The Home Missionary


The Home Missionary


June 1, 1889

Home Influence


There is earnest work to be done in this age, and parents should educate their children to share in it. If you would educate your children to serve God and do good in the world, make the Bible your textbook. Whatever else is taught in the home or at school, the Bible, as the great educator, should stand first. If it is given this place, God is honored, and he will work for you in the conversion of your children. There is a rich mine of truth and beauty in this holy book, and parents have themselves to blame if they do not make it intensely interesting to their children. The first and most precious knowledge is the knowledge of Christ; and wise parents will keep this fact ever before the minds of their children. Bible rules must be written on the heart. Bible rules must be carried into the every-day life. The Christian may lift up his soul to God for strength and grace amid every discouragement. Kind words, pleasant looks, a cheerful countenance, throw a charm around the Christian that makes his influence almost irresistible. It is the religion of Christ in the heart that causes the words issuing therefrom to be gentle, and the demeanor condescending, even to those in the humblest walks of life. The words we speak, our daily deportment, are the fruit growing upon the tree. If the fruit is sour and unpalatable, the roots of that tree are not drawing nourishment from a pure source. If our affections are brought into harmony with our Saviour, if our characters are meek and lowly, we evidence that our life is hid with Christ in God; and we shall leave behind us a bright track. Christian politeness should be cultivated by daily practice. That unkind word should be left unspoken, that selfish disregard for the happiness of others should give place to sympathy and thoughtfulness. True courtesy, blended with truth and justice, will make the life not only useful but fragrant. Home is made anything but happy, if the evil weeds of dissension, selfishness, envy, passion, and sullen stubbornness are left to flourish in the neglected garden of the soul. HM June 1, 1889, par. 1

The salvation of children depends very much upon the course pursued by the parents. Children must be restrained, and their passions subdued, or God will surely destroy them in the day of his fierce anger; and the parents who have not controlled them will not be blameless. It is because the home training is defective that the youth are so unwilling to submit to proper authority. I am a mother. I know whereof I speak when I say that youth and children are not only safer but happier under wholesome restraint than when following their own inclinations. Parents, your sons and daughters are not properly guarded. They should never be permitted to go and come when they please, without your knowledge and consent. The unbounded freedom granted to children at this age has proved the ruin of thousands. How many are allowed to be in the streets at night; and parents are content to be ignorant of the associates of their children. Should a limb be broken or fractured, parents will try every means that love or wisdom can suggest to restore the afflicted member to soundness. This is right, it is their duty; but the Lord requires that still greater tact, patience, and persevering effort be employed to remedy blemishes of the soul. HM June 1, 1889, par. 2

Mothers are accountable in a great degree for the health and lives of their children, and should become intelligent in regard to laws upon which life and health depend. Parents should teach their children by example that health is to be regarded as the chiefest earthly blessing; that all pleasures and indulgences are to be sacrificed which will interfere with health. If the children are taught self-denial and self-control, they will be far happier than if allowed to indulge their desires for pleasure and extravagance in dress. HM June 1, 1889, par. 3

The world may clamor for our time and affections, fashion may invite our patronage, but the words of the apostle should be enough to lead Christian mothers from the indulgence of pride in dress and demoralizing amusements: “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” HM June 1, 1889, par. 4

Christian mothers should take their position on the platform of truth and righteousness; and when urged to unite with the world in patronizing fashions which are health-destroying and demoralizing, they should answer, We are doing a great work, and cannot be diverted from it. We are seeking to develop in our children sound, worthy, and beautiful characters, that they may bless the world with their influence, and have immortal beauty and glory in the world to come. If children had such an example from their parents, it would have a saving influence upon their lives. HM June 1, 1889, par. 5

Children imitate their parents; hence great care should be taken to give them correct models. Parents who are kind and polite at home, while at the same time they are firm and decided, will see the same traits manifested in their children. If they are upright, honest, and honorable, their children will be quite likely to resemble them in these particulars. If they reverence and worship God, their children trained in the same way, will not forget to serve him also. HM June 1, 1889, par. 6

It is often the case that parents are not careful to surround their children with right influences. In choosing a home, they think more of their worldly interests than of the moral and social atmosphere; and the children form associations that are unfavorable to the development of piety and the formation of right character. Then parents allow the world to engross their time, strength, and thought; an apathy steals over the soul. The children are contaminated by evil communications, and the tenderness of soul they once felt dies away and is forgotten. HM June 1, 1889, par. 7

Parents who denounce the Canaanites for offering their children to Moloch, what are you doing? You are making a most costly offering to mammon; and then when your children grow up unloved and unlovely in character, when they show decided impiety and a tendency to infidelity, you blame the faith you profess, because it was unable to save them. You are reaping that which you have sown,—the result of your selfish love of the world and neglect of the means of grace. You moved your families into places of temptation, and the ark of God, your glory and defense, you did not consider essential; and the Lord has not worked a miracle to deliver your children from temptation. HM June 1, 1889, par. 8

You who love God, take Jesus with you wherever you go; and, like the patriarchs of old, erect an altar to the Lord wherever you pitch your tent. If ever there was a time when every house should be a house of prayer, it is now; and yet in this time of fearful peril, some who profess to be Christians have no family altar. I know of nothing that causes me so great sadness as a prayerless home. The children show the result of this neglect, for the fear of God is not before them. Parents should make a hedge about their children by prayer; they should pray with full faith that God will abide with them, and that holy angels will guard themselves and their children from Satan's cruel power. HM June 1, 1889, par. 9

There are homes where these principles are carried out,—homes where God is worshiped 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 evening dew. HM June 1, 1889, par. 10

God has promised to give wisdom to those who ask in faith, and he will do just as he said he would. He is pleased with the faith that takes him at his word. Today he is just as ready to listen to the petitions of his people as he ever was. “Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear.” And if Christian parents seek him earnestly, he will fill their mouths with arguments, and for his name's sake, will work mightily in their behalf in the conversion of their children. HM June 1, 1889, par. 11

Mrs. E. G. White