Therefore early! Do you hear, father, do you hear mother!? Do not put it off until your child has become independent and set in the pleasure of trivial and vain things. No, bring him to the Lord early.
One can easily carve a name into the tender bark of a young tree. The tree then grows and shows the name even in the hard, solid bark as an old tree. Oh, write the sweet name of Jesus in the young heart of your child with the flames of true, parental love and be sure, even if the storm of youthful recklessness writes over it, even if the world buries it with a thousand vanities: The breath of the Lord can easily sweep away the rubble.
Therefore, hurry, father, mother, to write the name of the Savior in the heart of your child! Otherwise, the enemy of souls may easily put his name on it! Bring your children to the Savior early! While they are still young, you can be the first to steer and guide them as they will primarily follow you. Later, they have their own will and own mind.
“But how?” you ask.
Learn from the mothers in the gospel. “They brought,” it is said, “their children to Him.” How? An old commentator said very simply: “They carried the little ones in their arms, the bigger ones they held by the hand, and they, the mothers, went along themselves.”
“The little ones they carried in their arms!” Do you know, father, do you know, mother, how you also can carry your child to the Lord when she is too small to walk? Pray for your child! On the arms of priestly intercession, bring her before her God and Savior every day that He may bless her, for everything is gained in His blessing.
The prayer of a godly mother for her child is like an angel guard around his bed, surrounding him as if in a healing, heavenly atmosphere in which he can grow happier and thrive in body and soul. Yes, it surrounds even the child wandering in the distance, the lost son still on the wrong track, like an invisible, heavenly escort.
“The son of so many tears and prayers cannot be lost,” was the consolation of a servant of God to Monika, Augustine’s mother. And Augustine was snatched like a burning stick from the fire and saved. “The prayers of my father surround me like mountains,” shouted the seriously ill, lost son of Philipp Jakob Spener, who repented and came to Christ.
Therefore, father, mother, if you love your child, do not fail to intercede for him or her. Concerned parents often spend a lot of money, a lot of words, a lot of tears on their child, and yet everything is in vain. Why? They fail to pray to the Lord for their child.
“The bigger ones they held by the hand!” Oh parents, follow also this example of those mothers! Lead your children, if they can walk themselves, to the Lord through teaching and exhortation. Read God’s Word diligently with them; tell them of the life and times, suffering and death of the Lord. Confront them often with Christ’s example, teach them to look at their sins in the light of the divine Word, teach them to fear God as the avenger of evil. Awake in them a hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God. Exalt to them the noble name in which this righteousness is to be found, and you will feel more blessing from it than the application of the best parenting system.
But, dear parents, the mothers who brought their children to Jesus also went themselves. Send your children to Sunday school as much as you like, but if you do not lead them by the example in the fear of God, the love for the Word, and the house of God, then everything is in vain. Soon they will follow you, because man is naturally inclined to all evil.
By allowing yourself one lie in the presence of your children, you negate every sermon on truthfulness. And by a Christian, godly example, you achieve more in their hearts than by the best exhortations, most touching prayers, and the most severe punishments. Words only teach, but an example directly encourages emulation. Therefore, dear parents, if you are serious about bringing your children to the Lord, do not forget: “You must go yourself!”