Other Problems: Chapter 25

 •  12 min. read  •  grade level: 10
Listen from:
Growing children present many problems to exercised Christian parents who seek to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Compulsory public education creates some of these, and intensifies others, for the schools and the teachers are just a cross section of a world that is fast ripening for judgment. The whole system of education is geared to the world—the world that lies in the wicked one.
It is evident that parents cannot get out of the world with their children, so they will have to face conditions as they are, but God is able to help them and to show them how to meet the exigencies of the way. One thing that will help parents in these problems is to have an understanding of the basic influences which will be at work in the schools; then they may seek with the Lord's help to bulwark their dear children against the enemy's onslaughts.
Infidelity and mistrust in God and His Word are most prevalent. From the institutions of higher learning (where it is strongest) on down to the primary schools, children are apt to have the poison of infidelity insidiously suggested, or brazenly taught. The first step in meeting this danger is to be much in prayer to God that their precious children may be preserved from being influenced by it. Then the children should learn to respect the Word of God as it is in truth, THE WORD OF GOD, and while they should respect their teachers, they should learn that whatever is contrary to God's Word is wrong. There is a verse in Isaiah which children should learn: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isa. 8:2020To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isaiah 8:20).
Teachers may speak accurately on problems in arithmetic, or on many subjects, but if they speak contrary to God's Word, they have no light in them-not even a little. Those who deny God, or call in question the Bible as His Word to us, or teach anything contrary to His revelation of creation, are in darkness. There is no such thing as prehistoric man, for Adam was the first man and we have his history. Nor is the finding of "evidences" of what they call "primitive man" a proof that man was developing upward, but rather a proof that man fell from the condition in which he was first placed by God. The "cave man" is not proof of evolution but of retrogression—it is not man making his way up from a lower order, but man fallen under the power of the enemy in departure from God.
A child rooted and grounded in the truth of God as revealed in His Word is not going to be easily moved by infidelity taught in the school room. But parents have a great responsibility of fortifying their children against the lies of the enemy.
Another grave danger which besets Christians' children is immorality; it is prevalent to an alarming degree in the schools, high schools, and colleges of the land. So-called Christian nations are fast traveling down the same road once trodden by the old Roman Empire where at last virtue was practically non-existent. The world's standard of morality has changed greatly in the last decade or two. A servant of the Lord once said, "The world is governed by two things—its lusts and popular opinion." As popular opinion declines and things once shunned with disgust and revulsion are commonly accepted, man has only his wicked lusts to lead him.
We may well tremble to see pure and simple children thrown into such evil contacts in the schools, but here again, the teaching they receive in the home and in the meeting should strengthen them against immoral and indecent conduct. No good purpose will be served by ignoring the facts; we may as well face them. Christian children need to be taught that their bodies are for the Lord, and what is becoming. With a natural inquisitiveness they are likely to learn from their schoolmates things that are impure; therefore it is important that parents prepare their precious children to withstand the evil influences.
Satan, the god of this world, has been preparing the modern age for a return to the pattern of the degrading acts of Sodom and Gomorrah. Children are not taught modesty, but rather the whole trend in dress and behavior is toward laxity and a breakdown of propriety. Not that we would advocate prudishness, but Christian parents should take care to instruct their children as to how they are to conduct themselves in respect to modesty and discretion. The world has never been able to set a standard for the child of God.
The third great danger of the present-day educational system is its policy of teaching our children how to be great in the world. In every respect this is opposed to the heavenly calling and character of the Christian. Children are taught to climb and excel socially, economically, and in every field of endeavor. What we should aim at is to get through the world with the least possible defilement, looking off unto Jesus as the One who ran the whole race of faith and is set down at the right hand of God (Heb. 12:22Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)). We must have a certain amount of the world's education, and some occupations may require specialized training beyond the legal demand, but for the Christian, his education, in whatever amount necessary, should be made subservient to his living to glorify God while in transit through a wicked world. It should never be used as a steppingstone to becoming great in this world where our Lord was cast out. It is little short of treason to Him to seek to be great in the house of His enemies. It is salutary to remember that the higher we get in this world the closer we get to its head, the god and prince of it. It is easier to go on with God in a modest, quiet, and unassuming way, than when in a place of importance in this world. When the Lord was cast out of the world, His leaving it did not make a ripple in its course. May Christians walk as He did.
(When we consider the need of guarding our children against worldly philosophy which would teach them to be great in the world that hates our Lord, it might be well to add a few words regarding the need for counseling and helping them in selecting a suitable occupation for life. This should not be undertaken without much prayer for divine wisdom and guidance. Parents should be able from experience and observation to help point out a right path for them. There are some occupations which could not be undertaken by a Christian without serious spiritual loss; a son or daughter should be warned against these. Then there are others which may be satisfactory in themselves which would not suit their temperament or capabilities. It would be folly to try to make an accountant out of a young man who had no aptitude for the handling of figures, or to make a business man out of a son who simply had no business ability. Some people can work well with their hands who could not succeed at anything else; and there is no disgrace connected with honest manual labor. Some people have had hard struggles through life by reason of trying to do something for which they were not fitted. It is well when one can have a means of earning his livelihood where he can "therein abide with God." And whatever it is—business, profession, or manual labor—it should be only a means of making a living while we pass through the world; our chief concern should be to do all to the glory of God.)
