Counsels on Sabbath School Work


Cooperation in the Home

While it is essential that wise, patient efforts should be made by the teacher, the work must not be left altogether to the Sabbath school and church worker, but it must find its foundation and support in the work of the home. Parents have a sacred responsibility and charge committed to them, and they are called upon to keep their charge, to bear their responsibility in the fear of God, watching for the souls of their children as they who must give an account. CSW 44.1

Home missionary work has been strangely neglected. Those who have had the greatest reason for earnest, Christlike solicitude for the salvation of their children, have been indifferent to their responsibilities, and have lightly regarded the wants of their households. The responsibility which God has given to men and women as parents, many have shifted from themselves to the Sabbath school worker and to the church influence. But each instrumentality has its work, and parents who neglect their part will be weighed in the balances and found wanting. CSW 44.2

The instruction of Christ from the pillar of cloud to the children of Israel, defines the duty of parents, and is not indefinite or hard to be understood. This instruction is for our admonition and benefit. “Therefore shall ye lay up these My words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.” In every work of their hands, they were to remember the commandment of the Lord. It was to be bound upon their hands, not literally, but to exert an influence over every transaction of their lives. It was to be as frontlets between their eyes. Their minds were to dwell upon the truth of God's commandments, and they were to be governed by their principles. “And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the doorposts of thine house, and upon thy gates: that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.” ... CSW 45.1

Teach Modesty and Humility

The direction given by the Son of God to Moses, for the instruction of the children of Israel, is just as essential now as it was then, and it should be heeded as diligently by parents today as by God's ancient people. Religion must be woven into every part of the home life if we would see the results that God has designed as the fruit of following His way. Pride, self-esteem, and boldness are marked characteristics of the children of this day, and they are the curse of the age. When I see this un-Christlike, unlovely manifestation on every side, and then see parents and teachers seeking to display the ability and proficiency of their children and scholars, I am pained to the heart; for I know that it is exactly the opposite course from the one that should be pursued. CSW 45.2

Parents and teachers who gather their knowledge from the Bible, who are governed in mind and action by its holy principles, need not go astray, and be found in by and forbidden paths. The most sacred lessons of modesty and humility are to be taught to the children, both at home and in the Sabbath school. They are to be instructed as to the high claims of the law of God, and as to their responsibility before Him. The lessons that should be presented to them should be of such a character as would qualify them for usefulness in this life, and for a place in the future, immortal kingdom. CSW 46.1

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” These words plainly define the duty of parents and teachers; and if they will follow this instruction, they will not fail to see the best results. CSW 46.2

Results of Parent's Failure

How different would have been the Scriptural record of the history of Israel, a nation so highly favored of the Lord, if they had carried out the instruction given them from the pillar of cloud by the Son of the living God. But they did not diligently follow the admonitions given. They failed to teach their children the requirements of God; and the sad results are pictured before us in a nation rejected of God. They separated so far from the wisdom of God that when the Great Teacher, Jesus, the world's Redeemer, appeared, they cried, “Away with Him!” The tradition of men was more highly revered than the commandments of God. False practices and human inventions had taken the place of the pure teaching of God. That which was to have become a part of their being, was regarded as of small consequence and little worth. CSW 47.1

When Christ came into the world to exemplify true religion, and to exalt the principles that should govern the hearts and actions of men, falsehood had taken so deep a hold upon those who had had so great light, that they no longer comprehended the light, and had no inclination to yield up tradition for truth. They rejected the heavenly Teacher, they crucified the Lord of glory, that they might retain their own customs and inventions. The very same spirit is manifested in the world today. Men are averse to investigating truth, lest their traditions should be disturbed, and a new order of things should be brought in. There is with humanity a constant liability to err, and men are naturally inclined to highly exalt human ideas and knowledge, while the divine and eternal is not discerned or appreciated. CSW 47.2

Christ's Message Rejected

To those who were unprejudiced, the words of Christ were as the light from heaven. “Never man spake like this man.” As the Great Teacher presented the absorbing realities of the eternal future, the things of this perishing world were eclipsed. How eagerly did those who had been praying for light receive the truth. But the proud and self-righteous refused His message.—Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, 35-39. CSW 48.1