How to Train and Save Your Children – By Elmer & Julia Shelhamer

Chapter 8

Why Your Child Is Not Saved

Though otherwise a temperance man, his father kept cider in the cellar, which gave the little fellow a thirst for something stronger.

He was faithful warned against the evils of tobacco, but, somehow, father’s old pipe used to say, “It can’t be so bad, or father wouldn’t use it.”

His mother used wine to season mince pies, gave him whisky and sugar for colds, and patent medicine containing alcohol when sick. Then she wondered why HER boy had such a craving for strong drink! They were always praying that he should become a Christian, but forgot that his salvation largely depended upon the confidence he had in the minister, whose failings were frequently mentioned around the table or fireside.

He was allowed to play with the neighbor boys, to remain on the streets after dark, where he learned coarse jokes and love-songs, and was sent to school in the morning before family prayers, but his parents only said, ” We can’t force John; in God’s own time he will be saved.”

They decided to give him the privilege of deciding for himself what was right, instead of following their dictates, and he did decide – when it was too late to save him. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

Her mother let her go half dressed when young, then expected her to choose modest apparel when older.

Continued stories in Sunday School papers and magazines gave her a desire for fiction, instead of a taste for deep, logical, mind-stretching literature.

The parents, though shouting happy at church, did not carry that same holy serenity every day; thus their spirits did not get the children under conviction.

She was so much appreciated that she was spoiled; and not being accustomed to yielding her will to her mother, she found it difficult when older too yield to Christ.

The parents did not live so that the parental influence would help the children to overcome sin and resist temptation; and because of false modesty, they were not early warned against secret vices, hence became an early prey to their evils.

At home, little differences of opinion arose, at which times the parents became heated in their discussion in the presence of the children, who decided that if that was religion, they did not need any.

Her parents tried to keep her pure, but did not like to cross her wishes regarding her company, not realizing the beaux, however religious, are not beneficial to the young, and that all thoughts of such things should be kept out of the mind until the proper age.

Another hindrance was the admission into the home of secular music. Though a musical education is good, yet there is always danger when marches, waltzes and quicksteps are used, even for practice, for one rarely ever discontinues their use after once having started.

The parents were very religious; but on weekdays, as they sat by the fireside, the conversation was mostly on money-making and business, and the children’s minds were educated to believe that, after all, the main thing was to get out of debt and make money; hence they grew up miserly and worldly-minded.

The salvation of the children was not uppermost in the parents’ minds. They were satisfied to offer up short prayers for them at family worship, without spending hours alone before God for their salvation.

Reader, if guilty on any of these lines, humbly confess it to your children and to God, asking Him to undo all that you in ignorance or otherwise have done toward marring His plans for the salvation of you and your household. — J.A..S.