Responsibilities in Government to Be Shared. -- Unitedly and prayerfully the
father and mother should bear the grave responsibility of guiding their children
Parents are to work together as a unit. There must be no division. But many
parents work at cross-purposes, and thus the children are spoiled by
mismanagement. . . . It sometimes happens that, of the mother and father, one is
too indulgent and the other too severe. This difference works against good
results in the formation of the characters of their children. No harsh force is
to be exercised in carrying out reforms, but at the same time no weak indulgence
must be shown. The mother is not to seek to blind the eyes of the father to the
faults of the children, neither is she to influence them to do those things
which the father has forbidden them to do. Not one seed of doubt should the
mother plant in her children's minds in regard to the wisdom of the father's
management. She should not, by her course of action, counteract the work of the
If fathers and mothers are at variance, one working against the other to
counteract each other's influence, the family will be in a demoralized
condition, and neither the father nor the mother will receive the respect and
confidence that are essential to a well-governed family. . . . Children are
quick to discern anything that will cast a reflection upon the rules and
regulations of a household, especially those regulations that restrict their
The father and mother should unite in disciplining their children; each
should bear a share of the responsibility, acknowledging themselves under solemn
obligations to God to train up their offspring in such a way as to secure to
them, as far as possible, good physical health and well-developed characters.
How Lessons in Deception May Be Given. --Some fond mothers suffer wrongs in
their children which should not be allowed in them for a moment. The wrongs of
the children are sometimes concealed from the father. Articles of dress or some
other indulgence is granted by the mother with the understanding that the father
is to know nothing about it, for he would reprove for these things.
Here a lesson of deception is effectually taught the children. Then if the
father discovers these wrongs, excuses are made and but half the truth told. The
mother is not openhearted. She does not consider as she should that the father
has the same interest in the children as herself, and that he should not be kept
ignorant of the wrongs or besetments that ought to be corrected in them while
young. Things have been covered. The children know the lack of union in their
parents, and it has its effect. The children begin young to deceive, cover up,
tell things in a different light from what they are to their mother as well as
their father. Exaggeration becomes habit, and blunt falsehoods come to be told
with but little conviction or reproof of conscience.
These wrongs commenced by the mother's concealing things from the father, who
has an equal interest with her in the character their children are forming. The
father should have been consulted freely. All should have been laid open to him.
But the opposite course, taken to conceal the wrongs of the children, encourages in them a disposition to
deceive, a lack of truthfulness and honesty.
There should always be a fixed principle with Christian parents to be united
in the government of their children. There is a fault in this respect with some
parents--a lack of union. The fault is sometimes with the father, but oftener
with the mother. The fond mother pets and indulges her children. The father's
labour calls him from home often, and from the society of his children. The
mother's influence tells. Her example does much toward forming the character of
Children Are Confused by Parents at Variance. -- The family firm must be well
organized. Together the father and mother must consider their responsibilities,
and with a clear comprehension undertake their task. There is to be no variance.
The father and mother should never in the presence of their children criticise
each other's plans and judgement.
If the mother is inexperienced in the knowledge of God, she should reason
from cause to effect, finding out whether her discipline is of a nature to
increase the difficulties of the father as he labours for the salvation of the
children. Am I following the way of the Lord? This should be the all-important
If parents do not agree, let them absent themselves from the presence of
their children until an understanding can be arrived at.
Too often the parents are not united in their family government. The father,
who is with his children but little, and is ignorant of their peculiarities of
disposition and temperament, is harsh and severe. He does not control his
temper, but corrects in passion. The child knows this, and instead of being
subdued, the punishment fills him with anger. The mother allows misdemeanours to pass at one time for which
she will severely punish at another. The children never know just what to
expect, and are tempted to see how far they can transgress with impunity. Thus
are sown seeds of evil that spring up and bear fruit.
If parents are united in this work of discipline, the child will understand
what is required of him. But if the father, by word or look, shows that he does
not approve of the discipline the mother gives; if he feels that she is too
strict and thinks that he must make up for the harshness by petting and
indulgence, the child will be ruined. He will soon learn that he can do as he
pleases. Parents who commit this sin against their children are accountable for
the ruin of their souls.
The angels look with intense interest upon every family, to see how the
children are treated by parents, guardians, or friends. What strange
mismanagement they witness in a family where father and mother are at variance!
The tones of the voice of father and mother, their looks, their words--all make
it manifest that they are not united in the management of their children. The
father casts reflections upon the mother and leads the children to hold in
disrespect the mother's tenderness and affection for the little ones. The mother
thinks she is compelled to give large affection to the children, to gratify and
indulge them, because she thinks the father is harsh and impatient and she must
work to counteract the influence of his severity.
Much Prayer, Sober Reflection Needed. --Affection cannot be lasting, even in
the home circle, unless there is a conformity of the will and disposition to the
will of God. All the faculties and passions are to be brought into harmony with the attributes of Jesus Christ. If the father and mother in the
love and fear of God unite their interests to have authority in the home, they
will see the necessity of much prayer, much sober reflection. And as they seek
God, their eyes will be opened to see heavenly messengers present to protect
them in answer to the prayer of faith. They will overcome the weaknesses of
their character and go on unto perfection.
Hearts to Be Bound by the Silken Cord of Love.-- Father and mother, bind your
hearts in closest, happiest union. Do not grow apart, but bind yourselves more
closely to each other; then you are prepared to bind your children's hearts to
you by the silken cord of love.
Keep sowing the seed for time and eternity. All heaven is watching the
efforts of the Christian parent.