Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them . Matt. 19:13-15.
Children are the Lord's heritage. The soul of the little child that believes in Christ is as precious in His sight as are the angels about His throne. They are to be brought to Christ, and trained for Christ. They are to be guided in the path of obedience, not indulged in appetite or vanity.
When the disciples sought to send away the mothers who were bringing their little ones to Christ, He rebuked their narrow faith, saying, "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." He was grieved that the disciples should rebuke the mothers for bringing their children to Him; that His followers should say, by word or action, that His grace was limited, and that children should be kept away from Him. . . .
A great responsibility rests upon parents, for the education and training which shape the eternal destiny of children and youth are received in their early childhood. The parents' work is to sow the good seed diligently and untiringly in the hearts of their children, occupying their hearts with seed which will bring forth a harvest of right habits, of truthfulness and willing obedience. Correct, virtuous habits formed in youth will generally mark the course of the individual through life. In most cases those who reverence God and honor the right will be found to have learned this lesson before the world could stamp its image of sin upon the soul. . . .
O that parents were truly the sons and daughters of God! Their lives would then be fragrant with good works. A holy atmosphere would surround their souls. Their earnest supplications for grace and for the guidance of the Holy Spirit would ascend to heaven, and religion would be diffused through their homes as the bright, warming rays of the sun are diffused through the earth.