Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)

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Ms 27, 1896

Counsels to Parents and Children

Ashfield, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

September 4, 1896

This manuscript is published in entirety in RH 11/17/1896.

Yesterday Sister McEnterfer accompanied me to Ashfield. We were pleased to meet Brethren Farnsworth and Israel at the station. Brother and Sister Farnsworth have just ended their long voyage over the Pacific Ocean. They did not have a pleasant or enjoyable trip, and were glad to feel solid ground once more under their feet. 11LtMs, Ms 27, 1896, par. 1

On Sabbath Brethren Israel and Farnsworth attended the morning meeting in the Parramatta church. At the same time a meeting was being held in Sydney, in a hall which is hired by the Sydney church. I spoke to the people in Ashfield. The service was held in their new church, and I felt grateful to our heavenly Father for such a neat little chapel where we could worship God upon His holy Sabbath. Brother Semmens opened the meeting with prayer. The Lord gave me freedom to speak to those assembled. As I looked upon the earnest, interested faces of the children, my heart was touched, and I addressed myself to them, encouraging them to do service for God. 11LtMs, Ms 27, 1896, par. 2

In their early years, children may be useful in God’s work. They are the younger members of the family, and He will give them His grace and His Holy Spirit, that they may overcome impatience, fretfulness, and all sin. Jesus loves the children. He has blessings for them, and He loves to see them obedient to their parents. He desires them to be His little missionaries, denying their own inclinations and desires for selfish pleasures to do service for Him; and this service is just as acceptable to God as the service of grown-up children. 11LtMs, Ms 27, 1896, par. 3

The Lord Jesus received the mothers who brought their children to Him for His blessing. He appreciated their earnest desire that in their very early childhood their children should be brought to Him, that He might put His hands upon them, and give them a blessing. What comfort and encouragement this should give parents to teach their children that Jesus loves them, and will receive and bless them. Parents, teach your children that Jesus has given His own precious life in order that they may come to Him and receive His blessing. 11LtMs, Ms 27, 1896, par. 4

Children should pray for grace to resist the temptation which will come to them, temptations to have their own way and to do their own selfish pleasure. As they ask Christ to help them in their life-service to be truthful, kind, obedient, to bear their responsibilities in the family circle, He will hear their simple prayer. When very young, children may be taught to be useful in the home life, to live to please Jesus, that they may become members of the family above. They may be missionaries in the home, relieving, as far as possible, the weary mother, who has so many cares and burdens to bear. 11LtMs, Ms 27, 1896, par. 5

Help your children, parents, to do the will of God by being faithful in the performance of the duties which really belong to them as members of the family. This will give them a most valuable experience. It will teach them that they are not to center their thoughts upon themselves, to do their own pleasure, or to amuse themselves. Patiently educate them to act their part in the family circle, to make a success of their efforts to share the burdens of father and mother and brothers and sisters. Thus they will have the satisfaction of knowing that they are really useful. 11LtMs, Ms 27, 1896, par. 6

Let pleasant words only be spoken by parents to their children, and respectful words by children to their parents. Attention must be given to these things in the home life, for if, in their character building, children form right habits, it will be much easier for them to be taught by God, and to be obedient to His requirements. 11LtMs, Ms 27, 1896, par. 7

Children, as well as those of older years, are exposed to temptations, and the older members of the family should give them, by precept and example, lessons in courtesy, cheerfulness, affection, and in the faithful discharge of their daily duties. Children must be taught that they are a part of the home firm. They are fed, and clothed, and loved, and cared for; and they must respond to these many mercies by bringing all the happiness possible into the family of which they are members. Thus they become children of God, missionaries in the home circle. 11LtMs, Ms 27, 1896, par. 8

If parents neglect the education of their children, they deprive them of that which is necessary for the development of a symmetrical, all-sided character, which will be of the greatest blessing to them all through their life. If children are allowed to have their own way, they receive the idea that they must be waited upon, cared for, indulged, and amused. They think that their wishes and their will must be gratified. Educated in this way, they carry through all their religious experience the deficiencies of their home training. 11LtMs, Ms 27, 1896, par. 9

God would have our families a symbol of the family in heaven. Let parents and children bear this in mind every day, relating themselves to one another as members of the family of God. Then their lives will be of such a character as to give to the world an object lesson of what families who love God and keep His commandments may be. Christ will be glorified; His peace and grace and love will pervade the family circle like a precious perfume. A beautiful offering, in the child life of Christian missionaries, will be made to God. This will make the heart of Jesus glad, and will be regarded by Him as the most precious offering He can receive. 11LtMs, Ms 27, 1896, par. 10

May the Lord Jesus Christ be an object of worship in every family. If parents give their children the proper education, they themselves will be made happy by seeing the fruit of their careful training in the Christlike character of their children. They are doing God the highest service by presenting to the world well ordered, well-disciplined families, who not only fear the Lord, but honor and glorify Him by their influence upon other families; and they will receive their reward. 11LtMs, Ms 27, 1896, par. 11