…The wise man said, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Training up a child, in its fullest sense, is by example and by instruction or teaching. Many Christian parents are either scared, do not know how, or simply balk at the idea of teaching their child what God says in His Word because they themselves need to learn these lessons first. Elgar, the well-known classical composer who, unlike the great composers of his ilk doubled up as music teachers in between composing their great masterpieces, said in disdain, “Teaching is like turning a grindstone with a dislocated shoulder.” Parents may detest the idea of instructing their children of the way of the Lord but it certainly does not excuse nor spare them the certain heartaches later in life.
Such is the lesson conveyed in the example of Manoah and his wife, parents of Samson. But no parent or child need despair. The plan of salvation of the gospel is redemption and deliverance from not only the power of sinful habits and practices but also over hereditary tendencies transmitted from the gene pool from the parents. Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you.” Grace and faith, particularly in these last days, are given particularly to those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness” in order that they may overcome all their sins and emerge triumphant in the end.
“And fathers as well as mothers are involved in this responsibility. Both parents transmit their own characteristics, mental and physical, their dispositions and appetites, to their children. As the result of parental intemperance, children of lack physical strength and mental and moral power. Liquor-drinkers and tobacco-users [and drug addicts] may, and do, transmit their insatiable craving, their inflamed blood and irritable nerves, to their children. The licentious often bequeath their unholy desires, and even loathsome diseases, as a legacy to their offspring. And as the children have less power to resist temptation than had the parents, the tendency is for each generation to fall lower and lower. To a great degree, parents are responsible, not only for the violent passions and perverted appetites of their children, but for the infirmities of the thousands born deaf, blind, diseased, or idiotic.”
The Word of God itself states it clearly: “Like mother like daughter;” “like father like son;” “like priest like followers.” Even on the big world stage of prophecy, “Mystery Babylon, the Mother of Harlots,” has daughters—those who mimic her example of suppressing freedom of conscience through persecution using the secular and military powers to enforce her decrees and sustain her institutions. See Revelation 13, 17.
In the context of this particular subject of temperance, the following cannot be overemphasized particularly at this time as so much effort is being made to shift the blame or responsibility on everything else—such as poverty, bad environment, government failure, etc., that somehow mitigate, excuse, or downplay the enormous contribution of the parents themselves to the mental, physical, and spiritual health of their children.
- Both parents transmit their own characteristics, mental and physical, their dispositions and appetites, to their children.
- As a result of parental intemperance—particularly with women immediately before and during pregnancy, their child or children are born lacking the necessary physical strength and mental and moral powers. Alcoholics, tobacco users whether smokers or chewers (such as baseball stars, etc), drug addicts, and such as are classified as “recreational drug users” are not the only ones guilty here; they included all who stubbornly persist in eating flesh meats expressly forbidden by God, and gorge, as in “pig out” on all kinds of “dainties” that clog veins with fat and cause blood sugar metabolism to go haywire.
- To a great degree, parents are responsible, not only for the violent passions and perverted appetites of their children, but for the infirmities of the thousands born deaf, blind, diseased, or idiotic.”
“Both parents transmit their own characteristics. . . . to their children.” — This sobering truth should be a powerful deterrent for any of the parents to be blaming each other for the misbehavior or evil tendencies of their child/children. In fact it should even humble them more, driving both of them to plead on their knees for God’s empowering grace imparted through the Holy Spirit to gain the victory over practices that they are still indulging, which their own children are simply imaging. The reason many parents avoid reproving their children, is because they themselves are guilty of the same thing, maybe in slightly different ways but it is the same problem nevertheless.
“Violent passions and perverted appetites.”—These two serious problems go hand-in-hand causing countless broken relationships and homes, diseases of every kind—mental and physical, and crimes and murders of every grade. The deterioration of any empire, society, or nation is directly attributable to the indulgence and promotion of violent passions and perverted appetites among the populace.
“Deaf, blind, diseased, or idiotic.”—Webster defines an idiot as a person “incapable of connected speech, or of avoiding the common dangers of life; a fool.” Many diseases today fall under this definition and category. Because the churches have done away with the moral law of God, the secular world and sciences, with all its amazing advances in this digital age, has actually gone into deeper darkness because they refuse to acknowledge the most primordial truth that sin, the transgression of God’s moral and natural law is the cause of all diseases! In fact many of these are not supposed to be diagnosed as diseases per se to be treated with drugs but are sinful indulgences of weaknesses and cultivated habits that are abominations in the sight of God. An example of this is what is diagnosed as “sex addiction” which is nothing but sexual perversion. All such can and must be overcome by the power of God and their efforts.
