The Mother's Place in Child Rearing
Good News Magazine
June 1967
Volume: Vol XVI, No. 6
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The Mother's Place in Child Rearing

Many mothers do not realize the importance of their vital work. Neglect results in disaster. Every woman needs to know how important her duties in the home are.

   "BUT MOMMY, why can't I stay with you today?" pleaded a small boy.
   "Oh, Darling, Mother wishes she could stay with you but she simply has to go to work. Mother has an important job to do. She'll see you when she comes home. Be a good boy at the nursery."
   The above scene is typical in many homes today in the United States. "Important job"? She's a secretary.
   Every major city in America has dozens of day nurseries for just such women. Inviting ads fill the yellow pages. One such ad says, "We limit our capacity to provide the children of professional women with more personal attention."
   Today's society in America, Britain, Australia, and South Africa contains many career women. The term "professional" seems glamorous to women. Somehow they fed a career outside the home is very important. So they farm out their children to day nurseries while they pursue their careers.
   Samuel G. Kling, a divorce lawyer, says woman's "emancipation" is a major reason why many marriages fail.
   "Today the very word 'housewife' is an apology. Not to have a career is considered unglamorous and unattractive. There are books by the thousands telling her how unfulfilled she is. No wonder modern women quail at the thought of just being a wife!
   "Before women were emancipated they settled more or less happily for being wives and mothers. It was their destiny, and in most cases they accepted it. Not always, of course, and not always happily. But in any case they know that this was their career. A girl didn't have to waver all through high school trying to decide for which career to train. She had a definite and tremendously important place in society which satisfied her ego and gave her most of the fulfillment she needed" (THIS WEEK magazine, November 20, 1966, emphasis mine).

Recapture True Values

   Some women in God's Church find being a mother and homemaker a boring task. They fail to realize the monumental importance God lays on that job. They look with envy at other women "going out to work."
   God's Word admonishes women "to be discreet, chaste, KEEPERS AT HOME, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed" (Titus 2:5).
   We need to recapture true values. This is the motto of Ambassador College and it should also be the motto for all God's people.
   Women in God's Church need to realize how important their God-given occupation is. If, they realized the tremendous, awesome job God lays before them a job far superior to the greatest "career women" they would have renewed zeal for the greatest career in the world.
   Many mothers feel their part in child rearing is not very important. They realize that God has made the man head of the home. They know the man is primarily responsible for child rearing activities in his home. Often they feel there is little or nothing for them to do.
   But God lays the child rearing equally upon both parents. God's Word shows that both parents must work together for proper child rearing. And in its proper place a woman's part is equally as important as the man's. However, God has placed the authority in the home with the man.
   God's law shows the obligation of both parents in child rearing. "If a man hath a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him and bring him out unto the elders of the city and unto the gate of his place, and they >hall say unto the elders of his city, This o w son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and drunkard" (Deut. 21:18-20).
   Both parents are responsible! Both parents teach, chasten, instruct! A mother's voice must be heard in child rearing.

One-sided Authority

   Samuel was a prophet of God and a judge in Israel. God worked with him from the time he was a young boy. He knew God's ways thoroughly. He was a dedicated, consecrated man of integrity and character.
   "And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, Gilgal and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places" (I Samuel 7:15-16). Samuel was a busy man. He spent much of his time on the road in circuit to these cities. Under God he was the highest authority in Israel and many cases of judgment came to him. Thus he had to be away from home much of the time in the service of God.
   "And his return was to Ramah; for there was his house; and there he judged Israel; and there he built an altar unto the Eternal" (verse 17). Even in his home town he was busy judging Israel.
   He was very busy in the work of God and regretfully had to be away from home a considerable amount of the time.
   "And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel. Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second Abiah: they were judges in Beer-sheba" (I Samuel 8:1-2).
   Why did Samuel appoint them judges? He thought they were respectable, honest young men. He wouldn't have appointed them judges if he didn't feel they were men of integrity. But don't forget, Samuel was not home all the time.
   Being a man of God, Samuel evidently carried out God's instructions m child rearing. He laid down definite rules in his home. His children must have obeyed those rules when he was there. For Samuel thought they were obedient and respectable young men. He felt they were qualified to be judges. Why? Because they obeyed when he was there.
   But were they qualified? Did they have right character? "And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment" (verse 3).
   Notice it! His sons did not walk in his ways. They did not respect their father, his job or his teachings.
   In Proverbs 22:6 God gives a definite promise: "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." But Samuel's children departed from it. Didn't Samuel train them in the right way? What was wrong with his children?
   The answer lies between the lines. Remember Samuel thought his children had right character. But he was deceived. Why?
   The answer: his wife probably did not uphold her duties in child rearing. She neglected her responsibilities. She did not carry through with her part in child rearing.

