The Review and Herald

783/1902

July 16, 1895

A Word to Parents

EGW

As parents who profess to love the Lord Jesus Christ, we should see to it that the spirit of peace is in our households. God commands us to take our children and fashion them after the divine similitude. From their earliest life children should be taught to obey their parents, to respect their word, and to reverence their authority. But many allow Satan to take their children under control, and in their early life the spirit of Satan manifests itself in the little ones in passionate screams or in sullen manners. One child under the control of this evil disposition will disturb the whole household, and banish peace from its borders. Parents should take time to discipline their children. Our most precious time belongs to our own flesh and blood. Never let your child hear you say, “I cannot do anything with you.” As long as we may have access to the throne of God, we as parents should be ashamed to utter any such a word. Cry unto Jesus, and he will help you to bring your little ones to him, and to keep them out of the power of the enemy. If Satan cannot succeed in ruling the fathers and the mothers, he will try with all his power to control the children, and make them rebel against God, and become disturbers of the peace of a family. RH July 16, 1895, par. 1

Parents, you have a solemn responsibility resting upon you. It is your duty to co-operate with Christ in aiding your children to form right characters. Jesus can do nothing without your co-operation. It is not mercy or kindness to permit a child to have its own way, to submit to its rule, and to neglect to correct it on the ground that you love it too well to punish it. What kind of love is it that permits your child to develop traits of character that will make him and every one else miserable? Away with such love! True love will look out for the present and eternal good of the soul. RH July 16, 1895, par. 2

How much corruption we see in the world because parents neglect to do their duty, and sin lies at their door. Satan stands by exulting as you permit your children to pass into his hands. Do not indulge your children in evil ways, but from their very infancy let them see that you love the Lord, and that you mean to train them up as he would have you. Our blessed Saviour taught us to pray, “Our Father, which art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name.” Do we realize what is the meaning of this prayer? Do we realize that we must hallow that name in our families, and that if we allow our children to manifest the attributes of Satan, that name is not hallowed in our households? If we want the holy angels to take charge of our little ones, we must bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and teach them to hallow the name of God. We teach them to say, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” But do you teach them the meaning of this prayer? Do you teach them that the kingdom of God must be seen in your household, and that the will of God must be done by them and you? Do you break the force of this petition by shaking them, by striking them in anger, by speaking harsh words, and by manifesting passion? Do not do this, but be merciful, kind, and tender-hearted. Let the will of the Lord be done in your family, not the will of the enemy. If mild measures will not avail, you must use the rod, you must give your children to understand that God must be honored in your house; but this work is sadly neglected. Do you wonder that God does not walk through the midst of us when we allow Satan to work his way in our households, and when we neglect the solemn obligations that God has placed upon us? Of what avail will be a list of church resolutions, if we have not the Spirit of God in our homes? Christ is watching to see who are training their families for the great family above. Suppose one of your little children whom you have failed to correct, should be taken away in one of its fits of temper, what would be the result? I leave you to answer the question. RH July 16, 1895, par. 3

What are we to do? Let us look carefully, and begin to catch up our dropped stitches. Let us break down the strongholds of the enemy. Let us mercifully correct our loved ones, and keep them from the power of the enemy. Do not be discouraged. Eternal interests are at stake. Do not feel downcast by the rebuke; for the Lord says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” The church needs men of a meek and quiet spirit, who are long-suffering and patient. Let them learn these attributes in dealing with their families. Let parents think a great deal more of their children's eternal interests than they do of their present comfort. Let them look upon their children as younger members of the Lord's family, and train and discipline them in such a way as will lead them to reflect the divine image. RH July 16, 1895, par. 4