A Fancied Martyr. --Many a home is made very unhappy by the useless repining
of its mistress, who turns with distaste from the simple, homely tasks of her
unpretending domestic life. She looks upon the cares and duties of her lot as
hardships; and that which, through cheerfulness, might be made not only pleasant
and interesting, but profitable, becomes the merest drudgery. She looks upon the
slavery of her life with repugnance and imagines herself a martyr.
It is true that the wheels of domestic machinery will not always run
smoothly; there is much to try the patience and tax the strength. But while
mothers are not responsible for circumstances over which they have no control,
it is useless to deny that circumstances make a great difference with mothers in
their lifework. But their condemnation is when circumstances are allowed to rule
and to subvert their principle, when they grow tired and unfaithful to their
high trust and neglect their known duty.
The wife and mother who nobly overcomes difficulties under which others sink
for want of patience and fortitude to persevere not only becomes strong herself
in doing her duty, but her experience in overcoming temptations and obstacles
qualifies her to be an efficient help to others, both by words and example. Many
who do well under favourable circumstances seem to undergo a transformation of
character under adversity and trial; they deteriorate in proportion to their
troubles. God never designed that we should be the sport of circumstances.
Nourishing a Sinful Discontent. --Very many husbands and children who find
nothing attractive at home, who are continually greeted by scolding and
murmuring, seek comfort and amusement away from home, in the dramshop or in
other forbidden scenes of pleasure. The wife and mother, occupied with her
household cares, frequently becomes thoughtless of the little courtesies that
make home pleasant to the husband and children, even if she avoids dwelling upon
her peculiar vexations and difficulties in their presence. While she is absorbed
in preparing something to eat or to wear, the husband and sons go in and come
out as strangers.
While the mistress of the household may perform her outward duties with
exactitude, she may be continually crying out against the slavery to which she
is doomed, and exaggerate her responsibilities and restrictions by comparing her
lot with what she styles the higher life of woman. . . . While she is
fruitlessly yearning for a different life, she is nourishing a sinful discontent
and making her home very unpleasant for her husband and children.
Occupied With the World's Follies. --Satan has prepared pleasing attractions
for parents as well as for children. He knows that if he can exert his deceptive
power upon mothers, he has gained much. The ways of the world are full of
deceitfulness and fraud and misery, but they are made to appear inviting; and if
the children and youth are not carefully trained and disciplined, they will
surely go astray. Having no fixed principles, it will be hard for them to resist
Assuming Unnecessary Burdens. --Many mothers spend their time in doing
needless nothings. They give their whole attention to the things of time and sense' and do not pause to
think of the things of eternal interest. How many neglect their children, and
the little ones grow up coarse, rough, and uncultivated!
When parents, especially mothers, have a true sense of the important,
responsible work which God has left for them to do, they will not be so much
engaged in the business which concerns their neighbours, with which they have
nothing to do. They will not go from house to house to engage in fashionable
gossip, dwelling upon the faults, wrongs, and inconsistencies of their
neighbours. They will feel so great a burden of care for their own children that
they can find no time to take up a reproach against their neighbour.
If woman looks to God for strength and comfort and in His fear seeks to
perform her daily duties, she will win the respect and confidence of her husband
and see her children coming to maturity honourable men and women, having moral
stamina to do right. But mothers who neglect present opportunities, and let
their duties and burdens fall upon others, will find that their responsibility
remains the same, and they will reap in bitterness what they have sown in
carelessness and neglect. There is no chance work in this life; the harvest will
be determined by the character of the seed sown.