Testimony Treasures, vol. 1


Parents United in Discipline

Parents generally put too much confidence in their children; for often when the parents are confiding in them, they are in concealed iniquity. Parents, watch your children with a jealous care. Exhort, reprove, counsel them when you rise up and when you sit down, when you go out and when you come in, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little. Subdue your children when they are young. With many parents this is sadly neglected. They do not take as firm and decided a stand as they should in regard to their children. They suffer them to be like the world, to love dress, and associate with those who hate the truth and whose influence is poisonous. By so doing they encourage in their children a worldly disposition. 1TT 49.1

I saw that 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 labor 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 the children. 1TT 49.2

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. 1TT 49.3

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. 1TT 49.4

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. 1TT 50.1

The only hope of these children, whether they profess religion or not, is to be thoroughly converted. Their whole character must be changed. Thoughtless mother, do you know, as you teach your children, that their whole religious experience is affected by their teaching when young? Subdue them young; teach them to submit to you, and the more readily will they learn to yield obedience to the requirements of God. Encourage in them a truthful, honest disposition. Let them never have occasion to doubt your sincerity and exact truthfulness. 1TT 50.2

I saw that the young profess, but do not enjoy, the saving power of God. They lack religion, lack salvation. And, oh, the idle, unprofitable words they speak! There is a faithful, fearful record kept of them, and mortals will be judged according to the deeds done in the body. Young friends, your deeds and your idle words are written in the book. Your conversation has not been on eternal things, but upon this, that, and the other—common, worldly conversation that Christians should not engage in. It is all written in the book. 1TT 50.3