Dangers of Childhood Attachments. --Early marriages are not to be encouraged.
A relation so important as marriage and so far-reaching in its results should
not be entered upon hastily, without sufficient preparation, and before the
mental and physical powers are well developed.
Boys and girls enter upon the marriage relation with unripe love, immature
judgement, without noble, elevated feelings, and take upon themselves the
marriage vows, wholly led by their boyish, girlish passions. . . .
Attachments formed in childhood have often resulted in very wretched unions
or in disgraceful separations. Early connections, if formed without the consent
of parents, have seldom proved happy. The young affections should be restrained
until the period arrives when sufficient age and experience will make it
honourable and safe to unfetter them. Those who will not be restrained will be
in danger of dragging out an unhappy existence.
A youth not out of his teens is a poor judge of the fitness of a person as
young as himself to be his companion for life. After their judgement has become
more matured, they view themselves bound for life to each other and perhaps not
at all calculated to make each other happy. Then, instead of making the best of
their lot, recriminations take place, the breach widens, until there is settled
indifference and neglect of each other. To them there is nothing sacred in the
word "home." The very atmosphere is poisoned by unloving words and
Immature marriages are productive of a vast amount of the evils that exist
today. Neither physical health nor mental vigour is promoted by a marriage that
is entered on too early in life. Upon this subject altogether too little reason
is exercised. Many youth act from impulse. This step, which affects them
seriously for good or ill, to be a lifelong blessing or curse, is too often
taken hastily, under the impulse of sentiment. Many will not listen to reason or
instruction from a Christian point of view.
Satan is constantly busy to hurry inexperienced youth into a marriage
alliance. But the less we glory in the marriages which are now taking place, the
In consequence of hasty marriages, even among the professed people of God,
there are separations, divorces, and great confusion in the church.
What a contrast between the course of Isaac and that pursued by the youth of
our time, even among professed Christians! Young people too often feel that the
bestowal of their affections is a matter in which self alone should be
consulted--a matter that neither God nor their parents should in any wise
control. Long before they have reached manhood or womanhood, they think
themselves competent to make their own choice, without the aid of their parents.
A few years of married life are usually sufficient to show them their error, but
often too late to prevent its baleful results. For the same lack of wisdom and
self-control that dictated the hasty choice is permitted to aggravate the evil,
until the marriage relation becomes a galling yoke. Many have thus wrecked their
happiness in this life and their hope of the life to come.
Potential Workers for God Entangled. --Young men have received the truth and
run well for a season, but Satan has woven his meshes about them in unwise attachments and poor
marriages. This he saw would be the most successful way he could allure them
from the path of holiness.
I have been shown that the youth of today have no true sense of their great
danger. There are many of the young whom God would accept as labourers in the
various branches of His work, but Satan steps in and so entangles them in his
web that they become estranged from God and powerless in His work. Satan is a
sharp and persevering workman. He knows just how to entrap the unwary, and it is
an alarming fact that but few succeed in escaping from his wiles. They see no
danger and do not guard against his devices. He prompts them to fasten their
affections upon one another without seeking wisdom of God or of those whom He
has sent to warn, reprove, and counsel. They feel self-sufficient and will not
Counsel to a Teen-age Youth. --Your boyish ideas of love for young girls does
not give anyone a high opinion of you. By letting your mind run in this channel,
you spoil your thoughts for study. You will be led to form impure associations;
your ways and the ways of others will be corrupted. This is just as your case is
presented to me, and as long as you persist in following your own way, whoever
will seek to guide, influence, or restrain you will meet with the most
determined resistance because your heart is not in harmony with truth and
Disparity in Age. --The parties may not have worldly wealth, but they should
have the far greater blessing of health. And in most cases there should not be a
great disparity in age. A neglect of this rule may result in seriously impairing
the health of the younger. And often the children are robbed of physical and
mental strength. They cannot receive from an aged parent the care and
companionship which their young lives demand, and they may be deprived by death
of the father or the mother at the very time when love and guidance are most