The Voice in Speech and Song


Chapter 5—The Role of Parents

Home a School for Speech Culture—It is the work of parents to train their children to proper habits of speech. The very best school for this culture is the home life. From the earliest years the children should be taught to speak respectfully and lovingly to their parents and to one another. They should be taught that only words of gentleness, truth, and purity must pass their lips. Let the parents themselves be daily learners in the school of Christ. Then by precept and example they can teach their children the use of “sound speech, that cannot be condemned.” Titus 2:8. This is one of the greatest and most responsible of their duties.—Christ's Object Lessons, 337, 338. VSS 33.1

The Parents’ Part and God's Part—Fathers and mothers, you have a solemn work to do. The eternal salvation of your children depends upon your course of action. How will you successfully educate your children? Not by scolding, for it will do no good. Talk to your children as if you had confidence in their intelligence. Deal with them kindly, tenderly, lovingly. Tell them what God would have them do. Tell them that God would have them educated and trained to be laborers together with Him. When you act your part, you can trust the Lord to act His part.—Child Guidance, 33. VSS 33.2

The Teaching of Correct Speech Habits—Instruction is to be constantly given to encourage the children in the formation of correct habits in speech, in voice, in deportment.—Fundamentals of Christian Education, 267. VSS 34.1

Sunshine or Shadows—It is important that children and youth should be trained to guard their words and deeds; for their course of action causes sunshine or shadow, not only in their own home, but also with all with whom they come in contact.—The Adventist Home, 437. VSS 34.2

Organs of Speech a Living Machinery—One of the finest and most elevating branches of education is that of knowing how to address members of the household, that the influence of the words spoken will be pure and incorruptible. The proper conversation of a Christian is that which will enable him to interchange ideas. Loud-voiced words, that help and bless no one, might better be changed for words of good, elevated, enlightened common sense. This line of work is the greatest missionary enterprise in which any Christian can engage. Those who use the organs of speech as the living machinery of God, become living stones in His temple, emitting light and knowledge. VSS 34.3

The warnings and instruction of the Word of God are least heeded on the subject of speech. If students would live according to the Bible rule, the glory of God would be their aim in the exercise of the God-given faculty of speech. They would diligently educate the tongue, so that it would not utter strange and perverse things. Thus they would indeed be overcomers in this exercise, which it is so difficult to practice. Great advancement would be made in garrisoning the citadel of the soul, that Satan should not enter to take possession.—Manuscript 74, 1897. VSS 34.4