The Result

   A look into Samuel's home would probably find these situations: Samuel laid down proper guidelines and rules for child rearing. When he was home they were enforced. His sons knew they had to behave, act mannerly, and be respectful around him. He was a good disciplinarian. So the children were "good" in his presence. But what happened when he left?
   When Samuel was gone, evidently his wife allowed the children to disobey the rules laid down. She did not continue proper teaching and enforce it with discipline.
   What happens when one parent disciplines while the other is lax and negligent?
   It depends a great deal on which parent has the greater influence on the child. If the slothful parent spends more time with and is more influential to the child, then the effects could be disastrous. But if the lax one is seldom around exercises little or no influence either through word or example the effects will not be great.
   But when both parents have equal influence over and about the same amount of time with the children, then proper discipline and teaching by both is vital. For if the child is properly disciplined by one and allowed to disobey by the other, he soon learns to become a hypocrite. That is, he learns he can get away with certain things, let's say, in front of his mother; but he must not try it in front of his father. He soon learns to put on an act for the right parent. But true character is not ingrained in him.
   In this case, it takes the diligent discipline and teaching by both parents. Undoubtedly Samuel's wife let down. The children obeyed only when Samuel was around. But they really did not believe his ways. They did not have true character. Thus, when on their own their hypocrisy was exposed. They did not walk uprightly but took bribes, perverted judgment. They were mendacious men.
   True character is attained when a child is sincere. He is sincere when he really believes the God-given principles taught him. And he cannot really believe them unless both parents teach and enforce the Same things diligently OR unless the parent most influential over the child exercises proper love and authority in the form of discipline and teaching.
   But, let us emphasize again, God holds the man responsible. And although it is not for us to judge Samuel, it is quite possible that God expected him to know more about what was going on in his home. No matter how busy, men are not excused from their responsibility in the home. All men should take heed and not leave the job of rearing children completely in the hands of their wives. Remember God holds you men responsible.
   But read on. Widows, wives with unconverted mates, widowers, and men with unconverted wives will find encouragement in what one righteous parent can do for his children.

What a Paradox!

   Anyone reading the account of the kings of Judah will be amazed at the differences between father and son. Why is it that the son of a righteous king often turned out to be evil? For instance: After the death of Uzziah, his son, Jotham, reigned in his place. Jotham did what was right in God's sight. "His mother's name was Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok" (II Chron. 27:1).
   However, when Jotham died, his son, Ahaz, reigned in his place. Here is a paradox! Ahaz did not follow his father's example. "For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim. Moreover he burned incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the Eternal had cast out before the children of Israel. He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree" (II Chron. 28:2-4).
   Why did Ahaz turn out wrong? His father did right in God's sight. Why didn't be?
   Here is a clue. The mother of Ahaz is not mentioned.
   After the death of Ahaz his son, Hezekiah, reigned in his stead. "Hezekiah began to reign when he was five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem. AND HIS MOTHER'S NAME WAS ABIJAH, THE DAUGHTER OF ZECHARIAH (II Chron. 29:1).
   Notice it! Hezekiah's mother is mentioned by name. Why? Read verse two!
   "And he did that which was right in the sight of the Eternal, according to all that David his father had done."
   Hezekiah's father had done evil in God's sight. Why did Hezekiah turn to God's ways? The answer is very obvious! HIS MOTHER TAUGHT HIM!
   Hezekiah turned out to be one of the most righteous kings Judah ever had. He set about to cleanse the temple, destroy idolatrous altars, and reinstitute the keeping of God's holy days. His faith preserved the nation of Judah in the face of ominous threats from the powerful Assyrian army. So outstanding was this king that God spared his life by a miracle and added to it fifteen years. See II Kings 20.

