignorant and ungodly persons who savor nothing but the things of the flesh and worship what they do not know, we may thank ill-governed families for this. it is difficult for ministers to preach to those who cannot understand them, for they must always be feeding them with mil and teaching them basic principles and catechizing them in the church when they should have been so taught at home…The pollutions of the churches hinder the conversion of the unbelieving world. Those who judge our religion only by those who profess it judge it by the lives of those who are, in their heart, its enemies. When the haters of Christianity and godliness are the Christians by whose lives the infidel world judges Christianity, you may easily conjecture what judgment they are likely to make. Thus pastors are discouraged, churches defiled, religion disgraced, and infidels hardened through the impious disorder and negligence of families!” (Baxter, The Godly Home, 109-110).