First Especially for Parents:
We are facing perilous times. Although we are a small group, it is alarming to see the rate at which the young people are going astray. ‘Where did parents fail? Was it by example or by training? How did parents manage their lives and their homes? Did they walk circumspectly before the Lord in all things? What moral influence did they shed on the young? Were parents guilty of bickering and fighting with each other? Were they agreement with the way their children should be trained or was one pulling against the other? Parents, what was the example you set before the children each day? Were you consistent in requiring obedience in all things and at all times? Were you consistent in your training as well as in your Christian living?
“If parents could be led to trace the results of their action, and could see how by their example and teaching they perpetuate and increase the power of sin or the power of righteousness, a change would certainly be made.”–6T 119:2.
“…By their example and teaching the future of their children is largely decided.
“Happy are the parents whose lives are a true reflection of the divine, so that the promises and commands of God awaken in the child gratitude and reverence; the parents whose tenderness and justice and long-suffering interpret to the child the love and justice and long-suffering of God, and who by teaching the child to love and trust and obey them, are teaching him to love and trust and obey his Father in heaven. Parents who impart to the child such a gift have endowed him with a treasure more precious than the wealth of all the ages, a treasure as enduring as eternity.”–Prophets & Kings, p. 245:1, 2
Especially for the Youth:
It is our prayer that all, but especially the youth, will lay well to heart the following counsels, admonitions, and encouraging thoughts:
“Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” Col. 3:20, 21.
Ninety-nine percent of adults today, even Christian adults, will reply yes to the following question: If you had to live your life over again, would you change it? If their lives were in conformity with the Lord’s will in all things, then of course the answer would not be in the affirmative. The desire for a change shows that the lives of the majority have not been 100% in conformity with the Lord’s will. In many cases there is grief, remorse, sins to be confessed, influences and examples to be reversed, and a life of bitter regrets, even though by faith they claim the promise of 1 John 1:9.
For the youth and those who think they have a long stretch of tomorrow, consider the following: wouldn’t it be better to eliminate these wasted years, giving our lives to the Lord at an early age, and striving to do His will and walk in His ways? Wouldn’t it be better to say, “O God, Thou hast taught me from my youth; and hitherto have I declared Thy wondrous works” (Ps. 71: 17)? Wouldn’t it be better to “remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them” (Eccl. 12:1)? Wouldn’t it be better not to go the prodigal’s way? “The prodigal’s humiliation awaits all the young who do not profit by the counsel of the older …. This is one of the laws of God which no one has ever been able to dodge.”–1TG 1:7:3.
“Youth is the time to lay up knowledge in those lines that can be put into daily practice throughout the life, Youth is the time to establish good habits, to correct wrong ones, to gain and hold the power of self-control, to accustom oneself to ordering all the acts of life with reference to the will of God and the welfare of one’s fellow creatures. Youth is the sowing time that determines the harvest of this life and the life beyond the grave. The habits formed in childhood and youth, the tastes acquired, the self-control gained, are almost certain to determine the future of the man or woman.”–My Life Today, D. 79:1.
“We can no more avoid the consequences of sin and of isolation from God, than could the dreamer avoid death by dodging it. We never know what the day will bring forth, and we cannot afford to isolate ourselves: from God even for a moment. Neither can we say definitely that we will or will not do this, that, or the other.”–1TG 50:26:2.
“We have been put in this world for a purpose…. If we want salvation and blessings we must cooperate with God. This we can do by following the examples of God’s Truth hungering people. To enable us to do this, He has seen to it that both the glories and calamities of both classes have been noted in His Book.
“It is best to learn what God wants you to do and do just that. Life truly is just what we make it–no less and no more, Now is your chance, now you are at the two cross roads. Which win it be for you? The wide or the narrow? Which?”–Id, 50:29, 30.
“0 that every one might realize that he is the arbiter of his o\vn destiny! Your happiness for this life, and for the future, immortal life lies with yourself”–Messages to Young People, p.31:2
“Satan presents many temptations to the youth. He is playing the game of life for their souls,and he leaves no means untried to allure and ruin them. But God does not leave them to fight unaided against the tempter. They have an all-powerful Helper.”–Id. 95:3.
“When sin struggles for the mastery in your soul, and burdens the conscience, when unbelief clouds the mind, go to the Saviour. His grace is sufficient to subdue sin. He will pardon us, making us joyful in God,”–Id, 108:0.
“The pains of duty and the pleasures of sin are the cords with which Satan binds men in his snares.”—5T 53:2
“[God] knows every trial and sorrow of childhood and youth. “–My Life Today, p. 317:3.
“[We] have a deep interest in the youth, and [we] greatly desire to see them striving to perfect Christian characters, seeking by diligent study and earnest prayer to gain the training essential for acceptable service in the cause of God…. The youth have been bought with an infinite price, even the blood of the Son of God.” Messages to Young People, pp. 15:1;
“With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world!”–Id. 196,
“Parents should be aware that when the children reach their teens, they become more or less independent, responsible to themselves. They dance, so to speak, to their own music. How important, then, that they beforehand possess the knowledge essential to carry them safely through those teen years.”–2TG 38:3:3.
” … Parents are duty bound to see that their boys and girls are trained to obey; that they respect their parents, the elders, and everybody in the community; and that they sass no one.
“How old must the children be before they are left on their own to do as they please? As long as the children are in their parents house, they are to be under the control of their parents.” –Id. 38:10, 11.
Let all remember that “children are just what parents make them,”–Id. 38:11:1.
A LETTER TO A TEENAGER
We are your parents, and our love for you will never die, You are growing into adolescence and this presents new challenges for us all.
At times you may feel we are restricting your freedom, but the freedom we desire for you is one which provides a future of hope and choice. You see, in the next few years of life, you will establish life’s disciplines, formalize your education, choose a career, and possibly a lite partner. These require careful consideration.
Sometimes we will say no to you, place restrictions on where you go, and tell you when to be home. We may even want to assist you in selecting the company you keep. This may be difficult for you to accept. However, we ask for your patience. We will stress the importance of honesty, integrity, kindness to others, and, above all, the importance of a strong belief in God.
We ourselves have faults and ask for your forgiveness when we fail you. Parenting a teenager is as new to us as your being a teenager. Still, because we are older, we can view life from both ends and spot the pitfalls that you must avoid.
We love you dearly, and will sacrifice for you even the discomfort of short term friction between us because we want to experience the joy of seeing you happy tomorrow. This happiness comes from a love that is tough, but tender, and gentle enough to help you understand, but strong enough to last a lifetime.
This letter was sent in by Brother Edgeton Beckford (Canada) with these closing lines: “I hope this letter will be of some help to families teens.”
God bless you always in the faith of Jesus.