The Signs of the Times


June 6, 1878

Parents as Counselors


Parents should encourage their children to confide in them and unburden to them their heart griefs, their daily little annoyances and trials. If they do this, the parents can learn to sympathize with their children, and pray for them and with them, that God would shield and guide them. They should point them to their never-failing Friend and Counselor, who will be touched with the feelings of their infirmities. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. ST June 6, 1878, par. 1

Satan tempts children to be reserved to their parents, and choose their young and inexperienced companions as their confidants; such as cannot help them, or give them good advice. They indulge in unprofitable conversation upon the acts and doings of others, which wither noble, devotional thoughts and feelings, and drive good and holy desires from the heart, and leave it cold and destitute of true love for God. ST June 6, 1878, par. 2

Children would be saved from many evils if they would be more familiar with their parents. Parents should encourage in their children a disposition to be open and frank with them, to come to them with their difficulties, and when they are perplexed as to what course is right, to lay the matter just as they view it before their parents, and ask advice of them. Who are so well calculated to see and point out their dangers as godly parents? Who can understand the peculiar temperaments of their children as well as they? The mother who has watched every turn of the mind from infancy, and is acquainted with the natural disposition, is best prepared to counsel her children. Who can tell as well what traits of character to check and restrain, as the mother, aided by the father? ST June 6, 1878, par. 3

Children who are Christians will prefer the love and approbation of their God-fearing parents above every earthly blessing. They will love and honor their parents. This should be one of the principal studies of their lives, How can I make my parents happy? Children who have not been disciplined and received right instruction, 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 that 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, and they will be helpless, leaning upon others for aid, expecting others to favor them and yield to them. And if they are opposed, even after 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. Much sin results from idleness. Active hands and minds do not find time to heed every temptation the enemy suggests; but idle hands and brains are all ready for Satan to control, and parents should teach their children that idleness is sin. ST June 6, 1878, par. 4

Many parents think that if they gratify the wishes of their children, and let them follow their own inclinations, they will gain their love. What a mistaken idea! What an error! Children thus disciplined, grow up unrestrained in their desires, unyielding in their dispositions, selfish, exacting, and overbearing, and are a curse to themselves and everybody around them. Parents, to a great extent, hold the future happiness of their children in their own hands. Upon them rests the important work of forming their children's character. The instructions they give them in childhood will follow them all through their lives. Parents can sow the seed which will spring up and bear fruit either for good or evil. ST June 6, 1878, par. 5

E. G. W.