The Importance of Mothers
Another thing. It seems to me that we devote too little time to studying the Sunday-school lesson. That lesson should be taken up by parents, and they should try to explain it to their children. But how many ever think of this? How many parents ever take the trouble to inquire even as to the kind of Sunday-school teachers who instruct their children? And then we should take our children into the churches with us. It seems to me we are retrograding at the present day. A great many of our children are never seen in the churches at all. Even if the sermon doesn’t touch them, they are getting into good habits.
Encourage them to bring the text home; let the Word be spoken to them at all times, in season and out of season. If the great Bible truths sink down into their hearts, the fruit will be precious; wisdom will blossom upon them, and they will become useful in the Church, and in the world. Now, how many parents will not take the trouble to explain to the children what the minister preaches. Take your children into the pews, and let them hear the Word of God; and if they do not understand it, show it to them. You know the meat they require is the same as we feed on; but if the pieces are too large for them, we must cut it up for them—cut it finer. If the sermon is a hard one, out it into thin slices, so that they can take it.
There was a time when our little boy did not like to go to church, and would get up in the morning and say to his mother, “What day is to-morrow?” “Tuesday.” “Next day?” “Wednesday.” “Next day?” “Thursday;” and so on, till he came to the answer, “Sunday.” “Dear me,” he would moan. I said to his mother: “We cannot have our boy grow up to hate Sunday in that way; that will never do.” That is the way I used to feel, when I was a boy. I used to look upon Sunday with a certain amount of dread. Very few kind words were associated with that day. I don’t know that the minister ever said a kind thing, or ever even put his hand on my head. I don’t know that the minister even noticed me, unless it was when I was asleep in the gallery, and he woke me up. This kind of thing won’t do. We must make the Sunday the most attractive day of the week; not a day to be dreaded, but a day of pleasure.
Well, the mother took the work up with this boy. Bless those mothers in their work with the children. Sometimes I feel as if I would rather be the mother of John Wesley, or Martin Luther, or John Knox, than have all the glories in the world. Those mothers, who are faithful with the children God has given them, will not go unrewarded. My wife went to work and took those Bible stories, and put those blessed truths in a light that the child could comprehend, and soon the feeling of dread for the Sabbath with the boy was the other way. “What day is to-morrow?” he would ask. “Sunday.” “I am so glad.” And if we make these Bible truths interesting—break them up, in some shape, so that these children can get at them, then they will begin to enjoy them.
Now, there’s no influence like a mother’s; and if the mothers will give a little time to the children in this way, and read them some Bible story, or tell them it in a simple way, it will not be long before the child knows the Bible, from beginning to end. I know a little boy, eleven years of age, who got up last Monday in the meeting, and told how he found Christ. His father began by telling him Bible stories, and now he knows them as well as I do. The little fellow of eleven years is quite a preacher. Let us pick out the stories that will interest them, from Genesis to Revelation, and that is the way to bring our children to Christ. It will fill them with the gospel—fill them with Christ. They will soon be so full of Jesus that, when a skeptic comes to unseat their faith, he will find no room for unbelief.
~ This is from “On Saving Children” in The Gospel Awakening