John Calvin on Children

In my reading and research I came across this interesting post by Jason Goroncy from 4 years ago.

Children take on a ‘largely symbolic character’ in most of Calvin’s writings wherein children are viewed as ‘metaphor for the religious life of adult Christians’.[1] Unlike Luther, Calvin tells us very little about his encounters with children. He does, however, tell us that he and his wife lost their only biological child: ‘God had given me a little boy. God took [him] away’.[2] We know little about his relationship with the two children from his wife’s first marriage aside from his pledge (on her deathbed) to care for them; or about the children of his brother Antoine, who lived in his household.

Calvin was not, however, indifferent to children. So Pitkin:

[Calvin’s] writings, along with the social and ecclesial changes he participated in and sought to effect, bear witness to the importance of children in church and society. Serious implications for children’s lives and important assumptions about their…

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One thought on “John Calvin on Children

  1. I was fortunate enough to be allowed to join five families in a joint class with both adults and children. We defined children 0-12 then the 13 and up were expected to contribute to Bible sharing and prayer and ministry as adults. “You know the proof of him, how as a son with the father he has labored with me in the gospel.” We had a joint topic for the day, all the adults joined in a child centered activity to get the lesson across to the children. This took about half of the class and led to the adults actually knowing all their friends children. Then the children colored and listened as their parents and older siblings shared what God was teaching them and doing in their lives and what they had received from studying the lesson. We had a severe ADHD boy in the class who had never experience a setting with sufficient adult supervision that who he was had not caused a problem. He calmed right down in the class and we could watch his progress in self control and a sense of worth.

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