“But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?” Job 12:7-9. Mother ducks have been teaching a long time, in fact, about 6000 years according to the Bible record. So let’s analyze some of the principles that have kept ducks around so long.
A careful look at these waterfowls will reveal an education taking place daily between the mother and the ducklings. Wherever she goes, they go. Whatever she does, they do. She keeps them with her all the time. When she is eating, they’re eating. When she’s resting, they’re resting. When she is swimming, they’re swimming. Is this teaching us something about raising our children?
When we look at adults, we are looking at children who were brought into the world by a male and female (parents) who were or should have been guardians of their future influences. In other words, today, adults are the products of what their parents made them through right or wrong training and example.
Parenthood is designed of God to prepare souls for acceptable service both for this life and the life to come. It is the most important work ever committed to mortals. Therefore, “The circle of family and neighborhood duties is the very first field of effort for those who would work for the uplifting of their fellow men. There is no more important field of effort than that committed to the founders and guardians of the home. No work entrusted to human beings involves greater or more far-reaching results than does the work of fathers and mothers.
Parenthood, properly discharge, is not an occupation for the unskilled. It is a task which requires a high level of competence and should not be undertaken by those who are not truly qualified for the work. In fact, if the average person was to realize all that is involved and required, together with the terrible consequences of failure, there would be manifest on that person’s part a marked hesitancy to undertake the awesome responsibility.
On the other hand, when he captures a glimpse of the incredible rewards of success, and the tremendous support, efficiency, and guidance promised by the divine Leader, he will be inspired to undertake the work. There are few if any things more wonderful than having a family of truly consecrated children with sound physical constitutions, powerful intellects, living spiritual experiences, deep, abiding love for God, their parents, and their fellow men, and well-balanced personalities.
“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
“Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” Psalms 127:3-5.
What prospective parents need before they embark on a career in marriage, is a realistic and comprehensive appraisal of what they are about to undertake. This will lead them to devote a much greater proportion of their time to thorough preparation for the task awaiting them. They will then enter upon their responsibilities s husband and wife, father and mother, with an intelligence and dedication worthy of this high calling.
It is a tragedy that anyone who wishes can enter into marriage and parenthood without being required to possess any degree of competence whatsoever. Society is blind to the need for young people to be taught the purpose of marriage, and the skills required to fit them to have and raise children. The result is that the young people undertake responsibilities for which they are unfitted, a sad situation which leads eventually to every kind of family fragmentation.
Rightfully, those who aspire to other important vocations in life such as doctors, architects, civil engineers, airline pilots, and train drives, are required to meet exacting standards of efficiency before they are trusted to occupy these positions. So it should be with those who aspire to the raising of children, an occupation which is immeasurably more important than any other.
Child training begins with parent training. The ideal but non-existent situation would be met if every individual back to the original parents had been born again from the point immediately after conception, and faithfully correctly trained thereafter. Had this been so, the human race would have become truly incredible and the work of God would have been finished long, long ago.
But this is not the case. Therefore, thee is no one in the world today who can claim an ideal set of conditions for his role as a parent. Therefore, all must make the most of the situation in which they find themselves. If they are so blessed that the message on parent training came soon enough for them to understand how to procure the new birth for their children as soon as they we conceived, then let them rejoice for they have about the best advantage possible at the moment. But no one today has generations of forbears behind him who were born again from shortly after their conceptions. In fact, who would even be able to claim an unbroken line of forbears who experienced God’s salvation at any age? Perhaps there were individuals but certainly not an unbroken succession.
Today, many who are already married and have children of various ages, may feel discourage because the message came too late for them to secure their children’s new birth shortly after their conceptions. They will naturally lament the impairment caused by the indwelling presence of sin. They realize that their children will not be able to reach the glorious heights they might have, and they feel forced to be satisfied with less than the best.
Let none however, weep over opportunities lost, but rather rejoice that the light has come before it was too late for everybody. The message is to be applied to children already born, and while there will be added difficulties to overcome, the results will still be superior to those offered by the old system employing force. Every child can now be effectively saved from the indwelling power of the sin-master and initiated into God’s family.
The study of the preparation of the parents and the procedures to be followed by them in the training of their children, will begin with the cases of those who have not yet married, but anticipate that the time will come when they will form such a contract for life. Being at least professed Christians, they wish to have a home in which the children are members of the heavenly family and reflect God’s character of love. They wish to have an unbroken household in the kingdom.
The first principle to be recognized is that they must be in themselves all that they wish their children to be. “If parents desire their children to be right and do right, they must be right themselves in theory and in practice.” Child Guidance, 217. This is a truth which some folk are slow to accept,.
Therefore, before a man and a woman marry, their first step must be to examine their lives to determine whether they do or do not have within themselves the qualities they wish to see in their children. This searching scrutiny must be so thorough that it will reveal for certain whether they are or are not truly born again. If a person is not born again, there is no hope of his being a truly successful parent, for this qualification is absolutely essential. Therefore, the first questions which must be addressed by the prospective parent is : “Am I in fact born again?”
This is where great care must be taken, for so many believe that they have achieved this status when in fact they have not. All prospective parents together with those who already engaged in this occupation, must know that they have passed from death to life. They must be certain that their behavior patterns spring from the presence of a new divine nature within and have not merely been generated by hope and faith unless that one has been truly born again. This qualification is so essential that its need cannot be overstressed. For this reason, Jesus twice said to Nicodemus, “. . . You must be born again.” John 3:7.
The very first work to be done by parents for their children immediately after conception is to introduce them to the new birth. The sooner this is accomplished the better, for every moment lose is time for sin to impair the mind of the unborn. But, parents cannot lead their little ones into any experience they have never had themselves. If they lack the knowledge, the faith, and the will to enter in, they are destitute of the qualities necessary to guide their children in.
Without question, more than sufficient information is given in the Scriptures for all to be able to examine themselves to determine whether or not the new birth has in fact been achieved. If it has not, then the parents or those yet to be parents must make their gaining of this blessing the one all consuming quest of their lives.
Parenting can be summed up in a few categories but with many factors. These factors may appear to some to be simple but they certainly are not inconsequential. Their inclusion or omission means the difference between life and death.
Remember, if you are not born again, it will be impossible for you to bring proper training to your children. Therefore, regard this facility as a prime necessity. Do no even attempt to raise children without it, for you will only experience certain failure.