Over-indulgence of fond and foolish parents!
(J. A. James, "The duties of PARENTS" 1838)
"I am going to carry out all my threats against Eli and his
family. I have warned him continually that judgment is
coming for his family, because his sons are blaspheming
God and he hasn't disciplined them." 1 Samuel 3:12-13
There is, in some households,
no family government,
The children are kept under no restraint, but are
allowed to do what they like. Their faults are
intentionally unnoticed and unpunished, and their
corruptions allowed to grow wild and headstrong;
until, in fact, the whole family becomes utterly
lawless, rebellious against parental authority--and
grievous to all around them!
How many have had to curse the over-indulgence of
fond and foolish parents! How many, as they have
ruminated amid the desolations of poverty, or the walls
of a prison, have exclaimed, "O, my cruelly fond parents,
had you exercised that authority with which God entrusted
you, over your children, and had you checked my childish
corruptions, and punished my boyish disobedience; had
you subjected me to the beneficial restraint of wholesome
discipline, I would not have brought you with a broken heart
to your grave, nor myself with a ruined life to the jail!"
Overindulgence of children is awfully common, and continually
making shocking ravages in human character. It is a system of
great cruelty to the children, to the parents themselves, and
to society. This practice proceeds from various causes; in some
instances, from a perverted and intentional sentimentalism;
in others, from absolute indolence, and a regard to present
ease, which leads the silly mother to adopt any means of
coaxing, and yielding, and bribing--to keep the "young rebels"
quiet for the time!
It is not uncommon for parents to treat the first acts of
infantile rebellion, rather as accidents to be smiled at,
than as sins to be disciplined. "O," says the mother, "it
is only play, he will know better soon. He does not mean
any harm. I cannot discipline him."
Lack of parental discipline, from whatever cause it
proceeds, it is in the highest degree injurious to the
character of the children!