Atlantic Union Gleaner


September 6, 1905

Home Influence


The salvation of children depends very much upon the course pursued by the parents. Children must be restrained, and their passions subdued, or God will surely destroy them in the day of his fierce anger; and the parents who have not controlled them will not be blameless. It is because the home training is defective that the youth are so unwilling to submit to proper authority. I am a mother. I know whereof I speak when I say that youth and children are not only safer but happier under wholesome restraint than when following their own inclinations. Parents, your sons and daughters are not properly guarded. They should never be permitted to go and come when they please, without your knowledge and consent. The unbounded freedom granted to children at this age has proved the ruin of thousands. How many are allowed to be in the streets at night; and parents are content to be ignorant of the associates of their children. Should a limb be broken or fractured, parents will try every means that love or wisdom can suggest to restore the afflicted member to soundness. This is right, it is their duty; but the Lord requires that still greater tact, patience, and persevering effort be employed to remedy blemishes of the soul. AUGleaner September 6, 1905, par. 1

Mothers are accountable in a great degree for the health and lives of their children, and should become intelligent in regard to the laws upon which life and health depend. Parents should teach their children by example that health is to be regarded as the chiefest earthly blessing; that all pleasures and indulgences which will interfere with health are to be sacrificed. If the children are taught self-denial and self-control, they will be far happier than if they are allowed to indulge their desires for pleasure and extravagance in dress. AUGleaner September 6, 1905, par. 2

The world may clamor for our time and affections, fashion may invite our patronage, but the words of the apostle should be enough to lead Christian mothers from the indulgence in pride in dress and demoralizing amusements: “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” AUGleaner September 6, 1905, par. 3

Christian mothers should take their position on the platform of truth and righteousness; and when urged to unite with the world in patronizing fashions which are health-destroying and demoralizing, they should answer, “We are doing a great work, and can not be diverted from it. We are seeking to develop in our children sound, worthy, and beautiful characters, that they may bless the world with their influence, and may have immortal beauty and glory in the world to come. If children had such an example from their parents, it would have a saving influence upon their lives. AUGleaner September 6, 1905, par. 4

Children imitate their parents; hence great care should be taken to give them correct morals. Parents who are kind and polite at home, while at the same time they are firm and decided will see the same traits manifested in their children. If they are upright, honest, and honorable, their children will be quite likely to resemble them in these particulars. If they reverence and worship God, their children trained in the same way, will not forget to serve him also. AUGleaner September 6, 1905, par. 5

It is often the case that parents are not careful to surround their children with right influences. In choosing a home, they think more of their worldly interests than of the moral and social atmosphere, and the children form associations that are unfavorable to the development of piety and the formation of right character. Then parents allow the world to engross their time, strength, and thought; an apathy steals over the soul. The children are contaminated by evil communications, and the tenderness of soul they once felt dies away and is forgotten. AUGleaner September 6, 1905, par. 6

Parents who denounce the Canaanites for offering their children to Moloch, what are you doing? You are making a most costly offering to mammon; and then when your children grow up unloved and unlovely in character, when they show decided impiety, and a tendency to infidelity, you blame the faith you profess because it was unable to save them. You are reaping that which you have sown,—the result of your selfish love of the world and neglect of the means of grace. You moved your families into places of temptation, and the ark of God, your glory and defense, you did not consider essential; and the Lord has not worked a miracle to deliver your children from temptation. AUGleaner September 6, 1905, par. 7

You who love God, take Jesus with you wherever you go; and, like the patriarchs of old, erect an altar to the Lord wherever you pitch your tent. If ever there was a time when every house should be a house of prayer, it is now; and yet in this time of fearful peril, some who profess to be Christians have no family altar. I know of nothing that causes me so great sadness as a prayerless home. The children show the result of this great neglect, for the fear of God is not before them. Parents should make a hedge about their children by prayer; they should pray with full faith that God will abide with them, and that holy angels will guard them and their children from Satan's cruel power. AUGleaner September 6, 1905, par. 8

There are homes where these principles are carried out,—homes where God is worshiped, and truest love reigns. From these homes, morning and evening, prayer ascends to God as sweet incense, and his mercies and blessings descend upon the suppliants like the evening dew. AUGleaner September 6, 1905, par. 9

God has promised to give wisdom to those who ask in faith, and he will do just as he said he would. He is pleased with the faith that takes him at his word. Today he is just as ready to listen to the petitions of his people as he ever was. “Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it can not save; neither his ear heavy, that it can not hear.” And if Christian parents seek him earnestly, he will fill their mouths with arguments, and for his name's sake, will work mightily in their behalf in the conversion of their children. AUGleaner September 6, 1905, par. 10

Mrs. E. G. White