Weak sons, easy divorce, and few children...

A young couple from Clearnote Church, Indianapolis forwards this taken from a speech given by President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt back in 1905:

If you mothers through weakness bring up your sons to be selfish and to think only of themselves, you will be responsible for much sadness among the women who are to be their wives in the future.

...easy divorce is now as it ever has been, a bane to any nation, a curse to society, a menace to the home, an incitement to married unhappiness and to immorality, an evil thing for men and a still more hideous evil for women.

On deliberately limiting the size of a family so that some few children can enjoy... some luxuries:

The way to give a child a fair chance in life is not to bring it up in luxury, but to see that it has the kind of training that will give it strength of character. Even apart from the vital question of national life, and regarding only the individual interest of the children themselves, happiness in the true sense is a hundredfold more apt to come to any given member of a healthy family of healthy-minded children, well brought up, well educated, but taught that they must shift for themselves, must win their own way, and by their own exertions make their own positions of usefulness, than it is apt to come to those whose parents themselves have acted on and have trained their children to act on, the selfish and sordid theory that the whole end of life is to “taste a few good things.”

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.

Comments

I hesitate to add fuel to his publicity-and-affirmation seeking behavior, but Jay Bakker (son of Jim and Tammy Faye) seems to be a textbook case. Something of a melding of boy preacher Marjoe Goetner (if the claim that at 37 yrs old he's been a pastor for 20 e years is accurate) And Franky Schaeffer, he seems bent on defending himself against every critical blog comment that he finds. Crowing about all the sermons he's preached and the books he's written and how he is taken seriously at the UN, he calls his critics angry and elitist. 

Pray for him and the souls he is leading astray.

Roosevelt's words are considerably less inspiring when viewed in the context of his perspective on race (he believed strongly in Anglo Saxon superiority) and his support for eugenics. Like many elites in his day, his belief that children were a blessing hinged on those children being white and healthy.

Dear Jamie,

Thank you. Behind every hot air balloon is a huge hat pin waiting to get at it.

Love,

The last comment reminds me of CS Lewis' encouragement about reading old books.  The blindness about race and and eugenics is more apparent to us than the need to encourage women in raising children.  Teddy's ability to see the problems with divorce and raising weak children was just common sense to a time not immersed in the lies of easy divorce.

Some men are prophets despite themselves. Their words are better than their meaning. Caiaphas in John 11 is one such example. Also "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..."

China's brutal one-child policy has lowered their fertility rate to 1.54.  Among white, college-educated Americans the fertility rate is now 1.6. So we have our own one-child policy. His racial views were deplorable but at least Roosevelt loved his own kids.

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