One great need of the world today is home religion. Parents stand in the place of God to their children during the tender years of childhood. They are to mold and fashion their characters after the divine pattern. In the highest sense of the term, Christian parents are to be educators. The home can be made a place where God’s Spirit loves to dwell; and every Christian who labors to this end is striving to place the religion of Christ on the highest basis.
The parents who are channels of light in the home are acknowledged by all heaven as faithful stewards of the manifold grace of God. They are teachers, educating their children in lines that make them considerate and compassionate. They know that as Christ’s representatives they are dealing with human minds to teach the beauty of holiness, and to communicate the knowledge and wisdom of God. Such parents take their children with them in the heavenward way.
Jesus loves little children. He gave His life for their salvation. While He was ministering on earth, one mother desired to bring her child to Him for His blessing. But the Saviour was not near her, and it seemed too great an undertaking to go to Him. But Jesus came nearer and still nearer, until He was near enough for her to reach Him. Then she started on her journey, and on the way another mother joined her with her children, and afterwards still others, until several mothers with their little ones were in the company that came to the disciples and made known their request.
Thinking to do Christ a favor, His disciples sent the mothers away. But when Jesus saw them going away disappointed, He rebuked His disciples, saying, “Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
Christ saw those children leaving their homes. He saw the little company coming along the dusty road, increasing in number as they journeyed. And when the children came to Him, He took them in His arms and blessed them. Some of the weary little ones fell asleep in His arms, resting their heads upon His bosom.
The burdened mothers were comforted. They returned with light hearts, strengthened and blessed, carrying with them the Saviour’s blessing, which ever afterward they cherished in their humble homes.
Let us pray for the blessing of Christ’s abiding presence in our homes. Let us take time to teach our children lessons of faith and trust in Him. We may think that by so doing we are neglecting our business, but are we? We never lose by taking time to seek God for His blessing. Those who receive His blessing receive the vivifying power of His Spirit, which revives their health and strengthens them for their work.
Christ has committed to parents the sacred work of teaching His commandments to their children. In order to be fitted for this work, they themselves must live in obedience to all His precepts. They must watch their actions, and guard carefully their words. Every wrong habit must be overcome, and a complete surrender to God be made. For wisdom for this work, let parents go to Christ. He will willingly supply them with His divine sympathy, His free grace. He who for thirty years was a faithful son, working at the carpenter’s bench in order to do His part in bearing the burdens of the family firm, will give His followers strength to do their part in sharing the burdens of the home life.
Parents, you know the way; your children, young and inexperienced, do not. They are helpless and ignorant. They need wise, careful, loving guidance, that their feet may not stray into forbidden paths. Remember that you are molding their characters for eternity. Patiently train them to habits of neatness, usefulness, and purity. By your example show them the charm of becoming behavior. Do not become weary in your labor of love. The angel of mercy pauses not in his efforts till the last sinner has heard the message of mercy. Patiently, untiringly, work for your little ones. Think of how young they are, how much they have to learn! Deal with them gently and lovingly. By the cords of unselfish love bind them to yourself and to Christ.
Too often parents give to the world the time and attention that belong to their children. If they would realize the responsibilities resting upon them if they would do all in their power for their children, God would work with them. The Lord will not do the work that He has given parents to do; but He will be their helper, cooperating with every sincere, unselfish effort they make.
God is high and lifted up, but the voice of prayer will reach His throne. The prayers of Christian mothers are regarded by the Father of all. He will not turn away your petitions, and leave you and yours to the buffetings of Satan in the day of conflict. It is for you to work with simplicity and faithfulness, and God will establish the work of your hands.
May the Lord impress fathers and mothers with the sacredness of their responsibilities. As you unite with the Lord in bringing up your children in His fear, you are preparing for — I was about to say higher responsibilities, but I can not. There is no higher responsibility than the training of children. Study how to train your children so that they will develop into well-balanced, symmetrical men and women, useful to their fellow men, and prepared to shine in the courts of the Lord.1The Signs of the Times, March 3, 1909
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|1.||↑||The Signs of the Times, March 3, 1909|