Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 2, 1961

Pertinent Paragraphs ---

N. W. Allphin, Tahoka, Texas

The time of year will soon be here again for "Youth Camp" operators to call upon the churches to send their boys and girls to "camp" for training which (according to one adviser) cannot be gotten at home from the parents, local elders, nor preacher. Doubtless many youngsters need help and guidance through the vacation months; but it is doubtful if sending them to camp is the answer to the problem.

"And ye, fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4), was not said to a church "as such," but rather to parents, individuals, Thus, it is the responsibility of parents to guide their children; to teach, admonish and correct them in their speech and actions. And indications are that a great many parents are not heeding Paul's counsel — their young get out of control too early.

It seems odd to me that so many youngsters of our time should be turning to a life of crime when both our federal and state governments have provided so many ways of being dishonest legally. It may be that they are not yet old enough nor wise enough to have discovered these ways of circumventing the legal entanglements in which they are continually being caught. Whose fault is it that so many are learning the hard way — via fines, court costs and imprisonment? Ponder this!

What is back of all the current "juvenile delinquency?" It is not a pleasant thought to contemplate, but I am inclined to hazard a guess that much of it stems from parent delinquency. Yes, it is possible that even pious parents may be guilty of dereliction regarding this sacred duty. Children, many of them, are not properly instructed, guided and controlled by their parents; instead, they are turned loose on the streets where they pick up the vile language and evil habits of the basest element of humankind. "Evil companionships corrupt good morals." (1 Cor. 15:35)

Solomon said to parents, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it." (Prov. 22:6) Paraphrasing another wise man, "Bring up your child in the right way, and he will so live that in departing he will leave behind him footprints on the sands of time." Still another wise observation is this: Restrain not your child, but turn him loose to make and have his own way, and his life will so have been that in departing he will leave behind him only fingerprints on the police records. Brother, I would not want that, nor would you.

Taking or sending children to Sunday Bible classes is good, of course, as far as it goes, but that is not enough. Children need spiritual counsel and training at home through the week; they need to be taught what is right and what is wrong, to think for themselves and make wise decisions, also to plan a future of usefulness as citizens of both the state and in the Lord's kingdom. They need to be taught to work (after school hours) and earn for themselves, and learn how to evaluate time and money. Many youngsters are allowed to spend their "allowances" wastefully. Most of them know the price of about everything but the value of nothing.

The moral fiber of both the social life of our nation and the religious strength and influence of the churches will never be what it should be as long as wives and mothers forsake the common duties in the home and the religious and civic interests of their communities, and instead, spend their time and energy over the globe playing professional golf and other "sports." The former, I think, is man's prerogative, even if he has made a "mess" of things. The latter I conceive to be outside the pale of Christian woman hood, if not positively sinful.