R.A. Torrey on Parenting

Are you a mother or a father? Do you wish power from God to bring your own children up in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord”? God commands you to do it and especially commands the father to do it. God says in Ephesians 6:4 “Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

Now, God never commands the impossible, and as He commands us fathers, and the mothers also, to bring our children up in the nuture and admonition of the Lord, it is possible for us to do it. If any one of your children is not saved, the first blame lies at your own door. Paul said to the jailer in Philippi: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31).

Yes, it is the solemn duty of every father and mother to have every one of their children saved. But we can never accomplish it unless we are much in prayer to God for power to do it. In my first pastorale I had as a member of my church a most excellent Christian woman, but she had a little boy of six who was one of the most incorrigible youngsters I ever knew in my life. He was the terror of the community. One Sunday, at the close of the morning service, his mother came to me and said: “You know-?” (calling her boy by his first name).

“Yes,” I replied, “I know him.” Everybody in town knew him. “Yes,” I replied, “I know he is not a very good boy.” Indeed, that was a decidedly euphemistic way of putting it; in point of fact he was the terror of the neighborhood.

Then this heavy-hearted mother said, “What shall I do?”

I replied, “Have you ever tried prayer?”

“Why,” she said, “of course I pray.”

“Oh,” I said, “that is not what I mean. Have you ever asked God definitely to regenerate your boy and expected Him to do it?”

“I do not think I have ever been as definite as that.”

“Well,” I said, “you go right home and be just as definite as that.”

She went home and was just as definite as that, and I think it was from that very day, certainly from that week, that the boy was a transformed boy and grew up into fine young manhood.

Oh, mothers and fathers, it is your privilege to have every one of your children saved. But it costs something to have them saved. It costs your spending much time alone with God, to be much in prayer, and it costs also your making those sacrifices and straightening out those things in your life that are wrong; it costs the fulfilling the conditions of prevailing prayer. And if any of you have unsaved children, when you go home today get alone with God and ask God to show you what it is in your own life that is responsible for the present condition of your children. Straighten it out at once and then get down alone before God and hold to Him in earnest prayer for the definite conversion of each one of your children. Do not rest until, by prayer and by your putting forth every effort, you know beyond question that every one of your children is definitely and positively converted and born again.

Taken from, A Treasury of Great Preaching “The Power of Prayer”


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