My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Proverbs 6:20, R.S.V.
What the parents are, that, to a great extent, the children will be. The physical conditions of the parents, their dispositions and appetites, their mental and moral tendencies, are, to a greater or less degree, reproduced in their children.
The nobler the aims, the higher the mental and spiritual endowments, and the better developed the physical power of the parents, the better will be the life equipment they give their children. In cultivating that which is best in themselves, parents are exerting an influence to mold society and to uplift future generations.
Fathers and mothers need to understand their responsibility. The world is full of snares for the feet of the young…. They cannot discern the hidden dangers or the fearful ending of the path that seems to them the way of happiness….
Even before the birth of the child, the preparation should begin that will enable it to fight successfully the battle against evil.
Especially does responsibility rest upon the mother. She, by whose lifeblood the child is nourished and its physical frame built up, imparts to it also mental and spiritual influences that tend to the shaping of mind and character….
It was Hannah, the woman of prayer and self-sacrifice and heavenly inspiration, who gave birth to Samuel, the heaven-instructed child, the incorruptible judge, the founder of Israel’s sacred schools.26
Would that every mother could realize how great are her duties and her responsibilities, and how great will be the reward of faithfulness. The mother’s daily influence upon her children is preparing them for everlasting life or eternal death. She exercises in her home a power more decisive than the minister in the desk, or even the king upon his throne.