Child Guidance

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Chapter 70—Cautions and Counsels

Many Cases Have Been Revealed—Many cases have been presented before me, and as I have had a view of their inner lives, my soul has been sick and disgusted with the rotten-heartedness of human beings who profess godliness and talk of translation to heaven. I have frequently asked myself, Whom can I trust? Who is free from iniquity?1 CG 449.1

I am filled with horror as the condition of families professing present truth is opened before me. The profligacy of youth and even children is almost incredible. Parents do not know that secret vice is destroying and defacing the image of God in their children. The sins which characterized the Sodomites exist among them. The parents are responsible, for they have not educated their children to love and obey God. They have not restrained them, nor diligently taught them the way of the Lord. They have allowed them to go out and to come in when they chose, and to associate with worldlings. These worldly influences which counteract parental teaching and authority are to be found largely in so-called good society. By their dress, looks, amusements, they surround themselves with an atmosphere which is opposed to Christ. CG 449.2

Our only safety is to stand as God's peculiar people. We must not yield one inch to the customs and fashions of this degenerate age, but stand in moral independence, making no compromise with its corrupt and idolatrous practices.2 CG 449.3

The Ignorant to Be Enlightened—No matter how high a person's profession, those who are willing to be employed in gratifying the lust of the flesh cannot be Christians. As servants of Christ their employment and meditations and pleasure should consist in things more excellent. Many are ignorant of the sinfulness of these habits and their certain results. Such need to be enlightened.3 CG 449.4

One Who Requested Prayer for Healing—My husband and I once attended a meeting where our sympathies were enlisted for a brother who was a great sufferer with the phthisic. He was pale and emaciated. He requested the prayers of the people of God. He said that his family were sick, and that he had lost a child. He spoke with feeling of his bereavement. He said that he had been waiting for some time to see Brother and Sister White. He had believed that if they would pray for him, he would be healed. After the meeting closed, the brethren called our attention to the case. They said that the church was assisting them, that his wife was sick, and his child had died. The brethren had met at his house and united in praying for the afflicted family. We were much worn and had the burden of labor upon us during the meeting and wished to be excused. I had resolved not to engage in prayer for anyone, unless the Spirit of the Lord should dictate in the matter.... CG 450.1

That night we bowed in prayer and presented his case before the Lord. We entreated that we might know the will of God concerning him. All we desired was that God might be glorified. Would the Lord have us pray for this afflicted man? We left the burden with the Lord and retired to rest. In a dream the case of that man was clearly presented. His course from his childhood up was shown, and that if we should pray, the Lord would not hear us; for he regarded iniquity in his heart. The next morning the man came for us to pray for him. We took him aside and told him we were sorry to be compelled to refuse his request. I related my dream, which he acknowledged was true. He had practiced self-abuse from his boyhood up, and he had continued the practice during his married life, but said he would try to break himself of it. This man had a long-established habit to overcome. He was in the middle age of life. His moral principles were so weak that when brought in conflict with long-established indulgence, they were overcome.... CG 450.2

Here was a man debasing himself daily and yet daring to venture into the presence of God and ask an increase of strength which he had vilely squandered, and which, if granted, he would consume upon his lust. What forbearance has God! If He should deal with man according to his corrupt ways, who could live in His sight? What if we had been less cautious and carried the case of this man before God while he was practicing iniquity, would the Lord have heard? Would He have answered? “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight; thou hatest all workers of iniquity.” ... CG 451.1

This is not a solitary case. Even the marriage relation was not sufficient to preserve this man from the corrupt habits of his youth. I wish I could be convinced that such cases as the one I have presented are rare, but I know they are frequent.4 CG 451.2

A Self-murderer—A Mr.-----professed to be a devoted follower of Christ. He was in very feeble health. Our feelings of sympathy were called out in his behalf.... CG 451.3

His case was shown me in vision. I saw that he was deceived in regard to himself, that he was not in favor with God. He had practiced self-abuse until he was a mere wreck of humanity. This vice was shown me as an abomination in the sight of God.... CG 452.1

[He] had practiced these habits so long he seemed to have lost the control of himself. He was naturally a smart man, possessing more than common abilities. But how were all his powers of body and mind brought into subjection by Satan and consumed upon his altar! CG 452.2

This man had gone so far he seemed to be left of God. He would go into the woods and spend days and nights in fasting and prayer that he might overcome this great sin, and then would return to his old habits. God did not hear his prayers. He asked God to do for him what had been in his power to do for himself. He had vowed to God, time and again, and had as often broken his vows and given himself up to his own corrupt lust, until God had left him to work his own ruin. He has since died. He was a self-murderer. The purity of heaven will never be marred with his society5 CG 452.3

Appeal to an Indulged Daughter [Note: These are extracts from a letter to a self-willed girl who was practicing secret vice.]—Your mind is impure. You were relieved from care and labor altogether too long. Household duties would have been one of the richest blessings that you could have had. Weariness would not have injured you one tenth as much as have your lascivious thoughts and conduct. You have received incorrect ideas in regard to girls and boys associating together, and it has been very congenial to your mind to be in the company of the boys. You are not pure in heart and mind. You have been injured by reading love stories and romances, and your mind has been fascinated by impure thoughts. Your imagination has become corrupt, until you seem to have no power to control your thoughts. Satan leads you captive as he pleases.... CG 452.4

