By S. Leonard Tyler
To be prepared for marriage one must be willing to accept another into his life as a vital and essential part of his life. This must be done upon right principles of truth and love, right purpose of sharing and producing, and right design of peace, good-will, happiness, accomplishment in this life and in the life to come eternal salvation for us and our children and all whom we can influence.
To be prepared for children, we must be willing to (1) give room in our lives for a baby, another human being, a real person. We must accept him as a real human being and extend our love and care. We must accept the responsibility for this person he is not a toy, a play thing, but a real person developing into his own life. Physically superintend the proper foods, exercises and profession for his life. Spiritually and morally superintend his concepts, attitudes, loves, desires and disposition. The proper knowledge and appreciation of right things to want, treasure, love, seek and work for upon the basis of what is right and best for all concerned – unselfish but with purpose of heart – for the good of all must be taught and established in his own heart. He must make the choices you cannot make them for him. Yes, you must give to him the fundamentals, the foundation for life. This is the responsibility of parents. The consequences of your labors and their following must be, of necessity, accepted to your joy or sorrow. The training of your boys and girls results in the life that he lives. This is the fruit of your labors, love and life giving efforts and will produce in this relationship an earthly harvest perhaps, and in my judgment, more than any other field in which you function.
This is the most important place you will ever fill or greatest work that you will ever do. The fruits, as a rule, are produced according to the effort spent while the opportunities are yours – not as a choice but of necessity. Your choice should be to accept this awesome responsibility wisely, use it fully and treasure the opportunity of sharing in giving to another life and purpose in Jesus Christ.
“Where there is life there is hope.” This is just as applicable to spiritual life as it is to physical life. So hang in there with all your knowledge, ability, courage, faith and pray fervently, for you will need all these things and more. But consider the worth of the person(s) you gave birth to or fathered, what shall they be come? Yes, they are worth every ounce of energy, penny of money and extended effort or sacrifice you will ever make. This man or woman, now in the making, and you are a very vital part of his making, will be your greatest treasure upon this earth to your delight or your sorrow. The only profitable time to recognize and come to grips with this fact is now, while this man or woman is in the making, a child today but tomorrow, a full grown adult. This, my brother and sister, is your joy or sorrow or whatever it may be through your effort and its action. But you are responsible to keep the effort going. “Don’t give up the ship,” no, not the ship – but the person. Remember the prodigal of Luke 15:11-32. He came back. We are trying to help people to learn the truth, turn to the Lord, and be saved. Then let us act like it, be like it and keep on acting and being like it. The Lord gives the increase. Let us keep working – the harvest is yet to come. “Your labors are not in vain in the Lord. . . the end is not yet. ” Where there is life, there is hope. But life keeps striving by faith for victory.
Negatively speaking, don’t allow problems to become the building stones but rather allow the solutions to become the building blocks and use them. Easy problems solve immediately, hard ones work hard to solve and impossible ones, it takes a little longer. Be careful how you build for every man’s work shall be tried as by fire.
The Changing Epochs In A Child’s Life
1. Infancy. Dressing, feeding milk to solid food, crawling, walking, talking, and playing with others (but he is the cutest thing ever): understanding, righting, picking-up strange words and actions (where did he hear that?).
2. School Years. Gone from home all day (oh, what shall I do?), visiting their friends in the day, then all night (Did you miss your mother?). They must be taught to act upon their own understanding, thinking and reasoning. (Well, you know that they are the smartest anywhere. They know more about “Star Wars” than the president. They watch TV. I have never seen children advance so rapidly. It just staggers me and his daddy.) This time is coming. Allow them the right and teach the responsibility that goes with the right to make their choices. Conduct your own life so you will be wanted – and then you will be asked to help and give your advice. Keep communication lines open. This is your job and you had better do it.
3. Recognizing The Different Sexes. Make a difference between boys and girls. You must help them understand the real differences and how to accept those differences wisely. Don’t leave it to chance nor the school nor the group with whom they run or associate. We are living in a “progressive,” modern, feministic, atheistic and sex-perverted society. If you leave it to “chance” they will not have a chance, a real opportunity, to understand and appreciate the true value in the difference nor the purpose for marriage and clean moral living. You better teach them. Society is fighting against the difference. The Equal Rights Movement is really not for the rights for women, although some may be ignorant of this fact, notwithstanding it is diabolically opposed to the biblical teachings respecting moral living, especially sex – homosexuality, fornication, adultery and actually “freedom of sex” is basic and vital to their movement. Teach your boys and girls to be clean physically and morally, to live clean up-right lives and maintain respect in all the affairs of life. The Equal Rights Movement is against the God-ordained rights for women and the good of all society. Teach your boys and girls to respect womanhood, honor, protect, love and appreciate the God planned place for woman and man (Gen. 1:27-28; 2:21-25; Eph. 5:22-33; 1 Pet. 3:1-7; 1 Cor. 7:1-5). Fornication, adultery and/or illicit, perverted sexual relationships are just as sinful and damnable as ever in the history of man (Acts 15:20; 21:25; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:13-20; Gal. 5:19; Matt. 5:32; 19:1-9).
Let your boys and girls understand, recognize and respect the gravity of immorality. As Paul wrote (taken from the New King James version), “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body” (1 Cor. 6:18). God gave the freedom of sex to marriage, love and the home. “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Heb. 13:4; see 1 Cor. 7:1-2). Teach them in preparation for marriage; both girls and boys need it.
4. Marriage. Parents should teach their boys and girls (and I mean boys as well as girls) that marriage is ordained of God for the good, pleasure and productivity of man, contentment and happiness of all. Purity must be sustained in marriage, each committing himself to the other (1 Cor. 7:1-5). Teach them their place as well as responsibility to one another. Boys, men need this understanding as well as girls, young ladies. This is a unit of one man and one woman in anticipation of children to follow. It takes both to make a marriage work as God ordains. So teach and so practice. God’s plan will work and is best always.
When They Marry
Parents must teach and practice that when young men and women are married they belong to one another and are to treasure and prefer one another above anybody else on earth. They are one in God’s sight in the marriage relationship. Mother and father must respect and honor their independence. I know, they need your motherly and fatherly advice but allow them the opportunity to make it on their own, if you can. But if they really need you, offer and give your help as advice and not commands or force. Your teaching will now serve them. But again, we say, keep the communication lines open. There is joy in recognizing them as capable to live and establish their own homes. The future looks brighter.
Guardian of Truth XXX: 21, 641, 661
November 6, 1986