Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 25 (1910 - 1915)


Ms 31, 1910

The Home School



This manuscript is published in entirety in RH 01/12/1911. +Note

Parents have been given a wonderful work to do. The home life, in order to be successful, demands careful study. The home is to be a school in which children are to be trained for the higher school. The father and mother should make the decision, “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. ... I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.” [Psalm 101:2.] 25LtMs, Ms 31, 1910, par. 1

The husband and wife must love and respect one another. Thus only can the children be taught to respect their parents. If parents realized how greatly their attitude toward each other influences the conduct of the children, they would offer earnest prayers to God for wisdom to understand and teach the way of the Lord. 25LtMs, Ms 31, 1910, par. 2

In the home school there is to be no exaction, no commanding. Love is to bear rule. From their babyhood the children are to be taught to defer to one another, to show unselfishness in the smallest matters. If all were to learn this lesson in childhood, the curse of grasping for the supremacy would not so often be seen in the church. 25LtMs, Ms 31, 1910, par. 3

By precept and example, parents are to teach their children never to speak falsely. When a falsehood is uttered, the heavenly angels turn away in sorrow, grieved that Christ’s heritage should so dishonor Him. One falsehood spoken prepares the way for another. The Lord desires all to adhere strictly to the truth, to be straightforward in every transaction. Never tell a lie, because thus you hurt your own soul and disgrace yourself in your own eyes. 25LtMs, Ms 31, 1910, par. 4

Parents are the first teachers of their children, and by the lessons that they give, they, as well as their children, are being educated. As parents consecrate themselves, body, soul, and spirit, to the doing of their God-given work, the Lord will teach them precious lessons, giving them wise words to speak and helping them to show patience and forbearance under provocation. 25LtMs, Ms 31, 1910, par. 5

Parents, never let your children hear you speak a word of impatience. Give them the help of a Christlike example. Accept the invitation, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29-30.] In complying with this invitation you will find joy in service, and sweetness of disposition will be brought into the life. 25LtMs, Ms 31, 1910, par. 6

The mother is the queen of the home, and the children are her subjects. She is to rule her household wisely, in the dignity of her motherhood. Her influence in the home is to be paramount; her word, law. If she is a Christian, under God’s control, she will command the respect of her children. 25LtMs, Ms 31, 1910, par. 7

From the mother the children are to learn habits of neatness, thoroughness, and dispatch. To allow a child to take an hour or two in doing a piece of work that could easily be done in half an hour is to allow it to form dilatory habits. The mother should show the necessity of order, neatness, and dispatch, acting at the same time with such reasonableness that the children will not think her exacting. The habits of industry and thoroughness that she teaches her children will be an untold blessing to them in the larger school of life, upon which they must enter as they grow older. 25LtMs, Ms 31, 1910, par. 8

Mothers, keep your children occupied. If you fail to do this, Satan will do it for you. Set them some task to do each day. As early in life as possible, children should be trained to share the burdens of the home. Too often the mother’s life is almost that of a slave, while her daughters live the life of ladies. In nearly every case, the mother herself is to blame for this condition of things. While the children are still young, the mother should give them some simple task to do, telling them that they are helping her. It will take longer for her to teach them how to do the work than it would for her to do it herself, but let her remember that she is laying in their characters the foundation of helpfulness. Let her remember that the home is a school in which she is the head teacher. It is her part to teach her children how to perform the duties of the household quickly and skilfully. 25LtMs, Ms 31, 1910, par. 9

The mother is patiently to guide and direct and teach, helping the children by kind, encouraging words. If she is a learner in the school of Christ, she will be a wise teacher and a safe guide, knowing how to restrain hasty words and how to show patience and cheerfulness in the face of trial and misfortune. 25LtMs, Ms 31, 1910, par. 10

We need homes that are surrounded by a sanctified atmosphere. Unconverted families are Satan’s strongest allies. The members of them work counter to God. Some parents are harsh, denunciatory, overbearing, while others are careless and overindulgent, letting their children follow the course of disobedience until they do very wicked things and are a spectacle of shame to angels and to men. Such parents need to feel the converting power of God. By giving way to anger, and by selfish indifference, they unfit their children for this world and the next. How long will the Lord bear with this kind of work. He calls for a decided change in the home school. Let fathers and mothers repent of their neglect. “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.” [Ezekiel 36:25-27.] “The Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.” [Deuteronomy 30:6.] 25LtMs, Ms 31, 1910, par. 11

It is a fact that the Lord will thoroughly purge His floor and gather His wheat into His garner. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken. The Lord is calling for a people who in spirit and word and deed will bear fragrant fruit. He is indignant with those who are greatly dishonoring Him, and unless they change, He will punish for their sins. But if they repent, He will see their helplessness and will have pity upon them. “The Lord shall judge His people, and repent Himself for His servants, when He seeth that their power is gone.” [Deuteronomy 32:36.] 25LtMs, Ms 31, 1910, par. 12

I am writing this to the parents among us because I greatly desire them to learn and to teach their children the beautiful lessons that we must learn on earth before we can enter heaven. In everything you do, ask yourselves, “How will this help my children to prepare for the mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for those who love Him?” When the work in the home school is done as it should be, families will bring into the church such a noble unselfishness that heavenly angels will love to linger there. The feelings of resentment, so quickly aroused, will be looked upon as grieving the great, self-sacrificing heart of Christ. Hearts will be refined and purified, made fit for the indwelling of the Lord Jesus. 25LtMs, Ms 31, 1910, par. 13

Keep Christ before your children by singing songs to His glory, by seeking Him in prayer, and by reading from His Word, so that He will seem to them an ever-present Guest. Then they will love Him and will be brought to so closely into unison with Him that they will breathe out His Spirit. They will feel a new relationship to each other in Christ. 25LtMs, Ms 31, 1910, par. 14

When parents do faithfully the work resting upon them, a holy influence will be brought into the church, and in the power of God men and women will go forth into the service to which He calls them, however difficult, dangerous, or trying it may be. 25LtMs, Ms 31, 1910, par. 15