A Grievous Wrong to Mothers, Children, and Society. --There are parents who,
without consideration as to whether or not they can do justice to a large
family, fill their houses with these helpless little beings, who are wholly
dependent upon their parents for care and instruction. . . . This is a grievous
wrong, not only to the mother, but to her children and to society. . . .
Parents should always bear in mind the future good of their children. They
should not be compelled to devote every hour to taxing labour in order to
provide the necessaries of life.
Before increasing their family, they should take into consideration whether
God would be glorified or dishonoured by their bringing children into the world.
They should seek to glorify God by their union from the first, and during every
year of their married life.
The Mother's Health Is Important. --In view of the responsibility that
devolves upon parents, it should be carefully considered whether it is best to
bring children into the family. Has the mother sufficient strength to care for
her children? And can the father give such advantages as will rightly mould and
educate the child? How little is the destiny of the child considered! The
gratification of passion is the only thought, and burdens are brought upon the
wife and mother which undermine her vitality and paralyse her spiritual power.
In broken health and with discouraged spirits she finds herself surrounded by a
little flock whom she cannot care for as she should. Lacking the instruction
they should have, they grow up to dishonour God and to communicate to others the evil of their own
natures, and thus an army is raised up whom Satan manages as he pleases.
Other Factors to Be Considered. --God would have parents act as rational
beings and live in such a manner that each child may be properly educated, that
the mother may have strength and time to employ her mental powers in
disciplining her little ones for the society of the angels. She should have
courage to act nobly her part and to do her work in the fear and love of God,
that her children may prove a blessing to the family and to society.
The husband and father should consider all these things lest the wife and
mother of his children be overtaxed and thus overwhelmed with despondency. He
should see to it that the mother of his children is not placed in a position
where she cannot possibly do justice to her numerous little ones, so that they
have to come up without proper training.
Parents should not increase their families any faster than they know that
their children can be well cared for and educated. A child in the mother's arms
from year to year is great injustice to her. It lessens, and often destroys,
social enjoyment and increases domestic wretchedness. It robs their children of
that care, education, and happiness which parents should feel it their duty to
bestow upon them.
Counsel to Parents of a Large Family. --The question to be settled by you is,
"Am I raising a family of children to strengthen the influence and swell
the ranks of the powers of darkness, or am I bringing up children for
If you do not govern your children and mould their characters to meet the
requirements of God, then the fewer children there are to suffer from your
defective training the better it will be for you, their parents, and the better
it will be for society. Unless children can be trained and disciplined from
their babyhood by a wise and judicious mother who is conscientious and
intelligent, and who rules her household in the fear of the Lord, moulding and
shaping their characters to meet the standard of righteousness, it is a sin to
increase your family. God has given you reason, and He requires you to use it.
Fathers and mothers, when you know that you are deficient in a knowledge of
how to train your children for the Master, why do you not learn your lessons?
Why do you continue to bring children into the world to swell the numbers in
Satan's ranks? Is God pleased with this showing? When you see that a large
family will severely tax your resources, when you see that it is giving the
mother her hands full of children, and that she has not time intervening between
their births to do the work every mother needs to do, why do you not consider
the sure result? Every child draws upon the vitality of the mother, and when
fathers and mothers do not use their reason in this matter, what chance is given
to parents or children to be properly disciplined? The Lord calls upon parents
to consider this matter in the light of future eternal realities.
Economic Considerations. --[Parents] should calmly consider what provision
can be made for their children. They have no right to bring children into the
world to be a burden to others. Have they a business that they can rely upon to
sustain a family so that they need not become a burden to others? If they have not, they commit a crime in bringing
children into the world to suffer for want of proper care, food, and clothing.
Those who are seriously deficient in business tact, and who are the least
qualified to get along in the world, generally fill their houses with children;
while men who have ability to acquire property generally have no more children
than they can well provide for. Those who are not qualified to take care of
themselves should not have children.
How Perplexity Is Sometimes Brought to the Church. --Many who can but barely
live when they are single choose to marry and raise a family when they know they
have nothing with which to support them. And worse than this, they have no
family government. Their whole course in their family is marked with their
loose, slack habits. They have but little control over themselves and are
passionate, impatient, and fretful. When such embrace the message, they feel
that they are entitled to assistance from their more wealthy brethren; and if
their expectations are not met, they complain of the church and accuse them of
not living out their faith. Who must be the sufferers in this case? Must the
cause of God be sapped, and the treasury in different places exhausted, to take
care of these large families of poor? No. The parents must be the sufferers.
They will not, as a general thing, suffer any greater lack after they embrace
the Sabbath than they did before.
How Missionary Service May Be Restricted. --In sending missionaries to
distant countries, those men should be selected who know how to economize, who
have not large families, and who, realizing the shortness of time and the great work to be accomplished, will not fill their hands and
houses with children, but will keep themselves as free as possible from
everything that will divert their minds from their one great work. The wife, if
devoted and left free to do so, can, by standing by the side of her husband,
accomplish as much as he. God has blessed woman with talents to be used to His
glory in bringing many sons and daughters to God; but many who might be
efficient labourers are kept at home to care for their little ones.
We want missionaries who are missionaries in the fullest sense of the word;
who will put aside selfish considerations and let the cause of God come first;
and who, working with an eye single to His glory, will keep themselves as minute
men to go where He shall bid and to work in any capacity to spread the knowledge
of the truth. Men who have wives that love and fear God and that can help them
in the work are needed in the missionary field. Many who have families go out to
labour, but they do not give themselves entirely to the work. Their minds are
divided. Wife and children draw them from their labour and often keep them out
of fields that they might enter were it not that they think they must be near