Ms 2, 1903

The Home Life

We have only one life to live, only one probation in which to form characters that God can approve. Let parents take heed, first to themselves and then to their children. Let them learn from the Word of God what their duty is. The work committed to them is a most solemn and important one—a work that they cannot neglect without incurring heavy guilt. They should make all else secondary to the training of their children, remembering that as the twig is bent, the tree is inclined. Ms2-1903.13

Too much importance cannot be placed on the early training of children. The lessons that the child learns during the first seven years of life have more to do with forming its character than all that it learns in future years. Ms2-1903.14

To the mother is entrusted an important part in the training of her children. But all the responsibility does not rest on her. Father and mother should unite in this great work. The husband should show his wife that he appreciates her. If he wishes to keep her fresh and gladsome, so that she will be as sunshine in the home, let him help her to bear her burdens. Ms2-1903.15

Parents, make home happy for your children. By this I do not mean that you are to indulge them. The more they are indulged, the harder they will be to manage, and the more difficult it will be for them to live true, noble lives when they go out into the world. If you allow them to do as they please, their purity and loveliness of character will quickly fade. Teach them to obey. Let them see that your authority must be respected. This may seem to bring them a little unhappiness now, but it will save them from much unhappiness in the future. Let the home government be just and tender, full of love and compassion, yet firm and true. Do not permit one disrespectful word or disobedient act. Ms2-1903.16

Do not become impatient with your children when they err. When you correct them, do not speak abruptly and harshly. This confuses them, making them afraid to tell the truth. Remember that in them you are meeting your own traits of character—traits that you have given them. Therefore be very kind, very compassionate, very careful to do nothing that will arouse the worst passions of the human heart. Be so calm, so free from anger, that they will be convinced that you love them, even though you punish them. Ms2-1903.17

Never forget the words, “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones. For I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 18:10.] Ms2-1903.18

Let the mother teach her children to be her willing helpers, gladly assisting her to bear life’s burdens. Let cheerfulness reign in the home. The mother should put forth every effort to make home the most pleasant place in the world for her children. Let the long winter evenings be devoted to useful reading or to some other form of self-improvement. Ms2-1903.19

To the children I would say, Strive in every way possible to lighten your mother’s cares. Make home pleasant for her by cultivating a cheerful, happy temper. Be helpful in the home. Thus you are preparing yourselves for greater usefulness. It is your privilege to lighten the burdens that rest heavily on father and mother. Ms2-1903.20

Do not make your wants many, especially if the income for home expenses is limited. Bring your wants within your parent’s means. The Lord will recognize and commend your unselfish efforts. Give your lives to God, to be used by Him as He may see best. Begin in the home to work for Him. Do your part to make the home a place where angels shall love to dwell. Be faithful in that which is least. You will then be in no danger of neglecting greater responsibilities. God’s Word declares, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” [Luke 16:10.] Ms2-1903.21

From the child’s earliest years it is to be made acquainted with the things of God. In simple words let the mother tell it about Christ’s life on earth. And more than this, let her bring into her daily life the teachings of the Saviour. Let her show her child, by her own example, that this life is a preparation for the life to come, a period granted to human beings in which they may form characters that will win for them entrance into the city of God. Ms2-1903.22