Counsels And Warnings To Parents – Part I

“What greater deception can come upon human minds than a confidence that they are right, when they are all wrong! The message of the True Witness finds the people of God in a sad deception, yet honest in that deception. They know not that their condition is deplorable in the sight of God. While those addressed are flattering themselves that they are, in an exalted spiritual condition, the message of the True Witness breaks their security by the startling denunciation of their true condition of spiritual blindness, poverty, and wretchedness. The testimony, so cutting and severe, cannot be a mistake, for it is the True Witness who speaks, and His testimony must be correct.”–“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 3, pp. 252, 253. {3SC3-4: 4.2.3}

Seven years experience in this message has repeatedly proved that Present Truth believers have not yet fully recovered from the “sad deception”; especially is this the case of parents and guardians. They seem utterly unable to look with wise, unbiased, unimpassioned judgment upon the problem of their children, for which they themselves are responsible. Satan seems almost completely to have blinded them with parental sentimentalism, until at last we are duty bound to lift warning voice, lest parents and children together perish in their deception. {3SC3-4: 5.1.1}

A similar state of affairs existed in the days, of Elijah. Church, home and school “had fallen into decay during the years of Israel’s apostasy,” and thus remained until Elijah came and restored them. His work of reestablishing the schools of the prophets, “making provision for young men to gain an education that would lead them to magnify the law of God and make it honorable,” was essentially one of making the institution of the school an agency in restoring and uniting church and home, and reconciling parents and children. {3SC3-4: 5.1.2}

Now, in this day of deepest apostasy, when church, home, and school are in the very death throes of decay, Elijah must again restore as the Scriptures say, “all things.” And, according to type, the restored institution of the schools of the prophets is again to stand as a coordinating influence between church and home, parent and child. {3SC3-4: 5.1.3}

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children’ and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” (Mal. 4:5, 6.) {3SC3-4: 5.1.4}

Hence, as Mt. Carmel Academy is the school of the Elijah message, the prophet of today, it is therefore, that warning voice which is come to awake parents and children out of their “sad deception,” and to educate them away from their natural habits of life, and bring them into obedience to the divine precepts, laws, and statutes, thus turning “the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers,” and saving them from that dreadful day when the Lord shall come and smite the earth with a curse.” {3SC3-4: 5.1.5}

“The work of the parent is solemn and sacred; but many do not realize this because their eyes are blinded by the enemy of all righteousness. Their children are allowed to grow up undisciplined, uncourteous, forward, self-confident, unthankful and unholy, when a firm, decided. even course, in which justice and mercy are blended with patience and self-control, would produce wonderful results.”–“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 5, p. 305. {3SC3-4: 5.1.6}

“If parents could be aroused to a sense of the fearful responsibility which rests upon them in the work of educating their children, more of their time would be devoted to prayer, and less to needless display. They would reflect, and study, and pray earnestly to God for wisdom and divine aid, to so train their children that they may develop characters that God will approve.”–“Fundamentals of Christian Education,” p. 30. {3SC3-4: 5.2.1}

“My soul mourns for the youth who are forming characters in this degenerate age. I tremble for their parents also; for I have been shown that as a general thing they do not understand their obligations to train up their children in the way they should go. Custom and fashion are consulted, and the children soon learn to be swayed by these, and are corrupted; while their indulgent parents are themselves benumbed, and asleep to their danger. But very few of the youth are free from corrupt habits.”–“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 2, p. 348. {3SC3-4: 5.2.2}

“I have been shown that very many of the parents who profess to believe the solemn message for this time, have not trained their children for God. They have not restrained themselves, and have been irritated with any one who attempted to restrain them. They have not by living faith daily bound their children upon the altar of the Lord…. {3SC3-4: 5.2.3}

“Many parents seem to lose reason and judgment in their fondness for their children, and through these indulged, selfish, mismanaged youth, Satan in turn works effectually to ruin the parents…Children are what, their parents make them, by their instruction, discipline, and example.”–“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 5, pp. 36, 37. {3SC3-4: 5.2.4}

“Parents do not see these things. They do not foresee the result of their course. They do not feel that their children need the tenderest culture, the most careful discipline in the divine life. They do not look upon them as being in a peculiar sense the property of Christ, the purchase of his blood, the trophies of his grace, and as such, skillful instruments in God’s hands to be used for the up-building of his kingdom. Satan is ever seeking to wrest these youth from the hand of Christ, and parents do not discern that the great adversary is planting his hellish banners close by their sides. They are so blinded they think it is the banner of Christ.”–“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 5, p. 41. {3SC3-4: 5.2.5}

Abraham “‘will command his household.’ There would be no sinful neglect to restrain the evil propensities of his children, no weak, unwise, indulgent favoritism: no yielding of his conviction of duty to the claims of mistaken affection. Abraham would not only give right instruction, but he would maintain the authority of just and righteous laws. {3SC3-4: 5.2.6}

