From Eternity Past


Importance of Prenatal Training

Fearful that they should make some mistake, the husband prayed, “Let the Man of God which Thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.” EP 403.3

When the Angel again appeared, Manoah's inquiry was, “How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?” The previous instruction was repeated—“Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware... . All that I commanded her let her observe.” EP 403.4

To secure for the promised child the qualifications necessary for his important work, the habits of both mother and child were to be carefully regulated. The child will be affected for good or evil by the habits of the mother. She must be controlled by principle and practice temperance and self-denial, if she would seek the welfare of her child. Unwise advisers will urge upon the mother the necessity of gratifying every wish and impulse; but the mother is by command of God placed under solemn obligation to exercise self-control. EP 403.5

And fathers as well as mothers are involved in this responsibility. As the result of parental intemperance, children often lack physical strength and mental and moral power. Liquor drinkers and tobacco users may transmit their insatiable craving, inflamed blood, and irritable nerves to their children. The licentious often bequeath unholy desires, and even loathsome diseases, to their offspring. The tendency is for each generation to fall lower and lower. To a great degree, parents are responsible for the infirmities of the thousands born deaf, blind, diseased, or idiotic. EP 404.1

The effect of prenatal influence has been by many lightly regarded, but the instruction sent from heaven to those Hebrew parents shows how this matter is looked upon by our Creator. EP 404.2

A good legacy from the parents must be followed by careful training and the formation of right habits. God directed that the future judge and deliverer of Israel should be under a perpetual prohibition against the use of wine or strong drink. Lessons of temperance, self-denial, and self-control are to be taught even from babyhood. EP 404.3