Of course, there never has been an age in which children did not more or less disregard the commands of their parents. But we doubt if there ever was a period when, in Christian communities, parental authority was set aside to the extent that it is at present. In many homes, the children bear rule. They wield the scepter with so strong a hand as to rob their parents of domestic peace and of religious privileges. Sons and daughters make slaves of their own fathers and mothers.
The very foundation of a true Christian character is submission to God. Where this is wanting, whatever the creed or church, whatever the religion may do in the way of promoting refinement and worldly prosperity, it does not save the soul.
In the name of patriotism and of Christianity, we call upon you who are parents to train up your children to obey you. As you love them, as you love your own soul, insist upon their obedience. Make no compromise here.
Let your commands be always proper, but secure obedience not because they are reasonable but because they are your commands. Teach them from the very start to submit to proper authority. If you let your boy run over you when he is young, he will do it when he is older.
You can depend upon the Word of God: “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. … Correct thy son and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul” (Proverbs 29:15, 17 KJV).
This article is condensed from an editorial in the January 1880 issue of The Earnest Christian. Go to fmchr.ch/ecparental to download the entire issue.