Spend Time With Children. --The average father wastes many golden
opportunities to attract and bind his children to him. Upon returning home from
his business, he should find it a pleasant change to spend some time with his
Fathers should unbend from their false dignity, deny themselves some slight
self-gratification in time and leisure, in order to mingle with the children,
sympathizing with them in their little troubles, binding them to their hearts by
the strong bonds of love, and establishing such an influence over their
expanding minds that their counsel will be regarded as sacred.
Take Special Interest in the Boys. --The father of boys should come into
close contact with his sons, giving them the benefit of his larger experience
and talking with them in such simplicity and tenderness that he binds them to
his heart. He should let them see that he has their best interest, their
happiness, in view all the time.
He who has a family of boys must understand that, whatever his calling, he is
never to neglect the souls placed in his care. He has brought these children
into the world and has made himself responsible to God to do everything in his
power to keep them from unsanctified associations, from evil companionship. He
should not leave his restless boys wholly to the care of the mother. This is too
heavy a burden for her. He must arrange matters for the best interests of the
mother and the children. It may be very hard for the mother to exercise
self-control and to manage wisely in the training of her children. If this is the case,
the father should take more of the burden upon his soul. He should be determined
to make the most decided efforts to save his children.
Train Children for Usefulness. --The father, as the head of his own
household, should understand how to train his children for usefulness and duty.
This is his special work, above every other. During the first few years of a
child's life the moulding of the disposition is committed principally to the
mother; but she should ever feel that in her work she has the co-operation of
the father. If he is engaged in business which almost wholly closes the door of
usefulness to his family, he should seek other employment which will not prevent
him from devoting some time to his children. If he neglects them, he is
unfaithful to the trust committed to him of God.
The father may exert an influence over his children which shall be stronger
than the allurements of the world. He should study the disposition and character
of the members of his little circle, that he may understand their needs and
their dangers and thus be prepared to repress the wrong and encourage the right.
Whatever may be the character of his business, it is not of so great
importance that he be excused in neglecting the work of educating and training
his children to keep the way of the Lord.
Become Acquainted With Varied Dispositions. -- The father should not become
so absorbed in business life or in the study of books that he cannot take time
to study the natures and necessities of his children. He should help in devising
ways by which they may be kept busy in useful labour agreeable to their varying
Fathers, spend as much time as possible with your children. Seek to become
acquainted with their various dispositions, that you may know how to train them
in harmony with the word of God. Never should a word of discouragement pass your
lips. Do not bring darkness into the home. Be pleasant, kind, and affectionate
toward your children, but not foolishly indulgent. Let them bear their little
disappointments, as every one must. Do not encourage them to come to you with
their petty complaints of one another. Teach them to bear with one another and
to seek to maintain each other's confidence and respect.
Associate With Them in Work and Sports. --Fathers, . . . combine affection
with authority, kindness and sympathy with firm restraint. Give some of your
leisure hours to your children; become acquainted with them; associate with them
in their work and in their sports, and win their confidence. Cultivate
friendship with them, especially with your sons. In this way you will be a
strong influence for good.
Teach Them Lessons From Nature. --Let the father seek to lighten the mother's
task. . . . Let him point them to the beautiful flowers, the lofty trees, in
whose very leaves they can trace the work and love of God. He should teach them
that the God who made all these things loves the beautiful and the good. Christ
pointed His disciples to the lilies of the field and the birds of the air,
showing how God cares for them and presenting this as evidence that He will care
for man, who is of higher consequence than birds or flowers. Tell the children
that however much time may be wasted in attempts at display, our appearance can
never compare, for grace and
beauty, with that of the simplest flowers of the field. Thus their minds may
be drawn from the artificial to the natural. They may learn that God has given
them all these beautiful things to enjoy, and that He wants them to give Him the
heart's best and holiest affections.
He may take them into the garden and show them the opening buds and the
varied tints of the blooming flowers. Through such mediums he may give them the
most important lessons concerning the Creator, by opening before them the great
book of nature, where the love of God is expressed in every tree and flower and
blade of grass. He may impress upon their minds the fact that if God cares so
much for the trees and flowers, He will care much more for the creatures formed
in His image. He may lead them early to understand that God wants children to be
lovely, not with artificial adornment, but with beauty of character, the charms
of kindness and affection, which will make their hearts bound with joy and