Who can wonder?

(J. A. James, "Religious Education of Children" 1846)

"You should be an example to the believers in speech,
 in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity." 1 Timothy 4:12

Look into some families of professors; follow them
through the history of only one week, and see . . .
  their worldly mindedness,
  their gaiety,
  their frivolity,
  their unsanctified tempers,
  their worldly reading,
  their amusements,
  their homage to talent,
  their low esteem of holiness,
  their negligence of family prayer,
  their neglect of godly instruction to their children
--and who can wonder that young people, brought
up amidst such scenes, do not become pious--but go
off to the world or to sin?

Too often the children are like their parents,
and bring into the church no higher or better kind
of religion than what they have learned at home!
And thus a low tone of piety, a lukewarm Laodicean
spirit, is extended and perpetuated.

There must be a revival of piety in the parents!
It is vain to expect that a worldly-minded father,
whose spirituality, if he ever had any, has been
utterly evaporated by the exclusiveness of concern
about business and politics; or a frivolous, pleasure
loving mother, who thinks far more about adorning
the bodies of her children, than about saving their
souls--should be at all concerned about the pious
education of their children.

Recollect what a solemn thing it is to be a parent!
What a weighty responsibility attaches to those who
have the immortal souls of their children committed
to their care!

"You fathers, don't provoke your children to wrath,
 but nurture them in the discipline and instruction
 of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4)