The Review and Herald

113/1902

October 14, 1875

Duty of Parents to their Children

EGW

One of the signs of the “last days” is the disobedience of children to their parents. 2 Timothy 3:2. And do parents realize their responsibility? Many seem to lose sight of the watch-care they should ever have over their children, and suffer them to indulge in evil passions, and to disobey them. They take but little notice of them until their own feelings are excited, and then punish them in anger. RH October 14, 1875, par. 1

Many parents will have to render an awful account at last for their neglect of their children. They have fostered and cherished their evil tempers by bending to their wishes and will, when the wishes and will of the children should bend to them. They have brought God's frown upon them and their children by these things. Children are left to come up instead of being trained up. The poor little children are thought not to know or understand a correction at ten or twelve months of age, and they begin to show stubbornness very young. Parents suffer them to indulge in evil tempers and passions without subduing or correcting them, and by so doing they cherish and nourish these evil passions until they grow with their growth, and strengthen with their strength. RH October 14, 1875, par. 2

Parents stand in the place of God to their children, and they will have to render an account, whether they have been faithful to the charge committed to their trust. Parents, I fear some of you are rearing children to be cut down by the destroying angel, unless you speedily change your course, and be faithful to them. God cannot cover iniquity even in children. He cannot love unruly children who manifest passion, and he cannot save them in the time of trouble. Will you suffer your children to be lost through your neglect? Unfaithful parents, their blood will be upon you, and is not your salvation doubtful with the blood of your children upon you? children that might have been saved had you filled your place, and done your duty as faithful parents should. RH October 14, 1875, par. 3

God says: “I know Abraham, that he will command his household after him,” and God gave him the honor of being the father of the faithful. It is the duty of parents to have their children in perfect subjection, having all their passions and evil tempers subdued. RH October 14, 1875, par. 4

Parents, correct your children. Commence while they are young, when impressions can be more easily made, and their evil tempers subdued, before they grow with their growth and strengthen with their strength. RH October 14, 1875, par. 5

You should correct your children in love. Do not let them have their own way until you get angry, and then punish them. Such correction only helps on the evil, instead of remedying it. After you have done your duty faithfully to your children, then carry them to God and ask him to help you. Tell him that you have done your part, and then in faith ask him to do his part—that which you cannot do. Ask him to temper their dispositions, to make them mild and gentle by his Holy Spirit. He will hear you pray. Through his word he has enjoined it upon you to correct your children, to “spare not for their crying,” and his word is to be heeded in these things. RH October 14, 1875, par. 6

It certainly must bring God's displeasure upon parents when they leave him to do what he has left and commanded them to do. God corrects us when we disobey, and go astray from him; and parents are bound by the word of God to correct their children when they disobey them, and show evil tempers. Check the very first manifestation of passion. Break the will (but do it with feelings of tenderness, and with discretion), and your children will be far happier for it, and you will be happier. Your effort will be remembered of God, and he that is so particular as to observe the falling of the sparrow; he that noted and commended Abraham's faithfulness, will not pass by your efforts. He that never slumbers nor sleeps will be ready to aid you with his Spirit and grace, and will reward your feeble efforts. RH October 14, 1875, par. 7

Children are the lawful prey of the enemy, because they are not subjects of grace, have not experienced the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus, and the evil angels have access to these children; and some parents are careless and suffer them to work with but little restraint. Parents have a great work to do in this matter, by correcting and subduing their children, and then by bringing them to God and claiming his blessing upon them. By the faithful and untiring efforts of the parents, and the blessing and grace entreated of God upon the children, the power of the evil angels will be broken, a sanctifying influence will be shed upon the children, and the powers of darkness will be compelled to give back. RH October 14, 1875, par. 8

When the destroying angel was to pass through Egypt, to destroy the first-born of man and beast, Israel was commanded to gather their children and families into their houses with them, and then mark their door-posts with blood, that the destroying angel might pass by their dwellings, and if they failed to go through with this process, there was no difference made between them and the Egyptians. RH October 14, 1875, par. 9

The destroying angel is soon to go forth again, not to destroy the first-born alone, but “to slay utterly old and young, both men, women and little children” who have not the mark. Parents, if you wish to save your children, separate them from the world, keep them from the company of wicked children; for if you suffer them to go with wicked children, you cannot prevent them from partaking of their wickedness and being corrupted. It is your solemn duty to watch over your children, to choose their society at all times for them. Teach your children to obey you, then can they more easily obey the commandments of God, and yield to his requirements. Don't let us neglect to pray with, and for, our children. He that said, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not,” will listen to our prayers for them, and the seal or mark, of believing parents will cover their children, if they are trained up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. RH October 14, 1875, par. 10

E. G. White, in Signs of the Times.