Your conduct has not been chaste, modest, or becoming. You have not had the fear of God before your eyes. You have so often dissembled in order to accomplish your plans that you bear a violated conscience. My dear girl, unless you stop just where you are, ruin is surely before you. Cease your daydreaming, your castle-building. Stop your thoughts from running in the channel of folly and corruption. CG 453.1

You cannot safely associate with the boys. A tide of temptation is roused and surges in your breast, having a tendency to uproot principle, female virtue, and true modesty. If you go on in your willful, headstrong course, what will be your fate? ... You are in danger, for you are just upon the point of sacrificing your eternal interests at the altar of passion. Passion is obtaining positive control of your entire being—passion of what quality? Of a base, destructive nature. By yielding to it, you will embitter the lives of your parents, bring sadness and shame to your sisters, sacrifice your own character, and forfeit heaven and a glorious immortal life. Are you ready to do this? ... CG 453.2

You are forward. You love the boys and love to make them the theme of your conversation. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Habits have become powerful to control you, and you have learned to deceive in order to carry out your purposes and accomplish your desires. I do not consider your case hopeless; if I did, my pen would not be tracing these lines. In the strength of God, you can redeem the past.... CG 453.3

Keep clear of the boys. In their society your temptations become earnest and powerful. Put marriage out of your girl's head. You are in no sense fit for this. You need years of experience before you can be qualified to understand the duties and take up the burdens of married life. Positively guard your thoughts, your passions, and your affections. Do not degrade these to minister to lust. Elevate them to purity; devote them to God. CG 454.1

You may become a prudent, modest, virtuous girl, but not without earnest effort. You must watch, you must pray, you must meditate, you must investigate your motives and your actions. Closely analyze your feelings and your acts. Would you, in the presence of your father, perform an impure action? No, indeed. But you do this in the presence of your heavenly Father, who is so much more exalted, so holy, so pure. Yes; you corrupt your own body in the presence of the pure, sinless angels and in the presence of Christ; and you continue to do this irrespective of conscience, irrespective of the light and warnings given you. Remember, a record is made of all your acts. You must meet again the most secret things of your life.... CG 454.2

Again I warn you as one who must meet these lines in that day when the case of everyone shall be decided. Yield yourself to Christ without delay; He alone, by the power of His grace, can redeem you from ruin. He alone can bring your moral and mental powers into a state of health. Your heart may be warm with the love of God; your understanding, clear and mature; your conscience, illuminated, quick, and pure; your will, upright and sanctified, subject to the control of the Spirit of God. You can make yourself what you choose. If you will now face right about, cease to do evil and learn to do well, then you will be happy indeed; you will be successful in the battles of life and rise to glory and honor in the better life than this. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.”6 CG 454.3

Satan Works While Parents Sleep—This is a fast age. Little boys and girls commence paying attentions to one another when they should both be in the nursery, taking lessons in modesty of deportment. What is the effect of this common mixing up? Does it increase chastity in the youth who thus gather together? No, indeed! It increases the first lustful passions; after such meetings the youth are crazed by the devil and give themselves up to their vile practices. CG 455.1

Parents are asleep and know not that Satan has planted his hellish banner right in their households. What, I was led to inquire, will become of the youth in this corrupt age? I repeat, Parents are asleep. The children are infatuated with a lovesick sentimentalism, and the truth has no power to correct the wrong. What can be done to stay the tide of evil? Parents can do much if they will. CG 455.2

If a young girl just entering her teens is accosted with familiarity by a boy of her own age, or older, she should be taught to so resent this that no such advances will ever be repeated. When a girl's company is frequently sought by boys or young men, something is wrong. That young girl needs a mother to show her her place, to restrain her, and teach her what belongs to a girl of her age. CG 455.3

The corrupting doctrine which has prevailed, that, as viewed from a health standpoint, the sexes must mingle together, has done its mischievous work. When parents and guardians manifest one tithe of the shrewdness which Satan possesses, then can this association of sexes be nearer harmless. As it is, Satan is most successful in his efforts to bewitch the minds of the youth; and the mingling of boys and girls only increases the evil twenty- fold.7 CG 456.1

The Picture Is Not Colored—Do not deceive yourselves into the belief that, after all, this matter is placed before you in an exaggerated light. I have not colored the picture. I have stated facts which will bear the test of the judgment. Awake! Awake! I beseech you, before it shall be too late for wrongs to be righted, and you and your children perish in the general ruin. Take hold of the solemn work, and bring to your aid every ray of light you can gather than has shone upon your pathway, and that you have not cherished; and, together with the aid of the light now shining, commence an investigation of your life and character as if you were before the tribunal of God.8 CG 456.2

Until parents arouse, there is no hope for their children.9 CG 456.3