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Christian Conduct | Charles E. Orr

Parents’ Duty to Their Children

Most parents believe they love their children, but true Christian love of parents toward children comprises more than many have understood. They may love them in a sense, but the parent that feels provoked toward the little one and threatens to slap it, calling it some ugly name, does not love the child with a Christian love. How many fathers and mothers under provocations are making severe threats to punish their children, at the same time calling them “ugly brats,” “mean kids,” “little imps,” etc. Such parents are not Christians, no matter what may be their profession. They do not comprehend the true nature of Christianity if they believe themselves to be Christians while having such feelings and using such terms toward their children. Christianity is far more beautiful than this.

Parents are commanded to train their children up for God and heaven: “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”* (Ephesians 6:4) They must teach them God’s Word: “Only take heed to thy self, and keep they soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons.”* (Deuteronomy 4:9) “And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”* (Deuteronomy 11:19)

They must tell them of the judgments of God, as given in His Word: “Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.”* (Joel 1:3) Parents are to provide for their children: “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”* (1 Timothy 5:8) Parents who through indolence fail to comfortably clothe and sufficiently feed and give them educational and religious advantages according to the Bible rule, such parents cannot be termed Christians. Parents cannot possibly be Christians and use their money for liquors, snuff and tobacco, and then fail to comfortably clothe and give their children a sufficiency of wholesome food, or fail to give them proper educational and religious advantages.

Now, elders and deacons are commanded to rule their children well and have them in subjection with all gravity (1 Timothy 3:4,12). Elders are an example to the flock; consequently it follows that all Christians must rule their children well and have them in subjection. Parents cannot have the approval of God on them, no matter how much they may pray and how active they may be in the religious life, if they allow their children to disobey them and go in the ways of sin. We have known many parents to pray for the salvation of their children, and all the while were allowing them to attend picnics, shows, parties, dances, etc. Such prayers go unanswered, and such conduct brings the wrath of God upon the parents. For the sake of your soul, and the souls of your children, restrain them from evil ways; prohibit them attending worldly places of amusement, but take them with you to the house of God. Great responsibility is laid upon the parents. They have a child whose eternal destiny depends largely upon the training it receives in youthful days. We would love to write much more on the subject, but must forbear, only adding these words of exhortation to every parent: As you value your and your children’s eternal happiness in the glory of God’s presence, get your soul fully saved and filled with love and the Holy Spirit so you can set a godly example before your children, and then seek help from God to train them up in the ways of righteousness.