From Best to Worst

   With the death of Hezekiah, Manasseh, his son, succeeded him to the throne of Judah. "Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hephzibah" (II Kings 21:1).
   Since Manasseh was under age his mother gave him much counsel, advice, and teaching. So did top aides and officials in Judah. But his mother was largely responsible for his rearing since his father was dead. In Manasseh's twelve years of life his father set him a marvelous example. Surely he heard of the success and greatness his father attained. Surely he heard of the miracle God performed on his father's body the extended life given LU his father.
   But what went wrong?
   Manasseh became the worst king Judah ever had. "And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Eternal, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the Eternal cast out before the children of Israel.
   "For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.
   "And he built altars in the house of the Eternal, of which the Eternal said, In Jerusalem will I put my name. And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Eternal.
   "And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the Eternal, to provoke Him to anger.
   "And he set a graven image of the grove [Asherah Easter sex symbol] that he had made in the house of which the Eternal said to David, and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all tribes of Israel will I put my name forever" (II Kings 21:2-7).
   This wicked man destroyed everything his father lived for! He nullified all his father's works. He rebuilt the altars his father hated and destroyed. He led the nation of Judah into more sin and evil than any king they ever had. "And Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom the Eternal destroyed before the children of Israel" (II Kings 21:9>.
   He had no respect for his father. He disobeyed God at every turn. For fifty-five years the people of Judah were led into vile pagan practices. The worship of God and His true religion were buried under a rubbish heap of sex symbols and Baal worship.
   "Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the Eternal" (II Kings 21:16).
   He was a violent man, a pagan perverter of justice, lustful and intemperate!
   How could he go so wrong having a righteous father like Hezekiah? Again, the answer is obvious! He was twelve years old when he began to reign. His mother was chiefly responsible for his rearing. His mother's name is mentioned in the scriptures hut in ignominy! For she was responsible for rearing the worst king Judah ever had!
   After Manasseh's death his son Amon reigned. He continued in the way of his father, Manasseh. So evil and vile was he that his servants killed him in his own house. See II Kings 21:23.

Importance of Right Teaching

   After Amon was killed his young son, Josiah began to reign. "Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath" (II Kings 22:1).
   An eight-year-old boy is not ready to be a king. He needs help. He needs training, counselling, tutoring. Along with top officials, aides, and teachers his mother was responsible for his success or failure as a king. In Josiah's case it was an overwhelming success!
   "And he did that which was right in the sight of the Eternal, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left" (verse 2).
   Under Josiah great reforms were made in Judah. He broke down the pagan altars and high places, rebuilt God's temple, reinstituted God's holy days. He abolished all forms of pagan idolatry and set Judah on the track of God's truth again.
   It was during Josiah's reign that a book of the law was found in the house of God. When he heard it Josiah tore his clothes and began to weep. See II Kings 22:19.
   Why was Josiah's heart tender before God? His father and grandfather were wicked kings. They had destroyed the religion of God from Judah. Very few people knew what the book of the law was only hearing of it.
   Josiah's mother was greatly responsible for his success as a king. She taught him to look to God, to seek Him with all his heart. She taught her son about the laws of God and about the book of the law.
   Josiah tore his clothes and wept because his mother taught him respectful reverence for God and His commandments. When Josiah heard the word of God he was emotionally moved.

