Family Training.

There is not seen, speaking generally, that holy zeal for families which characterised Moses’ demand to Pharaoh to let all Israel go three days’ journey into the wilderness to hold a feast unto the Lord. He said, “We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go…there shall not a hoof be left behind” (Exo. 10:9, 26). Noble declaration!

It is painful to see Christian parents, even well versed in truth, bringing up their families in such a manner that they acquire a greedy liking for worldliness in its attractingly varying forms. Some are desirous of having the children introduced into what is called “good society.” Friendships are sought after and encouraged with those who are strangers to the ways of God, and the children are invited out to things that once upon a time the parents protested against. Having tasted “the pleasures of sin,” you cannot restrain them. Numbers of fathers and mothers will see their children “go away into everlasting punishment” (Matt. 25:46), all because of the worldly upbringing they gave them, and for not checking them when young. Neglect in the spiritual training of families will yet be proven a fearful thing.

The history of Lot is sad reading. Though he was called “a righteous man” (2 Pet. 2:8), yet he settled in Sodom, taking his family with him into that wicked environment; marrying some of his daughters to men of the city, for he had risen to influence and sat with the chief persons in the gate. But what a wreck of a home! Part of his family perished in the fire God rained on Sodom; his wife was judged as soon as she left the doomed city; whilst his two daughters who escaped with him, proved themselves afterward as shockingly depraved women (Gen. 19:31-38).

What a different story is told of Abraham. God has summed it up in these magnificent words: “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him” (Gen. 18:19).

In Nehemiah’s day so serious, indeed, had family matters become, that the children of many of the Jews “spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jew’s language, but according to the language of each people” (Neh. 13:24).

From so distressing a state of matters, one turns with much pleasure to 1 Chron. 25:5-6, where we read: “And God gave to Heman fourteen sons and three daughters. All these were under the hands of their father for song in the house of the Lord with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, for the service of the house of God, according to the King’s order to Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman.” Think of it: a family of 17 serving in the house of the Lord! Heman must have been a glad father and a thoroughly godly man.