The Godly Home was written by Richard Baxter in 1673 as a sort of “sum of practical theology…directing Christians how to use their knowledge and faith.” This updated and edited version by Randall J. Pederson is a sort of summary of just one of the many facets of that original work: Christian economics (family duties). It was released by Crossway on 1/31/10.
Even though the book has been updated and edited, maybe significantly in parts, the weight and flow and vocabulary is decidedly in the Puritan style. It is weighty language taking on weighty matters. It takes good and steady practice in concentration and patience to read the Puritans. The book is presented by chapters dealing with instructions for marriage, family worship, motives, duties of the different parts of the families.
Chapters 4-5 were the primary selling points to my betterment. “Motives to Persuade Men to the Holy Government of Their Families” and “Motives for a Holy and Careful Education of the Children” were chock full of solid gold. They were words of poignant, classic, timeless clarity that should ring in the ears of the men of the church, warning them for example that, “It is more comfortable to have no children than to beget and breed children for the Devil.”
“[Children] have an everlasting happiness to attain, and it is that for which you must bring them up. They have an endless misery to escape, and it is that which you must diligently teach them. If you do not teach them to escape the flames of hell, what thanks do they owe you for teaching them to speak and do? If you do not teach them the way to heaven and how they may make sure of their salvation, what thanks do they owe you for teaching them how to get their living a little while in a miserable world? If you do not teach them to know God and how to serve him and be saved, you teach them nothing, or worse than nothing.”
I commend almost the whole of the book to you. Baxter’s name and works have stood the test of time because of his careful, meticulous attention to the details and spirit of Scripture. This portion of his ultimate work will give you richness abounding. God will give you grace and diligence to receive it well, for His sake.