Nurture

The word “nurture” appears twice in the scriptures: once in the New Testament and once in the Book of Mormon.

The apostle Paul wrote:

Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4

And the prophet Enos used the same phrase to describe his own upbringing:

Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man—for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord…

Enos 1:1

The Greek words translated “nurture” and “admonition” in the first passage have similar meanings. Paideuó (παιδεύω) means to discipline, correct, or train a child. Nouthesia (νουθεσία) means to set a mind in order by providing instruction and guidance.

Discipline children, and educate minds, Paul tells fathers, but don’t do it harshly. Don’t make your children angry. Effective training depends on a loving relationship between parent and child. Don’t ruin the relationship, but do provide the instruction.

The Family Proclamation clarifies that mothers are also responsible for the nurture of their children, and that fathers and mothers work together in this effort. The General Handbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints explains this responsibility:

To nurture means to nourish, teach, and support, following the example of the Savior (see 3 Nephi 10:4). In unity with her husband, a mother helps her family learn gospel truths and develop faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Together they foster an environment of love in the family.

General Handbook, 2.1.3, “Parents and Children”

Today, in unity with my wife, I will nurture my children. I will provide instruction and correction with gentleness and patience. I will also strive to establish an environment of love in our home, to facilitate learning and growth.

2 thoughts on “Nurture

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  1. Your beautifully worded study notes would make a wonderful printed daily devotional book. Your work compiling them is greatly appreciated!

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