Humble Hero

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An Example to Mothers and Fathers

Children are still the most receptive to the teachings of the gospel. Their hearts are strong to retain the lessons they receive. Little children may be Christians, in keeping with their years. HH 237.2

Fathers and mothers should look on their children as younger members of the Lord’s family whom God has committed to them to educate for heaven. The Christian home becomes a school, with the parents as underteachers and Christ Himself the Chief Instructor. We should teach our children to bring their sins to Jesus, asking forgiveness and believing that He pardons them, just as He received the children when He was personally on earth. HH 237.3

As the mother teaches her children to obey her because they love her, she is teaching them the first lesson in the Christian life. The mother’s love represents to the child the love of Christ, and the little ones who trust and obey their mother are learning to trust and obey the Savior. HH 237.4

Jesus was also the father’s example. His word had power, yet even with rude and violent men He did not use one unkind or discourteous expression. The grace of Christ in the heart will soften whatever is harsh and subdue everything that is coarse and unkind. It will lead fathers and mothers to treat their children as they themselves would like to be treated. HH 237.5

Parents, in training your children, study the lessons God has given in nature. If you want to train a rose or lily, how do you do it? Ask the gardener how he makes every branch and leaf develop in symmetry and loveliness. He will tell you: it was by no harsh touch, no violent effort. This would only break the delicate stems. It was by little attentions, often repeated. He moistened the soil and protected the growing plants from the fierce winds and scorching sun, and God caused them to blossom into loveliness. By gentle touches, seek to fashion the characters of your children after the pattern of the character of Christ. HH 237.6

Encourage the expression of love toward God and toward one another. The reason why there are so many hard-hearted men and women in the world is that true affection has been discouraged and repressed. Parents and perhaps others stifled the better nature of these persons in childhood. Unless divine love melts away their cold selfishness, their happiness will be forever ruined. If we want our children to possess the tender spirit of Jesus, we must encourage the generous, loving impulses of childhood. HH 237.7

Teach the children to see Christ in nature. Take them out into the open air, under the noble trees, into the garden. In all the wonderful works of creation, teach them to see His love. He made the laws that govern all living things, and He has made laws for our happiness and joy. Do not weary them with long prayers and tiresome lectures, but through nature’s object lessons teach them to obey the law of God. HH 238.1

As you try to make plain the truths of salvation, point the children to Christ as a personal Savior. Angels will be by your side. The Lord will give grace to fathers and mothers to interest their little ones in the precious story of the Baby in Bethlehem. HH 238.2

Do not keep the little ones away from Jesus by being cold and harsh. Never give them cause to feel that heaven will not be a pleasant place if you are there. Do not speak of religion as something that children cannot understand. Do not give the false impression that the religion of Christ is a religion of gloom, and that in coming to the Savior they must give up everything that makes life joyful. HH 238.3

As the Holy Spirit moves on the hearts of the children, cooperate with His work. The Savior is calling them. Nothing can give Him greater joy than for them to give themselves to Him in the bloom and freshness of their years. His heart is drawn out, not only to the best-behaved children, but to those who have inherited objectionable traits of character. Many parents do not have the tenderness and wisdom to deal with the misbehaving children whom they have made what they are. But Jesus looks on these children with pity. HH 238.4

Be Christ’s agent in drawing these children to the Savior. By wisdom and tact give them courage and hope. Through the grace of Christ they may be transformed in character, so that it may be said about them, “Of such is the kingdom of God.” HH 238.5