“How few there are in our day who follow this example! On the part of too many parents there is a blind and selfish sentimentalism, miscalled love, which is manifested in leaving children, with their unformed judgment and undisciplined passions, to the control of their own will. This is the veriest cruelty to the youth, and a great wrong to the world. Parental indulgence causes disorder in families and in society. It confirms in the young the desire to follow inclination, instead of submitting to the divine requirements. Thus they grow up with a heart averse to doing God’s will, and they transmit their irreligious, insubordinate spirit to their children, and children’s children. Like Abraham, parents should command their households after them. Let obedience to parental authority be taught and enforced as the first step in obedience to the authority of God.” {3SC3-4: 6.1.1}

“Not until parents themselves walk in the law of the Lord with perfect hearts, will they be prepared to command their children after them. A reformation in this respect is needed, a reformation which shall be deep and broad. Parents need to reform; ministers need to reform; they need God in their households. If they would see a different state of things, they must bring his word into their families, and must make it their counselor.”–“Patriarchs and Prophets,” pp. 142, 143. {3SC3-4: 6.1.2}

“Weakness in requiring obedience, and false love and sympathy,–the false notion that to indulge and not to restrain is wisdom,–constitute a system of training that grieves angels; but it delights Satan, for it brings hundreds and thousands of children into his ranks. This is why he blinds the eyes of parents, benumbs their sensibilities, and confuses their minds….Oh! When will parents be wise? When will they see and realize the character of their work in neglecting to require obedience and respect according to the instructions of God’s word? {3SC3-4: 6.1.3}

…The utter neglect of training children for God has perpetuated evil, and thrown into the ranks of the enemy many who with judicious care might have been co-laborers with Christ. False ideas and a foolish, misdirected affection have nurtured traits which have made the children unlovely and unhappy, have embittered the lives of the parents, and have extended their baleful influence from generation to generation. Any child that is permitted to have his own way will dishonor God and bring his father and mother to shame. Light has been shining from the word of God and the testimonies of his Spirit, so that none need err in regard to their duty. God requires parents to bring up their children to know Him and to respect His claims; they are to train their little ones, as the younger members of the Lord’s family, to have beautiful characters and lovely tempers, that they may be fitted to shine in the heavenly courts. By neglecting their duty and indulging their children in wrong, parents close to them the gates of the city of God. {3SC3-4: 6.1.4}

“These facts must be pressed home upon parents; they must arouse, and take up their long-neglected work. Parents who profess to love God are not doing his will. Because they do not properly restrain and direct their children, thousands are coming up with deformed characters, with lax morals, and with little education in the practical duties of life. They are left to do as they please with their impulses, their time, and their mental powers. The loss to the cause of God in these neglected talents lies at the door of fathers and mothers; and what excuse will they render to Him whose stewards they are, intrusted with the sacred duty of fitting the souls under their charge to improve all their powers to the glory of their Creator?”–“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 5, pp. 324-326. {3SC3-4: 6.2.1}

Aaron “was priest of his household; yet he had been inclined to pass over the folly of his children. He had neglected his duty to train and educate them to obedience, self-denial, and reverence for parental authority. Through feelings of misplaced indulgence, he failed to mold their characters with high reverence for eternal things. Aaron did not see, any more than many Christian parents now see, that his misplaced love and the indulgence of his children in wrong, was preparing them for the certain displeasure of God, and for his wrath to break forth upon them to their destruction. While Aaron neglected to exercise his authority, the justice of God awakened against them. Aaron had to learn that his gentle remonstrance, without a firm exercise of parental restraint, and his imprudent tenderness toward his sons, were cruelty in the extreme. God took the work of justice into his own hands, and destroyed the sons of Aaron.”–“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 3, p. 295. {3SC3-4: 6.2.2}

“The curse of God will surely rest upon unfaithful parents. Not only are they planting thorns which will wound them here, but they must meet their own unfaithfulness when the Judgment shall sit. Many children will rise up in judgment and condemn their parents for not restraining them, and charge upon them their destruction. The false sympathy and blind love of parents causes them to excuse the faults of their children and pass them by without correction, and their children are lost in consequence and the blood of their souls will rest upon the unfaithful parents.”–“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 1, p. 219. {3SC3-4: 6.2.3}

“Parents, it should be your first concern to obey the call of duty, and enter, heart and soul, into the work God has given you to do. If you fail in everything else, be thorough, be efficient here. If your children come forth from the home training pure and virtuous; if they fill the least and lowest place in God’s great plan of good for the world, your life can never be called a failure, and can never be reviewed with remorse….Even kindness must have its limits. Authority must be sustained by a firm, severity, or it will be received by many with mockery and contempt. The so-called tenderness, the coaxing and the indulgence used towards youth, by parents and guardians, is the worst evil which can come upon them. Firmness, decision, positive requirements, are essential in every family. Parents, take up your neglected responsibilities: educate your children after God’s plan, ‘showing forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.’”–“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 5, pp. 44, 45. {3SC3-4: 7.1.1}

To be Continued.

 

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