The vocation of children and having children

The next dual relationship that constitutes a “holy order” according to the Table of Duties in Luther’s SMALL CATECHISM is that of parents and children:
 

PARENTS
Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4.
 
CHILDREN
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3.

Being a parent is a good example of both authority and service in vocation. Of course parents have authority over their children, but notice how so much of parenting consists of self-sacrifice on their behalf (all that work that children demand; taking care of them; cleaning them up; driving them around; spending money for what they need; etc.). And yet, because we love our children, we don’t really mind!

So in what sense is being a child a vocation? What are the proper duties of children? How can they love and serve their neighbors in that particular calling?

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

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  • Erich Heidenreich

    No doubt Luther would have included much more in his catechisms regarding what you term "the vocation of children and having children" if he had foreseen the unbelievably radical, self-centered, antinatalist attitude of the present generation. In fact, here is what I believe he would have included, in his own words: http://tinyurl.com/5qk8hg

  • Erich Heidenreich

    No doubt Luther would have included much more in his catechisms regarding what you term "the vocation of children and having children" if he had foreseen the unbelievably radical, self-centered, antinatalist attitude of the present generation. In fact, here is what I believe he would have included, in his own words: http://tinyurl.com/5qk8hg

  • Mama of 2

    We've told our kids from little on that there is only one rule in our home—Listen to Mom and Dad. I think that sums up the duty of a child and prepares them for the grown-up world where they will have to listen to authority in order to survive and thrive in society.

  • Mama of 2

    We've told our kids from little on that there is only one rule in our home—Listen to Mom and Dad. I think that sums up the duty of a child and prepares them for the grown-up world where they will have to listen to authority in order to survive and thrive in society.


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