The Child's Indebtedness to Parents. --Children should feel that they are
indebted to their parents, who have watched over them in infancy and nursed them
in sickness. They should realise that their parents have suffered much anxiety
on their account. Especially have conscientious, godly parents felt the deepest
interest that their children should take a right course. As they have seen
faults in their children, how heavy have been their hearts! If the children who
caused those hearts to ache could see the effect of their course, they would
certainly relent. If they could see their mother's tears and hear her prayers to
God in their behalf, if they could listen to her suppressed and broken sighs,
their hearts would feel and they would speedily confess their wrongs and ask to
Children, when they become of age, will prize the parent who laboured
faithfully, and would not permit them to cherish wrong feelings or indulge in
A Command Binding on All. --"Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy
days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." This is
the first commandment with promise. It is binding upon childhood and youth, upon
the middle-aged and the aged. There is no period in life when children are
excused from honouring their parents. This solemn obligation is binding upon
every son and daughter and is one of the conditions to their prolonging their
lives upon the land which the Lord will give the faithful. This is not a subject
unworthy of notice, but a matter of vital importance. The promise is upon condition of obedience. If you obey, you shall live long in
the land which the Lord your God gives you. If you disobey, you shall not
prolong your life in that land.
Parents are entitled to a degree of love and respect which is due to no other
person. God Himself, who has placed upon them a responsibility for the souls
committed to their charge, has ordained that during the earlier years of life
parents shall stand in the place of God to their children. And he who rejects
the rightful authority of his parents is rejecting the authority of God. The
fifth commandment requires children not only to yield respect, submission, and
obedience to their parents, but also to give them love and tenderness, to
lighten their cares, to guard their reputation, and to succour and comfort them
in old age.
God cannot prosper those who go directly contrary to the plainest duty
specified in His word, the duty of children to their parents. . . . If they
disrespect and dishonour their earthly parents, they will not respect and love
When children have unbelieving parents, and their commands contradict the
requirements of Christ, then, painful though it may be, they must obey God and
trust the consequences with Him.
Many Are Breaking the Fifth Commandment. --In these last days children are so
noted for their disobedience and disrespect that God has especially noticed it,
and it constitutes a sign that the end is near. It shows that Satan has almost
complete control of the minds of the young. By many, age is no more respected.
There are many children who profess to know the truth who do not render to
their parents the honour and affection that are due to them, who manifest but little love to father and mother, and
fail to honour them in deferring to their wishes or in seeking to relieve them
of anxiety. Many who profess to be Christians do not know what it means to
"honour thy father and thy mother" and consequently will know just as
little what it means, "that thy days may be long upon the land which the
Lord thy God giveth thee."
In this rebellious age children who have not received right instruction and
discipline have but little sense of their obligations to their parents. It is
often the case that the more their parents do for them, the more ungrateful they
are and the less they respect them. Children who have been petted and waited
upon always expect it; and if their expectations are not met, they are
disappointed and discouraged. This same disposition will be seen through their
whole lives; they will be helpless, leaning upon others for aid, expecting
others to favour them and yield to them. And if they are opposed, even after
they have grown to manhood and womanhood, they think themselves abused; and thus
they worry their way through the world, hardly able to bear their own weight,
often murmuring and fretting because everything does not suit them.
No Place in Heaven for Ungrateful Children. --I saw that Satan had blinded
the minds of the youth that they could not comprehend the truths of God's word.
Their sensibilities are so blunted that they regard not the injunctions of the
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy
father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be
well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the [new] earth."
"Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing
unto the Lord." Children who dishonour and disobey their parents, and
disregard their advice and instructions, can have no part in the earth made new.
The purified new earth will be no place for the rebellious, the disobedient, the
ungrateful son or daughter. Unless such learn obedience and submission here,
they will never learn it; the peace of the ransomed will not be marred by
disobedient, unruly, unsubmissive children. No commandment breaker can inherit
the kingdom of heaven.
Love to Be Manifested. --I have seen children who seemed to have no affection
to give to their parents, no expressions of love and endearment, which are due
them and which they would appreciate; but they lavish an abundance of affection
and caresses to select ones for whom they show preference. Is this as God would
have it? No, no. Bring all the rays of sunshine, of love, and of affection into
the home circle. Your father and mother will appreciate these little attentions
you can give. Your efforts to lighten the burdens, and to repress every word of
fretfulness and ingratitude, show that you are not a thoughtless child, and that
you do appreciate the care and love that has been bestowed upon you in the years
of your helpless infancy and childhood.
Children, it is necessary that your mothers love you, or else you would be
very unhappy. And is it not also right that children love their parents, and
show this love by pleasant looks, pleasant words, and cheerful, hearty
cooperation, helping the father out-of-doors and the mother indoors?
Deeds Considered As Though Done to Jesus. --If you are truly converted, if
you are children of Jesus, you will honour your parents; you will not only do what they tell you but will watch
for opportunities to help them. In doing this you are working for Jesus. He
considers all these care-taking, thoughtful deeds as done to Himself. This is
the most important kind of missionary work; and those who are faithful in these
little everyday duties are gaining a valuable experience.