One of the saddest and most tragic features of our twentieth-century “Civilization” is the awful prevalence of disobedience on the part of children to their parents during the days of childhood — and their lack of reverence and respect when they grow up. This is evidenced in many ways, alas, even in the families of professing Christians. In his extensive travels during the past thirty years the writer has sojourned in a great many homes. The piety and beauty of some of them remain as sacred and fragrant memories—but others of them have left the most painful impressions. Children who are self-willed or spoiled, not only bring themselves into perpetual unhappiness, but inflict discomfort upon all who come into contact with them, and foreshadow evil things for the days to come.
In the vast majority of cases the children are not to be blamed nearly so much as the parents. Failure to honor father and mother, wherever it is found, is in large measure due to parental departure from the Scriptural pattern. Nowadays the father considers that he has fulfilled his obligations by providing food and clothing for his children, and by acting occasionally as a species of moral policeman. Too often the mother is content to be a domestic drudge, making herself the slave of her children instead of training them to be useful, performing many a task which her daughters should do, in order to allow them freedom for the frivolous. The consequence has been that the home, which ought to be — for its orderliness, its sanctity, and its reigns of love — a miniature heaven and earth, has degenerated into “a filling station for the day and a parking place for the night” as someone has tersely expressed it.