The Bible Echo


December 15, 1893

Religion in the Home


It is natural to seek companionship. The link is a mysterious one which binds human hearts together; but just in proportion to its strength will be the influence which friend will exercise over friend for good or evil. No conscious influence may be exerted; but the feelings, tastes, and principles become closely blended. As wax retains the figure of the seal, so the mind retains the impressions made by intercourse and association. BEcho December 15, 1893, par. 1

Of all associations, those of the home are strongest, for they are constant and intimate; and for the tone that prevails there, parents are responsible. A holy light should shine forth from every Christian home; its influence should tend heavenward. The young need the safeguard of such homes. Their hearts are full of high anticipations. They see the downward road all strewn with flowers, and are unmindful that death is there; while the narrow path to life appears destitute of attractions, a path of thorns and briers. Whose hand but the parents’ shall tear away the disguise, and lead them in the path of safety and true happiness? BEcho December 15, 1893, par. 2

Parents should be home missionaries. They should seek to establish the claims of God's holy law; for its principles are at the foundation of the government of families and nations. They need God in the home; they need to make his Word their counsellor. The influence they exert is not confined to one home. If the law of God is neglected, the children, as they make homes of their own, feel under no obligation to teach their children what they themselves have never been taught. And this is why there are so many godless families; this is why depravity is so deep and widespread. BEcho December 15, 1893, par. 3

God should be worshipped in the home. But in too many cases family prayer is neglected. Parents feel that they cannot spare a few moments in which to gather their children about them, and give thanks to God for his abundant mercies,—for the blessed sunshine and the showers of rain, which cause vegetation to flourish, and for the guardianship of holy angels. They have no time to offer prayer for divine help and guidance, and for the abiding presence of Jesus in the household. They go forth to labour as the ox or the horse goes, without thought of God or heaven. They have souls so precious that rather than permit them to be hopelessly lost, the Son of God gave his life to ransom them; but they have little more appreciation of his goodness than have the beasts that perish. BEcho December 15, 1893, par. 4

If ever there was a time when every house should be a house of prayer, it is now. Like the patriarchs of old, those who profess to love God should erect an altar to his worship wherever they pitch their tent. The father, as priest of the household, should offer the morning and evening sacrifice, while the wife and children unite in prayer and praise. In a home where God is thus honoured, Jesus will love to tarry. BEcho December 15, 1893, par. 5

In every Christian home, kindness and patience should rule. Love should be revealed in action. It should flow out in all home intercourse, showing itself in thoughtful kindness, in gentle, unselfish courtesy. From a worldly point of view, money is power; but from a Christian standpoint, love is power. Wealth is often an influence to corrupt and destroy; force is strong to do hurt; but pure love has special efficacy. It prevents discord and misery, and brings the truest happiness. It gives intellectual and spiritual strength, and truth and goodness are its properties. BEcho December 15, 1893, par. 6

There are homes where righteousness prevails,—homes where God is worshipped, and truest love reigns. From these homes morning and evening prayer ascends to God as sweet incense, and his mercies and blessings descend upon the suppliants like the morning dew. The children that go out from such homes carry its influence with them, and are far less likely to yield to temptation. BEcho December 15, 1893, par. 7

A well-ordered Christian household is a powerful argument in favour of the reality of the Christian religion,—an argument that the infidel cannot gainsay. All can see that there is an influence at work in the family that affects the children, and that the God of Abraham is with them. If the homes of professed Christians had a right religious mould, they would indeed be the “light of the world.” The God of heaven speaks to every faithful parent in the words addressed to Abraham: “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.” BEcho December 15, 1893, par. 8