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Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
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Author Topic: The Christian Mother  (Read 8537 times)
airIam2worship
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« Reply #60 on: August 19, 2006, 10:35:26 AM »

THE CHRISTIAN MOTHER

by John Abbott, 1833, Worcester, Mass.
Published by the American Tract Society
 

FAULTS and ERRORS

There are many faults in family government, which have been handed down from generation to generation, and have become almost universally diffused. They are so general, and we have been so long accustomed to them, that their glaring impropriety escapes our notice. The increasing interest now felt in the subject of education, by leading parents to read and to think, has taught many to avoid those errors which still very generally prevail. There are many parents who have not facilities for obtaining books upon this subject, and who have not been led to reflect very deeply upon their responsibilities.

Some of these errors are such, that an apology seems almost necessary for cautioning mothers against them, since common sense so plainly condemns them. But let it be remembered, how large a portion of the mothers of our land are, by their situation, deprived of those sources of information and excitements to thought, which God has conferred upon others.

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« Reply #61 on: August 19, 2006, 10:36:39 AM »

1. Do not talk about children in their presence. We are very apt to think that children do not understand what we say to one another, because they are unable to join in the conversation themselves. But a child's comprehension of language is far in advance of his ability to use it. I have been much surprised at the result of experiments upon this subject. A little child creeping upon the floor, and who could not articulate a single word, was requested to carry a piece of paper across the room and put it in a chair. The child perfectly comprehended the direction, and crept across the room, and did as he was bidden. An experiment or two of this kind will satisfy anyone how far a child's mind is in advance of his power to express his ideas. And yet, when a child is three or four years old, parents will relate in their presence shrewd things which they have said and done; sometimes even their acts of disobedience will be mentioned with a smile. The following conversation once passed between a lady and a mother, whose child, three years of age, was standing by her side.
"How is little Charles doing?" said the lady.
"O," replied the mother, with a smile, "he is pretty well, but he is the greatest rogue you ever saw; I can do nothing with him."
"Why?" said the lady; "he does not look like a stubborn child."
"No," the mother replied, "he has not a bad disposition, but," she continued, smiling, "he is so fond of mischief that I can never make him mind me. He knows that he must not touch the andirons, but just before you came in he went and put one of his fingers on the brass, and looked me directly in the face. I told him he must take off his hand; and he put another finger on. I tried to look cross at him; but he, instead of stopping, rubbed his whole hand over the brass, and then ran away, laughing as heartily as he could. He did it, I suppose, on purpose to plague me, he is such a rogue."

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PS 91:2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust
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« Reply #62 on: August 19, 2006, 10:55:44 AM »

We insert this rather undignified story, that the mothers who may read this chapter may know exactly what we mean by the caution we are urging. Now, to say nothing of that maternal unfaithfulness which would permit such acts of disobedience, how ruinous upon the mind of the child must be the effect of hearing his conduct thus spoken of and applauded! This perverse little fellow was more interested in the narration than either mother or visitor, and the impression produced upon his mind was stronger. The child was taught a lesson of disobedience—not soon to be forgotten.

There are many little artifices which a child will practice, which are decidedly to be discountenanced, but at which a parent can scarce refrain from smiling. These proofs of mental quickness and ingenuity are gratifying to parental feelings. They give promise of a mind susceptible of a high degree of cultivation, if properly guided and restrained. And there are playful and affectionate feats of childhood which are pleasing on every account. They show good feelings, as well as an active intellect. Parents will speak to one another of those innumerable little occurrences which are daily gratifying them. But if these things are mentioned in the presence of the child, and applauded, its little heart is puffed up with vanity! How slight a degree of flattery will often awaken emotions of the most disgusting self-conceit, even in individuals of mature minds! How few people are there who can bear praise! Vanity is almost a universal sin! None are so low, and none are so high, as to be freed from its power. And can a child bear, uninjured, that praise which has ruined so many men? Here lies one cause of the self-conceit so often visible in the nursery. We flatter our children without being conscious that they are so greedily drinking in the flattery!

