Father's Duty Cannot Be Transferred. --The father's duty to his children
cannot be transferred to the mother. If she performs her own duty, she has
burden enough to bear. Only by working in unison can the father and mother
accomplish the work which God has committed to their hands.
The father should not excuse himself from his part in the work of educating
his children for life and immortality. He must share in the responsibility.
There is obligation for both father and mother. There must be love and respect
manifested by the parents for one another, if they would see these qualities
developed in their children.
The father should encourage and sustain the mother in her work of care by his
cheerful looks and kind words.
Try to help your wife in the conflict before her. Be careful of your words,
cultivate refinement of manners, courtesy, gentleness, and you will be rewarded
for so doing.
Tender Ministration Will Lighten the Mother's Load. --Whatever may be his
calling and its perplexities, let the father take into his home the same smiling
countenance and pleasant tones with which he has all day greeted visitors and
strangers. Let the wife feel that she can lean upon the large affections of her
husband--that his arms will strengthen and uphold her through all her toils and
cares, that his influence will sustain hers--and her burden will lose half its
weight. Are the children not his as well as hers?
The wife may gather to herself burdens which she may suppose to be of greater
importance than to help her husband in bearing his portion of responsibility;
and the same is true of the husband. Tender ministrations are of value. There is
a tendency for the husband to feel free to go out and come into his home more as
a boarder than a husband of the family circle.
Domestic duties are sacred and important; yet they are often attended by a
weary monotony. The countless cares and perplexities become irritating without
the variety of change and cheerful relaxation which the husband and father
frequently has . . . in his power to grant her if he chose--or rather if he
thought it necessary or desirable to do so. The life of a mother in the humbler
walks of life is one of unceasing self-sacrifice, made harder if the husband
fails to appreciate the difficulties of her position and to give her his
Show Consideration for a Feeble Wife. --The husband should manifest great
interest in his family. Especially should he be very tender of the feelings of a
feeble wife. He can shut the door against much disease. Kind, cheerful, and
encouraging words will prove more effective than the most healing medicines.
These will bring courage to the heart of the desponding and discouraged, and the
happiness and sunshine brought into the family by kind acts and encouraging
words will repay the effort tenfold. The husband should remember that much of
the burden of training his children rests upon the mother, that she has much to
do with moulding their minds. This should call into exercise his tenderest
feelings, and with care should he lighten her burdens. He should encourage her
to lean upon his large affections and direct her mind to heaven, where there is
strength and peace and a final rest for the weary. He should not come to his home with a clouded brow, but
should with his presence bring sunlight into the family and should encourage his
wife to look up and believe in God. Unitedly they can claim the promises of God
and bring His rich blessing into the family.
" Lead on Softly. "--Many a husband and father might learn a
helpful lesson from the carefulness of the faithful shepherd. Jacob, when urged
to undertake a rapid and difficult journey, made answer:
"The children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with
me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die."
"I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and
the children be able to endure."
In life's toilsome way let the husband and father "lead on softly,"
as the companion of his journey is able to endure. Amidst the world's eager rush
for wealth and power, let him learn to stay his steps, to comfort and support
the one who is called to walk by his side. . . .
Let the husband aid his wife by his sympathy and unfailing affection. If he
wishes to keep her fresh and gladsome, so that she will be as sunshine in the
home, let him help her bear her burdens. His kindness and loving courtesy will
be to her a precious encouragement, and the happiness he imparts will bring joy
and peace to his own heart. . . .
If the mother is deprived of the care and comforts she should have, if she is
allowed to exhaust her strength through overwork or through anxiety and gloom,
her children will be robbed of the vital-force and of the mental elasticity and
cheerful buoyancy they should inherit. Far better will it be to make the
mother's life bright and cheerful, to shield her from want, wearing labour, and depressing care, and
let the children inherit good constitutions, so that they may battle their way
through life with their own energetic strength.