Parental Responsibilities Which No One Else Can Bear. --Parents, you carry
responsibilities that no one can bear for you. As long as you live, you are
accountable to God to keep His way. . . . Parents who make the word of God their
guide, and who realise how much their children depend upon them for the
characters they form, will set an example that it will be safe for their
children to follow.
Fathers and mothers are responsible for the health, the constitution, the
development of the character of their children. No one else should be left to
see to this work. In becoming the parents of children, it devolves upon you to
co-operate with the Lord in educating them in sound principles.
How sad it is that many parents have cast off their God-given responsibility
to their children, and are willing that strangers should bear it for them! They
are willing that others should labour for their children and relieve them of all
burden in the matter.
Many who are now bemoaning the waywardness of their children have only
themselves to blame. Let these look to their Bibles and see what God enjoins
upon them as parents and guardians. Let them take up their long-neglected
duties. They need to humble themselves and to repent before God for their
neglect to follow His directions in the training of their children. They need to
change their own course of action and to follow the Bible strictly and carefully
as their guide and counsellor.
The Church Alone Cannot Assume These Responsibilities. --Oh, that the youth
and children would give their hearts to Christ! What an army might then be
raised up to win others to righteousness! But parents should not leave this work
for the church to do alone.
Nor Can the Minister. --You roll vast responsibilities upon the preacher and
hold him accountable for the souls of your children; but you do not sense your
own responsibility as parents and as instructors. . . . Your sons and daughters
are corrupted by your own example and lax precepts; and, notwithstanding this
lack of domestic training, you expect the minister to counteract your daily work
and accomplish the wonderful achievement of training their hearts and lives to
virtue and piety. After the minister has done all he can do for the church by
faithful, affectionate admonition, patient discipline, and fervent prayer to
reclaim and save the soul, yet is not successful, the fathers and mothers often
blame him because their children are not converted, when it may be because of
their own neglect. The burden rests with the parents; and will they take up the
work that God has entrusted to them and with fidelity perform it? Will they move
onward and upward, working in a humble, patient, persevering way to reach the
exalted standard themselves and to bring their children up with them?
Are not many fathers and mothers placing their responsibilities into others'
hands? Do not many of them think that the minister should take the burden and
see to it that their children are converted and that the seal of God is placed
Nor Can the Sabbath School. --It is their [the parents'] privilege to help
their children obtain that knowledge which they may carry with them into the future life. But for some reason many
parents dislike to give their children religious instruction. They leave them to
pick up in Sabbath school the knowledge they should impart concerning their
responsibility to God. Such parents need to understand that God desires them to
educate, discipline, and train their children, ever keeping before them the fact
that they are forming characters for the present and the future life.
Do not depend upon the teachers of the Sabbath school to do your work of
training your children in the way they should go. The Sabbath school is a great
blessing; it may help you in your work, but it can never take your place. God
has given to all fathers and mothers the responsibility of bringing their
children to Jesus, teaching them how to pray and believe in the word of God.
In the education of your children lay not the grand truths of the Bible to
one side, supposing that the Sabbath school and the minister will do your
neglected work. The Bible is not too sacred and sublime to be opened daily and
studied diligently. The truths of the word of God are to be brought into contact
with the supposed little things of life. If rightly regarded they will brighten
the common life, supplying motives for obedience and principles for the
formation of a right character.