Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4


Necessity of Family Discipline

The state of many in ----- is truly alarming; especially is this the case with a majority of the youth. Families have moved to the place with the understanding that they were not to burden the church, but to be a help to it. With a considerable number the result has been quite the contrary. The neglect of parents to properly discipline their children has been a fruitful source of evil in many families. The youth have not been restrained as they should have been. Parents have neglected to follow the directions of the word of God in this matter, and the children have taken the reins of government into their own hands. The consequence has been that they have generally succeeded in ruling their parents instead of being under their authority. 4T 192.3

The parents are blind to the true state of their children, who have succeeded in entirely deceiving them. But those who have lost the control of their children are not pleased when others seek to control them or to point out their defects for the purpose of correcting them. The cause of God has been retarded in ----- by parents’ bringing their unruly and undisciplined children into this large church. Many are living in constant neglect of their duty to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; yet these very ones have most to say concerning the wickedness of the youth in -----, when it is the wrong example and evil influence of their own children that have demoralized the young people with whom they have associated. 4T 193.1

Such families have brought upon this church its heaviest burdens. They come with false ideas. They seem to expect the church to be faultless and that it will take the responsibility of making Christians of those very children whom they, as parents, are unable to control or keep within bounds. They throw themselves upon the church, a terrible and crushing weight. They might be a help if they would yield their selfishness and strive to honor God and to repair the mistakes they made in their lives. But they do no such thing; they hold themselves aloof, ready to criticize the lack of spirituality in the church, whose greatest calamity is that it numbers among its members too many like themselves—dead weights, persons whose hearts and lives are unconsecrated, and whose course is all wrong. The institutions located at ----- have carried along too many diseased and lifeless bodies for their own prosperity and spiritual vitality. 4T 193.2