(William Bacon Stevens, "Parental Responsibility")
We aid and abet the spiritual death of our children, by our irreligious example — both in doing that which is positively wrong, and in neglecting to do what is as positively required. As young as our child is — it has learned to join together precept and practice. And if we are professors of religion, our child has put along side of this profession — our daily walk and conversation, and is perpetually drawing inferences from the one to the other, either for, or against, the truth which we profess.
Uncurbed tempers, ill-governed passions;
unbridled tongues, uncharitable words;
lack of meekness, and gentleness, and truth;
lack of sobriety of mind, and kindliness of heart;
the absence of that strict conscientiousness which should mark all our actions;
neglect of the Bible and of prayer;
disregard of the means of grace;
irrepressible worldliness, in ever dwelling upon "What shall we eat, and what shall we drink, and with what shall we be clothed?"
— are leaving indelible impressions upon the minds of our offspring! So that, copying our habits of thought, speech, and action — our child's character in its essential characteristics, may be formed for eternity; before its mind is able to receive the precepts which perhaps we occasionally teach.