Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6


Chapter 21—School Homes

In attending our colleges many of the youth are separated from the softening, subduing influences of the home circle. At the very time of life when they need vigilant supervision they are withdrawn from the restraints of parental influence and authority, and are thrown into the society of a large number of their own age, of varied characters and habits of life. Some of these have in childhood received too little discipline and are superficial and frivolous; others have been governed too much and have felt, when away from the hands that held the reins of control perhaps too tightly, that they were free to do as they pleased. They despise the very thought of restraint. By these associations the dangers of the young are greatly increased. 6T 168.1

Our school homes have been established that our youth may not be left to drift hither and thither, and be exposed to the evil influences which everywhere abound; but that, as far as possible, a home atmosphere may be provided that they may be preserved from temptations to immorality and be led to Jesus. The family of heaven represents that which the family on earth should be; and our school homes, where are gathered youth who are seeking a preparation for the service of God, should approach as nearly as possible to the divine model. 6T 168.2

Teachers who are placed in charge of these homes bear grave responsibilities; for they are to act as fathers and mothers, showing an interest in the students, one and all, such as parents show in their children. The varying elements in the characters of the youth with whom they are called to deal bring upon them care and many heavy burdens, and great tact as well as much patience is required to balance in the right direction minds that have been warped by bad management. The teachers need great managing ability; they must be true to principle and yet wise and tender, linking love and Christlike sympathy with discipline. They should be men and women of faith, of wisdom, and of prayer. They should not manifest stern, unbending dignity, but should mingle with the youth, becoming one with them in their joys and sorrows as well as in their daily routine of work. Cheerful, loving obedience will generally be the fruit of such effort. 6T 168.3