Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work


Influence in the Home

The home should be made a school of instruction, rather than a place of monotonous drudgery. The evenings should be cherished as precious seasons, to be devoted to the instruction of the children in the way of righteousness. But how many children are sadly neglected! They are not educated in the home, that they may comprehend the truth of God, and are not trained to love justice and to do judgment. They should be patiently instructed, that they may understand the laws that govern them, and that they may know the springs of their actions. They are to be brought into harmony with the laws of heaven, to cherish the truth as it is in Jesus. In this way they may be fitted to join the society of the angels, and to stand in the presence of the adorable Redeemer. TSS 101.2

There may be implanted in every human soul hopes and aspirations that will be of a right character, and youth may see beauty in the way of holiness. In every case it may be necessary to employ decided measures in dealing with the young, that they may be trained, cultivated, and perfected for the highest usefulness in life. How few appreciate the value of the talents that God has bestowed upon them! How few parents and educators realize the fact that there can be a full development of mind and heart only by having a living connection with the Source of all wisdom, power, and holiness! Truth is infinite, and he whose mind is enlightened and led by the Spirit of God, will go from strength to strength, finding his path growing brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. TSS 102.1

But while we are capable of advancing in knowledge and truth, let us not lose sight of the fact that we can go backward as well as forward. We may go earthward as well as heavenward. There are many souls who are balancing between the heavenward and the hellward course. There are influences, subtle and deceiving, drawing souls away from God and heavenly things. It is necessary that every one should be looked after from his earliest years to youth and maturity. Especially should those who know the danger of evil, and who know the love and interest that God feels for every soul, make it their business to watch for souls as they that must give an account. Parents should command their households after them, as did Abraham, to keep the way of the Lord. If this is not done, Satan will gladly undertake the work of the parent, and train the child as it pleases him; and, oh, how much this work is left to him! Let parents do their duty to those who are dependent upon them, and fashion their characters after the divine Pattern. Let parents, with living faith and entire reliance upon God, do the part assigned them, and God will do His part, and thousands of children who are now without God and without hope in the world, will be added to the church. TSS 102.2

When conversion of the youth shall be the great burden upon the hearts of the parents and teachers, efforts will constantly be made to discipline the character, to direct the tastes and desires in the heavenly channel. Every soul is capable of being built up in solid virtues. Each soul may reach heights, depths, and breadths of knowledge in spiritual things, and be fitted for the higher life. When parents take the first steps, making their own habits and practices in eating, dressing, and living, as simple and natural as possible, with an eye single to the glory of God, there will be order in the home, and the children will not be neglected; but time will be devoted to their instruction and development. TSS 103.1

The children should be surrounded by the best of influences and associations. Parents who undertake this work in the fear and love of God, will guard every word, that they may hear nothing that would pain them when their own conversation is repeated by the children. They will seek to supply the weakness, ignorance, and deficiency in their children by high moral instruction, that they may grow up strong in purity, with well-established habits that tend to health and happiness. With such an education they will gather up that kind of knowledge that will perfect the character in symmetry and strength. TSS 103.2

If the youth are left to pick up an education, they will find that every facility will be furnished. From a variety of sources the knowledge of evil will be brought to the mind, and, perhaps, in after life it can never be wholly effaced. When parents neglect their duty in laying the foundation of character for their children, bringing the very best principles as timbers for their character building, this neglect will be supplied by the enemy of God and man, and the youth will be indifferent to virtue and truth. The home should be made the most pleasant place in the world. What is the outward and the artificial compared with the true and the natural? The Lord has given to the children faculties that need the most careful training from both parents and teachers. TSS 104.1

Those to whom God has committed the responsibility of disciplining the youth should be in a condition to cooperate with Him in developing the precious gifts of mind and heart, that they may gain that kind of knowledge that will give increasing strength, and will be an acquisition that can be carried into the future, immortal life.... TSS 104.2

To mould and fashion the character of children and youth is a work of the very highest importance, and in this work it is essential to present Christ in His matchless love to the mind, that His counter and stronger charms may eclipse the attractions of the world. The youth must not merely see a theory, however logical, but the loving character and glory of Christ. They must be led to behold the riches of the eternal world, until they are encouraged, animated, and won. The love of Jesus must be the motive of all effort. It impels, it constrains, it captivates.—Sabbath-School Worker, August and September, 1896. TSS 104.3