There is a treacherous principle which often works in the hearts of Christian parents; that is, to seek great things for their children. They are often content to pass through the world with little themselves, but strive to help their children reach greater heights. The prophet Jeremiah was instructed to speak thus to Baruch: "Seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not." Jer. 45:55And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the Lord: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest. (Jeremiah 45:5). May we not ask in like spirit, "Seekest thou great things for thy children? seek them not," but rather seek that they may go through this world with godliness and contentment, honoring God and glorifying Christ. A dear Christian father who helped his children to reach high places, later saw to his sorrow that it was done to their great spiritual loss and damage, and was heard to lament for his son, "I would rather he were sweeping the streets of the city.”
Lot may have desired for his children the advantages that Sodom offered, but it was to their ruin. How many parents have taken their children into the world, and then when they realized what had happened (for such steps are often almost imperceptible at first), they sought to get them out, but found that it was impossible. Lot took his family into Sodom and lost some of his children there, and those who were "saved... so as by fire" were a shame and a disgrace to him. O that Christian parents would realize the danger of the world for their children, and use every care to keep them from it, and instruct them how they should live in it!
Another test often encountered in school days is whether to join up with organizations where believers and unbelievers are linked together for a common purpose, or to obey the Lord's injunction, "Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers" (2 Cor. 6:1414Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)). This warning is all-inclusive, and embraces every walk of life. Pressure is often applied to children in schools to join some organization, and then their parents are urged to permit them to do so. We quote here the words of a servant of the Lord to a young Christian. He said to him, "I will give you some advice which if followed will preserve you from much trouble—NEVER JOIN ANYTHING." This is wholesome advice.
The world says, "In union there is strength," and it is through organizations that the world functions, but the Christian who obeys the Word of God will eschew any and every binding together with unbelievers for any purpose whatsoever, even for laudable aims such as philanthropy and religion. Faithfulness in this separation may cost something, but the One who calls you to come out and be separate also says, "And I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you... saith the Lord Almighty." In other words, the One who says, "Be ye separate," promises, I will do a father's part and take care of you; and remember, I am able to do it for I am almighty. And "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man." Psa. 118:88It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. (Psalm 118:8). It is better to have the Lord's approval than the world's help and favor.
In the days of Joshua the Israelites were in danger of serving the idols of the heathen, just as today Christians are tempted to serve the world and its aims, but Joshua summed up the matter in a few words and put it pointedly before them. He placed Jehovah the God of Israel on the one side, and all the idols on the other, and said to them, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve." They were going to serve one or the other. The Lord Himself said, "No servant can serve two masters... Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Luke 16:1313No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Luke 16:13). May there be more, like Joshua, who can speak for themselves and for their families, "But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Josh. 24:1515And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15). May the Lord grant to us all, this purpose of heart on the one hand, and a great sense of our own weakness on the other, so that we cast ourselves and our families on Him for His help to so "walk and to please God.”
The course of a complete generation has been followed in the preceding chapters, starting with young people taking the early steps that may lead to marriage, on through to their children coming to the age when they will be doing the same thing. I have sought to present the scriptural principles that should guide us in the various problems and exigencies of the pilgrim pathway, and (though feeling that this has been imperfectly done) I now present it to the reader with an earnest desire that it may be read with profit. I have used the pronoun we in expressing conclusions, observations, and appeals, for the judgments expressed are by no means only those of the writer; they represent the judgment of many godly men, both contemporary and of by-gone years, and are endorsed by the publishers.
May the Lord bless this little treatise to many dear young Christians, to the end that they may be established and strengthened for the pathway through an evil world, and may all redound to the praise and glory of Him who gave Himself for us.
“In heavenly love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear,
And safe in such confiding,
For nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid,
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed?
“Wherever He may guide me,
No want shall turn me back;
My Shepherd is beside me,
And nothing can I lack.
His wisdom ever waketh,
His sight is never dim;
He knows the way He taketh,
And I will walk with Him.
“Green pastures are before me,
Which yet I have not seen,
Bright skies will soon be o'er me,
Where the dark clouds have been.
My hope I cannot measure,
My path to life is free,
My Savior has my treasure,
And He will walk with me.
“Ere yet another morning
My spirit may be free,
As absent from the body,
At home, O Lord, with Thee.
O sleep, O rest, how precious!
As, guarded by Thy care,
I'm waiting for Thy promise
To meet Thee in the air.
“The Lord Himself, e'en Jesus,
Amid the ransomed throng,
Its glory, joy, and beauty,
Its never-ending song.
O day of wondrous promise!
The Bridegroom and the bride
Are seen in glory ever:
Forever satisfied."
Courtesy of BibleTruthPublishers.com. Most likely this text has not been proofread. Any suggestions for spelling or punctuation corrections would be warmly received. Please email them to: BTPmail@bibletruthpublishers.com.