Samuel Miller, in his discourses on the guilt, folly, and sources of suicide (a booklet we hope to reprint soon, Lord willing), has a marvelous paragraph about parenting. May the Lord enable every Christian parent to take these words to heart and live them out to some degree:
Parents! You see the numerous dangers to which the traveler through this vale of tears is exposed. How should your solicitude be excited, your zeal be roused, and all the tender anxieties of parental affection be called into exercise, in behalf of your Offspring, who are entering on the journey of life, and about to encounter all its perils! You are the guardians of their health and lives, you form their morals, you direct their pursuits, you are the depositories of their happiness in this world, and, in a degree, in that which is to come. With what unceasing care, then, should you imbue their minds with correct principles! With what sacred fidelity should you put them on their guard against the licentious opinions of the age, against the contagion of evil company, and against the destructive habits of intemperance and sloth! With what devout tenderness should you exhort them, warn them, pray over them, and endeavor to win them, both by precept and example, to the love and fear, as well as to the knowledge of God! O Parents! were these things duly considered, what a revolution should we witness in your mode of treating your children! We should see you more attentive to domestic instruction and discipline, than to the frivolities of a fashionable education. We should see you embracing every opportunity to inculcate on their minds, that virtue is superior to wealth; that holiness is a distinction infinitely more valuable than the magnificence and honors of this world. We should see you, in a word, making their moral and religious culture your chief concern, and studying daily to impress upon their hearts the conviction that, to fear God, and keep his commandments, is the whole duty and happiness of man.