Many Hours a Day

   Prior to school a child spends many hundreds of hours under the direct supervision of his mother. In infancy much of his time is spent in his mother's arms. She talks to, coos, and cuddles him.
   As the child grows older he is with his mother every day while his father is at work. His mother has a tremendous influence on him. She teaches him proper habits, cleanliness, discipline. More than anyone else at that tender age her supervision over him is of utmost importance. She sets the stage for future habits in his life.
   Properly carried out her discipline can help ready her child for years to come. Wrong rearing makes it twice as hard for the child later on.
   Children will either love and respect their mother and her authority or will come to relegate it to insignificance or worse yet, despise it.
   Josiah's example shows the good influence of a mother over her son. King Manasseh was the product of lark of discipline wrong influence.
   Mothers in God's Church, what influence are you having over your children? Are you cooperating with your husband in a sound program of child rearing using the booklet based on God's Word The Plain Truth About Child Rearing?
   The example of Josiah should give hope to widows and widowers alike. With diligence, perseverance and prayerful guidance one parent can do a commendable job with his children.
   Don't assume your children will follow God's ways automatically. Don't assume your children have been taught properly. Check up! Ask yourself. "Have 1 taught my children: (1) to come when called? (2) to sit still? (3) to answer respectfully? (4) to speak when spoken to? (5) to obey me immediately in everything? (6) to respect their elders no matter who they are? (7) the meaning of the word 'no'?"
   Are you teaching your school-age children the Ten Commandments, tithing, honest work?
   God's Word says, "The rod and reproof give wisdom: BUT A CHILD LEFT TO HIMSELF BRINGETH HIS MOTHER TO SHAME" (Proverbs 29:15).
   Why his mother? Because when a child is left alone it is his mother's fault. A father has to work away from home. When not with his father a child should be in the care of his mother. If he is left alone his mother is neglecting her duties.

The Most Important Job

   Models, secretaries, decorators, etc. all seem like important, glamorous jobs to women. But motherhood? "that's so common!"
   Listen! The richest, most rewarding work there is for a woman is her God-given job as a wife and mother!
   Jedidah did not have her name in colored lights or on an office desk. Her picture was not splashed on the front page of some magazine. But her name is in God's Word, the Bible! She helped produce a righteous king!
   Her accomplishments are greater than those of Madame Curie, Heda Hopper or Abigail VanBuren!
   Here are a mother's teachings: "The words of King Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him" (Proverbs 31:1).
   His mother taught him sound principles for a king. She warned him about lusting after women, being intemperate in wine or strong drink. She told him that honesty and integrity were of prime importance. She showed him right uses for wine and drink. And she gave him definite, concrete points to look for in choosing a wife. If only the mother of Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, would have given her son these instructions; he would not have gone after the kings of Israel. For he married the daughter of Ahab, king of Israel.
   Lemuel's mother said, "Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life" (Proverbs 31:10-12).
   The description goes on to show a woman who is willing to work hard, who keeps alert, who is thrifty and diligent. Here is a woman who takes care of her husband and children a successful woman! Here is the highest job a woman can have!
   "Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her" (verse 28). Her, husband should praise her! A woman who does her job faithfully and well should have praise and honor!
   No, it doesn't seem glamorous washing dirty diapers, ironing, dusting, scrubbing floors, vacuuming, having children clinging to your dress. But the faithful wife and mother is more important than all the movie stars, secretaries and professional women. "Many daughters have done virtuously, BUT THOU EXCELLEST THEM ALL" (verse 29).
   Where do righteous kings come from? They are the product of diligent parents who apply God-given rules of child rearing. Where do the good mothers of righteous kings come from! They are the products of righteous, diligent parents who also apply the rules of child rearing. Where do good wives come from? More precious than rubies, they are the products of diligent parents who rear sweet, little, innocent daughters into mature women with Godly character.
   What a responsibility on parents! How foolish for men to neglect their families in pursuit of their jobs! How foolish for women to be bored with homemaking and motherhood!
   The future kings of the Millennium, and the wives and mothers of future kings are in your hands now.
   The day will soon come when mothers won't kiss their children good-bye at the nursery door. And fathers won't neglect their families in pursuit of other interests. All will learn from the GREAT GOD the divine purpose of parenthood.

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Good News MagazineJune 1967Vol XVI, No. 6