For I have chosen him so that he will command his children and his house after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. This is how the Lord will fulfill to Abraham what He promised him.
— Genesis 18:19, HCSB
Abraham’s affection for his children and his household led him to guard their religious faith, to impart to them a knowledge of the divine statutes, as the most precious legacy he could transmit to them... All were taught that they were under the rule of the God of heaven.
He “will command his household.” There would be no sinful neglect to restrain the evil propensities of his children, no weak, unwise, indulgent favoritism, no yielding of his conviction of duty to the claims of mistaken affection.
Like Abraham, parents should command their households after them. Let obedience to parental authority be taught and enforced as the first step in obedience to the authority of God.
If you have failed in your duty to your family, confess your sins before God. Gather your children about you, and acknowledge your neglect. Tell them that you desire to bring about a reformation in the home, and ask them to help you to make the home what it ought to be. Read to them the directions found in the Word of God. Pray with them; and ask God to spare their lives, and to help them to prepare for a home in his kingdom. Thus you may begin and continue a work of true reform.
In controlling and disciplining them, be firm, but kind. Encourage them to do their duty as members of the family firm. Express your appreciation of the efforts they put forth to conquer their inclinations to wrong. Let the Word of God be your rule.
Parents, humble your own hearts before God. Begin a thorough work with your children. Plead with the Lord to forgive your disregard of his work in neglecting to train your children in the way they should go. Ask for light and guidance, for a tender conscience, and for clear discernment, that you may see your mistakes and failures. God will hear such prayers.
May God help fathers and mothers to purify their souls, that they may stand before him and before the world as those who are keeping the way of the Lord.
— The Review and Herald, April 21, 1904
Begin the work of true reform, confess your sins before God. Gather your children about you and acknowledge your neglect.
Read to your children the directions in the Word of God. Pray with them and ask God to spare their lives and help them prepare for a home in His kingdom.
Discipline your children with firmness but kindness. Let the Word of God be your rule.
Humble your heart before God. Ask for light and guidance, for a tender conscience and clear discernment.