GOD is awakening in many hearts the longing
^ to live a truly consecrated life, to he and do all that He would have of us. No sooner has the surrender to such a life taken place, but the desire comes to have all who belong to us partake of the blessing, specially to have our home life, with all its affections, its intercourse, its duties, sanctified too. Many a parent finds this a hard, almost a hopeless task. In the days when their own Christian life was half-hearted and feeble, the spirit of the world was allowed to come in and get possession. With a partner or children who do not entirely sympathize, where the help and hearty response of spiritual fellowship is wanting, the consecrated one finds it difficult to maintain the personal life. How much more to influence the whole circle, and lift them up to the more blessed life that has been entered on!
To parents who are in this position, to all parents who long to have their homes truly consecrated by God's presence and service, God's Word has a message of comfort and strength. It is this: that God is willing to be the God of their house, and with His Divine power to do for it more than they can ask and think. If they will but open their hearts in faith to rest in the promise and the power of God, He will prove Himself to be for their house what He has been to themselves. The one thing needful is that they should know and believe what He has undertaken to be and to do as the God of their seed. They will find that the lesson they learnt in entering upon a life of entire consecration is just what is needed here again. There all was comprehended in the one word, surrender,—the surrender of faith and obedience. They surrendered themselves to expect and accept all God had promised, and to do all that He commanded. This surrender of faith must take place definitely with regard to the family. As a parent I put myself and my children into God's hands, believing that He will fulfil His promise, yea, that He does at once accept and take charge. I confess the sins by which I have prevented God from working through me as He would for my home. I yield myself to be His humble, holy witness, His loving, obedient servant, and humbly but trustingly I say, 'O when wilt Thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.'
A parent's faith needs just what the faith of every believer does, — to understand, to get an insight into, what God has undertaken to do. 'By faith we understand;' when faith has seen God planning and undertaking, it is a simple thing for it to rest and trust, to praise and act. I trust that this little book may help believing parents to meditate on God's revelation of His purpose with the family, and to see what abundant ground there is for their expecting Him to fulfil their desire to have their house holy to the Lord. It is as we get into the mind and plan of God, that faith will grow, and its power be manifest both in ourselves and those for whom we are believing.
In a note at the close of this volume, on the Church's duty to parents, I have explained the origin and the object of the book. I send it forth with the prayer that it may be blessed to make our glorious God better known, as He would fain be known and honoured, as the God of the families of Israel, and that this knowledge may strengthen many a parent's heart to a larger faith and a more entire consecration of home life to their God.