The Possibilities in a Properly Trained Child. -- God sees all the
possibilities in that mite of humanity. He sees that with proper training the
child will become a power for good in the world. He watches with anxious
interest to see whether the parents will carry out His plan or whether by
mistaken kindness they will destroy His purpose, indulging the child to its
present and eternal ruin. To transform this helpless and apparently
insignificant being into a blessing to the world and an honour to God is a great
and grand work. Parents should allow nothing to come between them and the
obligation they owe to their children.
A Work for God and Country. --Those who keep the law of God look upon their
children with indefinable feelings of hope and fear, wondering what part they
will act in the great conflict that is just before them. The anxious mother
questions, "What stand will they take? What can I do to prepare them to act
well their part, so that they will be the recipients of eternal glory?"
Great responsibilities rest upon you, mothers. Although you may not stand in
national councils, . . . you may do a great work for God and your country. You
may educate your children. You may aid them to develop characters that will not
be swayed or influenced to do evil, but will sway and influence others to do
right. By your fervent prayers of faith you can move the arm that moves the
It is in childhood and youth that instruction should be given. The children
should be educated for usefulness. They should be taught to do those things that
are needful in the home life; and the parents should make these duties as
pleasant as possible with kindly words of instruction and approval.
Home Training Is Neglected by Many. -- Notwithstanding boasted advancement
that has been made in educational methods, the training of children at the
present day is sadly defective. It is the home training that is neglected.
Parents, and especially mothers, do not realise their responsibility. They have
neither the patience to instruct nor the wisdom to control the little ones
entrusted to their keeping.
It is too true that mothers are not standing at their post of duty, faithful
to their motherhood. God requires of us nothing that we cannot in His strength
perform, nothing that is not for our own good and the good of our children.
Mothers to Seek Divine Aid. --Did mothers but realise the importance of their
mission, they would be much in secret prayer, presenting their children to
Jesus, imploring His blessing upon them, and pleading for wisdom to discharge
aright their sacred duties. Let the mother improve every opportunity to mould
and fashion the disposition and habits of her children. Let her watch carefully
the development of character, repressing traits that are too prominent,
encouraging those that are deficient. Let her make her own life a pure and noble
example to her precious charge.
The mother should enter upon her work with courage and energy, relying
constantly upon divine aid in all her efforts. She should never rest satisfied until she sees in her children a
gradual elevation of character, until they have a higher object in life than
merely to seek their own pleasure.
It is impossible to estimate the power of a praying mother's influence. She
acknowledges God in all her ways. She takes her children before the throne of
grace and presents them to Jesus, pleading for His blessing upon them. The
influence of those prayers is to those children as "a wellspring of
life." These prayers, offered in faith, are the support and strength of the
Christian mother. To neglect the duty of praying with our children is to lose
one of the greatest blessings within our reach, one of the greatest helps amid
the perplexities, cares, and burdens of our lifework.
The power of a mother's prayers cannot be too highly estimated. She who
kneels beside her son and daughter through the vicissitudes of childhood,
through the perils of youth, will never know till the judgement the influence of
her prayers upon the life of her children. If she is connected by faith with the
Son of God, the mother's tender hand may hold back her son from the power of
temptation, may restrain her daughter from indulging in sin. When passion is
warring for the mastery, the power of love, the restraining, earnest, determined
influence of the mother, may balance the soul on the side of right.
When Visitors Interrupt. --You should take time to talk and pray with your
little ones, and you should allow nothing to interrupt that season of communion
with God and with your children. You can say to your visitors, "God has
given me a work to do, and I have no time for gossiping." You should feel
that you have a work to do for time and for eternity. You owe your first duty to your children.
Before visitors, before every other consideration, your children should come
first. . . . The labour due your child during its early years will admit of no
neglect. There is no time in its life when the rule should be forgotten.
Do not send them out-of-doors that you may entertain your visitors, but teach
them to be quiet and respectful in the presence of visitors.
Mothers to Be Models of Goodness and Nobility. -- Mothers, be careful of your
precious moments. Remember that your children are passing forward where they may
be beyond your educating and training. You may be to them the very model of all
that is good and pure and noble. Identify your interest with theirs.
If you fail in everything else, be thorough, be efficient, here. If your
children come forth from the home training pure and virtuous, if they fill the
least and lowest place in God's great plan of good for the world, your life can
never be called a failure and can never be reviewed with remorse.
Infant children are a mirror for the mother in which she may see reflected
her own habits and deportment. How careful, then, should be her language and
behaviour in the presence of these little learners! Whatever traits of character
she wishes to see developed in them she must cultivate in herself.
Aim Higher Than the World's Standard. --The mother should not be governed by
the world's opinion, nor labour to reach its standard. She should decide for
herself what is the great end and aim of life and then bend all her efforts to
attain that end. She may, for want of time, neglect many things about her house, with no serious evil results; but
she cannot with impunity neglect the proper discipline of her children. Their
defective characters will publish her unfaithfulness. The evils which she
permits to pass uncorrected, the coarse, rough manners, the disrespect and
disobedience, the habits of idleness and inattention, will reflect dishonour
upon her and embitter her life. Mothers, the destiny of your children rests to a
great extent in your hands. If you fail in duty, you may place them in Satan's
ranks, and make them his agents to ruin other souls. Or your faithful discipline
and godly example may lead them to Christ, and they in turn will influence
others, and thus many souls may be saved through your instrumentality.
Cultivate the Good; Repress the Evil. --Parents are to co-operate with God by
bringing their children up in His love and fear. They cannot displease Him more
than by neglecting to train their children aright. . . . They are to carefully
guard the words and actions of their little ones, lest the enemy shall gain an
influence over them. This he is intensely desirous of doing, that he may
counterwork the purpose of God. Kindly, interestedly, tenderly, parents are to
work for their children, cultivating every good thing and repressing every evil
thing which develops in the characters of their little ones.
The Joy of Work Satisfactorily Done. --Children are the heritage of the Lord,
and we are answerable to Him for our management of His property. The education
and training of their children to be Christians is the highest service that
parents can render to God. It is a work that demands patient labour--a lifelong,
diligent, and persevering effort. By a neglect of this trust we prove ourselves unfaithful stewards. .
In love, faith, and prayer let parents work for their households, until with
joy they can come to God saying, "Behold, I and the children whom the Lord
hath given me."