By Irvin Himmel
Our children are precious. “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that bath his quiver full of them” (Ps. 127:3-5).
Like arrows, children need to be straight. A crooked arrow will not shoot straight. Some parents wait until it is too late to start molding and shaping their sons and daughters. Our children deserve the best training in their tender years. We must not wait until they are too old to bend. Work with them while they are pliable.
An arrow must be accurately aimed. Parents have the obligation of aiming their children toward things noble and virtuous. This requires firm discipline. It cannot be done by pampering and spoiling. Some children in later life are as arrows in the heart of father and mother. This comes as no surprise when those children in their early years were allowed to have their own way.
Some parents want their children to have the best in secular education. They see to it that the children attend school regularly, do their homework, and make good grades. They may assist them with a college education. All of this is fine, but the youngsters deserve something far more important.
Many parents provide the best in material things for their offspring. Their children never lack in good, wholesome, nourishing food, or clothing, or in having a good house in which to live. Teenagers are provided with automobiles, liberal allowances, and many luxuries. There is a danger in giving youth too much prosperity.
Please remember that children deserve to be under the influence of a godly mother and father. If one parent is a Christian and the other is not, the child grows up in a divided household. He sees a conflict in spiritual values. The parent who is a Christian has a doubly difficult task under these circumstances.
Our children deserve to be taught righteousness by example. They deserve to see Christianity in action at home. Parents who quarrel and fight are not setting a good example. Parents who give little attention to the church and its work are training their children to be more interested in other things than in the Lord’s kingdom.
Our children deserve to be brought to Bible study and church services regularly. They deserve parental encouragement and help in preparing Bible lessons. They deserve to have principles of integrity and hard work instilled in their hearts. They deserve to have other spiritually-minded young people invited to their home for association.
Fathers, can your children see that you are making a sincere and on-going effort to “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4)? Mothers, are you teaching your sons and daughters to love the Lord, to love his word, to be obedient to God, and to keep themselves pure? They are depending on their parents. Don’t fail them. Their spiritual welfare should be your chief concern.