Conflict and Courage


Before the Baby Comes, May 4

Judges 13

Teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born. Judges 13:8. CC 130.1

God Himself appeared to the wife of Manoah and told her that she should have a son, and that he should be a great man and should deliver Israel. Then He gave her special instructions regarding her diet.... Let us regard this as instruction given to every mother in our world. If you want your children to have well-balanced minds, you must be temperate yourselves. Keep your own heart and affections sound and healthful, that you may impart to your offspring a healthful mind and body.7 Manuscript 18, 1887. CC 130.2

Every mother may understand her duty. She may know that the character of her children will depend vastly more upon her habits before their birth and her personal efforts after their birth, than upon external advantages or disadvantages.... The mother who is a fit teacher for her children must, before their birth, form habits of self-denial and self-control; for she transmits to them her own qualities, her own strong or weak traits of character.8Counsels on Diet and Foods, 218, 219. CC 130.3

Unwise advisers will urge upon the mother the necessity of gratifying every wish and impulse, but such teaching is false and mischievous. The mother is by the command of God Himself placed under the most solemn obligation to exercise self-control. And fathers as well as mothers are involved in this responsibility. Both parents transmit their own characteristics, mental and physical, their dispositions and appetites, to their children.9Patriarchs and Prophets, 561. CC 130.4

Many make the subject of temperance a matter of jest. They claim that the Lord does not concern Himself with such minor matters as our eating and drinking. But if the Lord had no care for these things, He would not have revealed Himself to the wife of Manoah, giving her definite instructions, and twice enjoining upon her to beware lest she disregard them.10Temperance, 233, 234. CC 130.5

The effect of prenatal influences is by many parents looked upon as a matter of little moment; but heaven does not so regard it.... In the words spoken to the Hebrew mother, God speaks to all mothers in every age.11The Ministry of Healing, 372. CC 130.6