Raising children to live right is a hard job in an evil world. It always has been. There are times when this training is more difficult because good people are so few and godly, conscientious parents have little support. For instance, honesty and hard work were stressed a few generations ago by most people. When parents taught these virtues at home, children would see and hear the same standards in neighbors’ homes, at school, among relatives, and in the community as a whole. Others outside a family backed up the moral teaching and biblical discipline parents gave their children.
Parents need this support, but we all know it is gone. An article by G. C. Brewer in the Gospel Advocate of April 20, 1939 shows that this problem is not new. Here is a section of it that is well worth our time:
“Another thing that presents a difficulty for the young people of our time is the chaotic confusion that exists today. There is no universally-accepted standard in anything. Of course the Christian standard is the same that it has always been—the life and character of Christ and the teaching that is given in the New Testament. But, the world is small today, and the nations are brought close together and peoples that live on opposite sides of the globe are in direct and constant communication. The Christians of earth are in the decided minority. If we grant that all who profess to follow Christ are genuine Christians we would still be a small minority. Of the nearly two billion of people on the earth today, only a very few million of them even profess to follow Christ. The Christians also are not today in a position to mold the sentiment that prevails. We live side by side with Jews and pagans, and they through the press and the picture shows have more to do with molding sentiment and creating conditions than we have. They set the customs, and we either have to follow or separate ourselves from many of our associates and be found in the small and unpopular group. This condition, of course, prevailed in the beginning of Christianity, and it has prevailed at other times in the history of Christianity; but this is a new condition in our country. Our parents and our grandparents did not know this condition, and, therefore, did not have this problem. In their day the people of their communities were in agreement as to what is moral and what is immoral. They may have differed in their creeds and they may have debated denominational doctrines, but they still stood together on moral issues. The authority of the home was recognized, and things that were immoral were forbidden in the homes of all first-class citizens. Parents could permit their children to go away from home with the understanding that the parents of another child would exercise oversight and control over the visiting one as much as over their own children. Thus parents helped each other, and young people were safeguarded, chaperoned, and instructed on all sides. Today your child may visit the home of your brother in the church, and there be encouraged to partake of things that you have taught him are wrong; for even members of the body of Christ are not in agreement today in reference to such things as dancing, card playing, and even drinking. If this does not confuse young people and lead them to disregard what anybody tells them and find out for themselves what is right and wrong, then what sort of condition would put young people in that position? Because of these things, our sympathy goes out to the young people of our times, and our hearts’ desire and prayer to God is that we may be of some service to them in solving their problems.”