The Youth’s Instructor



January 30, 1884

Home Duties


Dear young friends,

Let me point you to the life of Christ, to his compassion, his humility and love, his inexpressible tenderness. You are to copy his example. God has given you life and all the rich blessings that make it enjoyable, and in return he has claims upon you for service, for gratitude, for love, for obedience to his law. These claims are of the first importance, and can not be lightly disregarded; but he requires nothing of you that will not make you happier, even in this life. He requires you to control passion, to restrain selfish thoughts and actions, and to leave fretful words unspoken. Would Jesus require this self-control, if it were not for your real happiness to practice it? No; he wishes you to cultivate such traits of character as will bring peace to your own hearts, and enable you to brighten other hearts and lives with the sunshine of love, joy, and cheerful contentment. YI January 30, 1884, par. 1

If you are truly converted, if you are children of Jesus, you will honor your parents; you will not only do what they tell you, but will watch for opportunities to help them. In doing this you are working for Jesus. He considers all these care-taking, thoughtful deeds as done to himself. This is the most important kind of missionary work; and those who are faithful in these little every-day duties are gaining a valuable experience. Would it not be well to talk these matters over when you are together, and see what plans you can devise to become home missionaries? By cheerful obedience and manifesting a loving, helpful disposition in the home circle, you lighten the cares and burdens of your parents, and thus show true love for them, while exemplifying the grace of Christ. Take your older friends into your counsel, and see what you can do in this direction. YI January 30, 1884, par. 2

Many children go about their home duties as though they were disagreeable tasks, and their faces plainly show the disagreeable. They find fault and murmur, and nothing is done willingly. This is not Christ-like; it is the spirit of Satan, and if you cherish it, you will be like him. You will be miserable yourselves, and will make all about you miserable. Do not complain of how much you have to do, and how little time you have for amusement, but be thoughtful and care-taking. By employing your time in some useful work, you will be closing a door against Satan's temptations. Remember that Jesus lived not to please himself, and you must be like him. Make this matter one of religious principle, and ask Jesus to help you. By exercising your mind in this direction, you will be preparing to become burden-bearers in the cause of God, as you have been care-takers in the home circle. You will have a good influence upon others, and may win them to the service of Christ. YI January 30, 1884, par. 3

Some young persons who have the privilege of attending school, do not improve their advantages. They would like to read and write accurately, but the price of excellence is hard work, and they will not pay it. They remind me of the youth whose father sent him to school, and gave him every advantage for gaining a good education; but he neglected to study, saying that his father was able to give him a liberal education, and he was not going to bother his brains about it. You will all say at once that he would remain ignorant, for there is no royal road to learning. But wishing for a healthy religious experience without making earnest, self-denying effort, will be equally useless. Sighing over your ignorance of divine things will never make you wise unto salvation. There are ten thousand sluggish tears and sighs toward heaven that will never win one smile of approval from Jesus. Do not think that a Christian experience will come to you of itself. When you make up your mind to do something on which your heart is set, you do not give up for difficulties, but try again and again. Put the same energy and determination to succeed into the service of Christ, and you will not fail of a reward. YI January 30, 1884, par. 4

I point you, dear young friends, to Jesus. I commend you to his grace. He invites your confidence; and if you trust him in the simplicity of faith, he will come into your heart, and take up his abode with you, and will be to you an ever-present help in every time of need. Will you comply with the conditions laid down in his word? Will you come to Jesus? Many of you profess to be his followers; will you not begin now to imitate him in your lives? YI January 30, 1884, par. 5

Mrs. E. G. White