Also, we should not forget that in both the paternal and maternal lines of descent of our family trees much undesirable tendencies, weaknesses, and traits have been transmitted to us that, as a result of the fall of man, the very opposite of evolution has been taking place—“the tendency of each generation is to fall lower and lower.” The second commandment speaks to this terrible truth. “Visiting the iniquities of the fathers [parents] upon the children to the third and forth generation of them that hate Me.” Exo. 20:5. It is not sin itself that is transmitted, but the tendencies and propensities, for sin is the act of the individual. What is definitely transmitted to all after the fall of Adam and Eve was the sinful, mortal human nature. Recognizing what these possible propensities and weaknesses are coming from both parents early on is an invaluable aid in determining what to watch out for, struggle against, and finally overcome. Prevention is definitely much better than early detection
There is nothing one can do to remove the transmitted genetic imprints of sinful tendencies and propensities, including violent passions and perverted appetites—and the terrible results of deafness, blindness, various diseases, or idiocy of all kinds. There is only the all-powerful grace of God imparted through the Holy Spirit to all who seek to understand all these revelations in humility, and by faith, strive with all their God-given powers to overcome. The unfailing promise of God’s word is that they can “overcome even as He overcame” though it may take a lifetime to do so.
So what must be the concern of all parents-to-be, parents, and grandparents—the latter of who, in certain cultures exercise powerful pre-natal and post-natal influences, especially when they become wonderful special “baby-sitters” for their grandchildren?
“The inquiry of every father and mother should be, ‘What shall we do the child that shall be born to us?’ The effect of pre-natal influences has been by many lightly regarded; but the instruction sent from heaven to those Hebrew parents, and twice repeated in the most explicit and solemn manner, shows how this matter is looked upon by our Creator.”
“And it was not enough that the promised child should receive a good legacy from the parents. This must be followed by careful training and the formation of right habits. God directed that the future judge and deliverer of Israel should be trained to strict temperance from infancy. He was to be a Nazarite from his birth, thus being placed under perpetual prohibition against the use of wine or strong drink. The lessons of temperance, self-denial, and self-control are to be taught to children even from babyhood. ” –Patriarchs & Prophets, pp.561-2.
“Some parents have no control over themselves. They do not control their own morbid appetites or their passionate temper; therefore they cannot educate their children in regard to the denial of their appetite, and teach them self-control. If parents desire to teach their children self-control, they must first form the habit themselves. The scolding and fault-finding of parents encourages a hasty, passionate temper in their children. . . .
After the moral sensibilities of the parents are aroused, and they take up their neglected work with renewed energy, they should not become discouraged or allow themselves to be hindered in the work. Too many become weary in well-doing. When they find that it requires taxing effort, as well as knowledge, to meet the unexpected emergencies that arise, they become disheartened, and give up the struggle, and let the enemy of souls have his own way. Day by day, month after month, year after year, the work is to go on, till the character of your child is formed, and the habits established in the right way. You should not give up and leave your families to drift along a loose, ungoverned manner.”- Child Guidance, pp. 94, 95.
Thus it is abundantly clear that the temperance which is to be taught to the child from babyhood includes self-denial and self-control. And yet how many Christian parents who swear they have never drank any alcoholic beverage, and go ballistic when anyone dares light up a cigarette in their homes or in their presence, spoil their children by allowing them to get away with small but increasing degrees of disobedience and compromise particularly in indulging their appetite on food and drink which have come down like a flood in this generation. Self-denial and self-control are especially developed when one controls the appetite for physical food. Adam and Eve fell on this point. The very first temptation Satan threw at Jesus in the wilderness was on appetite, which, of course was coupled with the temptation to doubt that He was the Son of God because of His wretched condition having fasted for forty days and night.
Some may be quick to point out that they have never eaten foods classed as unclean in the Bible (see Leviticus 11), and certainly never indulged in alcoholic beverages or recreational drugs. But does that mean that they have never been drunk? In the spiritual application and magnification of the law many will be surprised to find out that drunkenness is not only caused by literal alcohol but in several aspects. They are as follows:
- Drunk with the wine of Babylon—false doctrines. The whole Christian world, as well as the secular world, has been happily drinking this spiritual wine for the longest time. The fact that they, in a very large degree are not aware of it, is the strongest proof that they are spiritually inebriated on this potent potion. The two major trunks of doctrinal errors from which all others branch out from are: (1) the immortality of the soul—the very first sermon that Satan preached in the Garden of Eden and (2) Sunday sacredness. Only the third angel’s message can make them sober up by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Over-eating and constantly eating results in conditions classified as drunkenness.
- Drunk with the anxieties and cares of a life engrossed with only the temporal riches.
(to be continued)