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« Reply #63 on: August 19, 2006, 10:57:26 AM »

A mother will often talk as unguardedly in the presence of her child, who is three or four years of age, as she did in the presence of her infant of so many months. The necessity of caution upon this subject will be obvious to every parent upon a moment's reflection. Let nothing be said in the hearing of a child that would tend to excite its vanity! Guard against the possibility of his supposing that he does and says remarkable things, and is superior to other children.

But though a parent may restrain her own tongue, it is more difficult to restrain the tongues of others. Many visitors make it a constant habit to flatter the children, wherever they go. Regardless of the ruinous effects upon their tender and susceptible minds, they think only of pleasing the parents. Beautiful children are thus peculiarly exposed. How common is it for a child of handsome countenance to be spoiled! This is so frequently the case, that many persons have supposed that "spoiled beauty" are words never to be separated. I once knew a little boy of unusually bright and animated countenance. Every one who entered the house, noticed the child, and spoke of his beauty. One day a gentleman called upon business, and being engaged in conversation, did not pay that attention to the child to which he was accustomed, and which he now began to expect as his due. The 'vain little fellow' made many efforts to attract notice, but not succeeding, he at last placed himself fully in front of the gentleman, and asked, "Why don't you see how beautiful I am?" The feeling, it is true, is not often so openly expressed, but nothing is more common than for it to be excited in precisely this way.

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airIam2worship
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« Reply #64 on: August 19, 2006, 10:58:49 AM »

It is surely a duty to approve children when they do right, and to disapprove when they do wrong. But great caution should be used to preserve a child from hearing anything which will destroy that most lovely trait of character—a humble spirit. It is, on this account, often a misfortune to a child to be unusually handsome or intelligent. It is so difficult to preserve it from the contaminations of flattery, that what might have been a great benefit, becomes a serious injury.

2. Do not make exhibitions of your children's attainments. And here we must refer again to the danger of exciting vanity. There is no passion more universal, or with greater difficulty subdued. An eminent clergyman was once leaving his pulpit, when one of his parishioners addressed him, highly commending the sermon he had just uttered. "Be careful, my friend," said the clergyman, "I carry a tinder-box in my bosom!" And if the bosom of an aged man of piety and of prayer may be thus easily inflamed, must there not be great danger in showing off a child to visitors, who will most certainly flatter its performance? You have taught your daughter some interesting hymns. She is modest and unassuming, and repeats them with much propriety. A friend calls, and you request the child to repeat her hymns. She does it. Thus far there is, perhaps, no injury done. But as soon as she has finished, your friend begins to flatter. Soon another and another friend calls, and the scene is continually repeated, till your daughter feels proud of her performance. She becomes indeed quite an actress. And the hymn which was intended to lead her youthful heart to God, does but fill that heart with sinful pride! Must it not be so? How can a child withstand such strong temptations?

Parents may show their children that they are gratified in witnessing their intellectual attainments. And this presents a motive sufficiently strong to stimulate them to action. But when they are exposed to the indiscriminate and injudicious flattery of whoever may call, it is not for a moment to be supposed that they will retain just views of themselves. It must however be allowed, that, with some children, the danger is much greater than with others. Some need much encouragement—while others need continual restraint. Who has not noticed the thousand arts which a vain child will practice, simply to attract attention? Who has not seen such a spoiled child take a book and read, occasionally casting a furtive glance from the page to the visitor, to see if the studious habit is observed? And can such a child be safely exhibited to strangers? It may, perhaps, at times, be an advantage to a modest child to repeat a hymn, or something of that nature, to a judicious friend.

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PS 91:2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust
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« Reply #65 on: August 19, 2006, 12:15:30 PM »

Sister these are some beautiful devotions with some wonderful words of God's wisdom. Much of it applies to an earthly father as well. Thank you sister for posting them.

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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
airIam2worship
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« Reply #66 on: August 19, 2006, 04:46:01 PM »

Sister these are some beautiful devotions with some wonderful words of God's wisdom. Much of it applies to an earthly father as well. Thank you sister for posting them.



Thank you PR, I though maybe if we had a parents section we could put it there, but I figured most brothers would take a peek too.
I wish I had this kind of wisdom when I was raising my children.
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PS 91:2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust
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