Selected Messages Book 3


Commendable Qualities of the Swiss Schools

I see some things here in Switzerland that I think are worthy of imitation. The teachers of the schools always go out with their pupils while they are at play, and teach them how to amuse themselves and repress any disorder or any wrong. This is an invariable law, and includes children from five to fifteen years of age. 3SM 228.2

As a reward for good behavior and studious habits the teachers take their scholars out and have a long walk with them, dismissing the school earlier than usual. I like this; I think there is less opportunity for the children to yield to temptation. The teachers seem to enter into the sports of the children and to regulate them. 3SM 228.3

Love Versus Strict, Unbending Rules—I cannot in any way sanction the idea that children must feel that they are under a constant distrust, and must be watched, and cannot act as children. But let the teachers join in the amusements of the children, be one with them, and show they want them to be happy, and it will give the children confidence. They can be controlled by love, but not by a stern, strict, unbending rule, to follow them in their meals and in their amusements.—Letter 42, 1886. 3SM 228.4

Our talents are lent us in trust, to use and increase by their use. Oh, if parents would only realize that the families on earth may be symbols of the family in heaven. If they would realize their accountability to keep their homes free from every taint of moral evil. God designs that we shall have far more of heaven in our families than we now enjoy. 3SM 228.5

Pleasant Scenes and Interesting Work—From their earliest years the children are learners, and if pleasant scenes are kept before them in the home, they will become familiar with Christian courtesy, kindness, and love. Their minds are built up by what they see and hear, and parents are sowing the seed which will reap a harvest either for weal or woe. If parents are Christians in name only, if they are not doers of the Word, they are placing their own superscription on their children, and not the superscription of God. Children long for something to impress the mind. For Christ's sake, parents, give their hungering, thirsting souls something upon which to feed. 3SM 229.1

Children are naturally active, and if parents do not furnish them with employment, Satan will invent something to keep them busy in an evil work. Therefore train your children to useful work. You can clothe all work with a dignity which will make it profitable and elevating. 3SM 229.2

Bring Pleasure in Relationship With Children—Do not feel it your duty to make the lives of your children unpleasant. The unpleasantness will come fast enough. Bring all the pleasure possible into your exercises as teacher and educator of your children. Encourage them to make a companion of you. Sinful impulses, sinful inclinations, and objectionable habits you will surely find in your children; but if you encourage them to seek your society, you can give a right mold to their tastes and feelings, and banish discontent, repining, and rebellion. Overcome their pride by living before them an example of meekness and lowliness of heart. 3SM 229.3

We need to weed out from our conversation everything that is harsh and condemnatory. When we have put on Christ in meekness and lowliness of heart we shall represent Christ in all our dealings with our children. To all who labor in Christ's lines for the salvation of souls, the Saviour says, “Ye are laborers together with God. Ye are God's husbandry; ye are God's building.”—Manuscript 143, 1899. 3SM 229.4