Child Guidance


Chapter 74—Every Home a Church

Parents to Be God's Representatives—Every family in the home life should be a church, a beautiful symbol of the church of God in heaven. If parents realized their responsibilities to their children, they would not under any circumstances scold and fret at them. This is not the kind of education any child should have. Many, many children have learned to be faultfinding, fretful, scolding, passionate children, because they were allowed to be passionate at home. Parents are to consider that they are in the place of God to their children, to encourage every right principle and repress every wrong thought.1 CG 480.1

If the moral qualities of children are neglected by parents and teachers, they are sure to be perverted.2 CG 480.2

Bible Religion the Only Safeguard—Generally speaking, the youth have but little moral strength. This is the result of neglected education in childhood. A knowledge of the character of God and our obligations to Him should not be regarded as a matter of minor consequence. The religion of the Bible is the only safeguard for the young.3 CG 480.3

Happy are the parents whose lives are a true reflection of the divine, so that the promises and commands of God awaken in the child gratitude and reverence; the parents whose tenderness and justice and long-suffering interpret to the child the love and justice and long-suffering of God; and who, by teaching the child to love and trust and obey them, are teaching him to love and trust and obey his Father in heaven. Parents who impart to the child such a gift have endowed him with a treasure more precious than the wealth of all the ages—a treasure as enduring as eternity.4 CG 480.4

Profession Is Valueless Without Home Religion—The daily acts of life tell the measure and mold of our disposition and character. Where there is a lack of home religion, a profession of faith is valueless. Then let no unkind words fall from the lips of those who compose the home circle. Make the atmosphere fragrant with tender thoughtfulness of others. Only those will enter heaven who in probationary time have formed a character that breathes a heavenly influence. The saint in heaven must first be a saint upon earth.5 CG 481.1

That which will make the character lovely in the home is that which will make it lovely in the heavenly mansions. The measure of your Christianity is gauged by the character of your home life. The grace of Christ enables its possessors to make the home a happy place, full of peace and rest. Unless you have the Spirit of Christ, you are none of His and will never see the redeemed saints in His kingdom, who are to be one with Him in the heaven of bliss. God desires you to consecrate yourself wholly to Him and represent His character in the home circle.6 CG 481.2

The work of sanctification begins in the home. Those who are Christians in the home will be Christians in the church and in the world. There are many who do not grow in grace because they fail of cultivating home religion.7 CG 481.3

Parents as Educators in the Home Church—I speak to fathers and mothers: You can be educators in your home churches; you can be spiritual missionary agencies. Let fathers and mothers feel the need of being home missionaries, the need of keeping the home atmosphere free from the influence of unkind and hasty speech, and the home school a place where angels of God can come in and bless and give success to the efforts put forth.8 CG 481.4

Consider the family institution a training school, preparatory for the performance of religious duties. Your children are to act a part in church capacity, and every power of the mind, every physical capacity is to be kept strong and active for the service of Christ. They are to be taught to love truth because it is truth; they are to be sanctified through the truth, that they may stand in the grand review that shall take place erelong to determine the fitness of each to enter the higher school and become a member of the royal family, a child of the heavenly King.9 CG 482.1

They Must Lead Consistent Lives—Everything leaves its impress upon the youthful mind. The countenance is studied, the voice has its influence, and the deportment is closely imitated by them. Fretful and peevish fathers and mothers are giving their children lessons which at some period in their lives they would give all the world, were it theirs, could they unlearn. Children must see in the lives of their parents that consistency which is in accordance with their faith. By leading a consistent life and exercising self-control, parents may mold the characters of their children.10 CG 482.2

Train Children as Workers for Christ—Those who are united by the ties of nature have the strongest claims upon each other. The members of the family should manifest kindness and the tenderest love. The words spoken and the deeds performed should be in accordance with Christian principles. In this way the home may be made a school, where workers for Christ may be trained. CG 482.3

The home is to be regarded as a sacred place.... Every day of our lives we should surrender ourselves to God. Thus we may gain special help and daily victories. The cross is to be borne daily. Every word should be guarded, for we are responsible to God to represent in our lives as far as possible the character of Christ.11 CG 483.1

A Fatal Mistake Many Make.—Can we educate our sons and daughters for a life of respectable conventionality, a life professedly Christian, but lacking His self-sacrifice, a life on which the verdict of Him who is truth must be, “I know you not”? Thousands are doing this. They think to secure for their children the benefits of the gospel while they deny its spirit. But this cannot be. Those who reject the privilege of fellowship with Christ in service reject the only training that imparts a fitness for participation with Him in His glory. They reject the training that in this life gives strength and nobility of character. Many a father and mother, denying their children to the cross of Christ, have learned too late that they were thus giving them over to the enemy of God and man. They sealed their ruin, not alone for the future but for the present life. Temptation overcame them. They grew up a curse to the world, a grief and shame to those who gave them being.12 CG 483.2

We know not in what line our children may be called to serve. They may spend their lives within the circle of the home; they may engage in life's common vocations or go as teachers of the gospel to heathen lands; but all are alike called to be missionaries for God, ministers of mercy to the world. They are to obtain an education that will help them to stand by the side of Christ in unselfish service.13 CG 483.3

Teach Them to Rely on Divine Aid.—If you wish your children to possess enlarged capacities to do good, teach them to have a right hold of the future world. If they are instructed to rely upon divine aid in their difficulties and dangers, they will not lack power to curb passion and to check the inward temptations to do wrong. Connection with the Source of wisdom will give light and the power of discernment between right and wrong. Those so endowed will become morally and intellectually strong and will have clearer views and better judgment even in temporal affairs.14 CG 484.1

Salvation Assured Through Faith and Trust.—We can have the salvation of God in our families; but we must believe for it, live for it, and have a continual, abiding faith and trust in God.... The restraint which God's Word imposes upon us is for our own interest. It increases the happiness of our families, and of all around us. It refines our taste, sanctifies our judgment, and brings peace of mind, and in the end, everlasting life.... Ministering angels will linger in our dwellings, and with joy carry heavenward the tidings of our advance in the divine life, and the recording angel will make a cheerful, happy record.15 CG 484.2

The Spirit of Christ will be an abiding influence in the home life. If men and women will open their hearts to the heavenly influence of truth and love, these principles will flow forth again like streams in the desert, refreshing all and causing freshness to appear where now is barrenness and dearth.16 CG 484.3

Your children will carry forth from the home the precious influence of the home education. Then work in the home circle, in the first years of the children's lives, and they will carry your influence into the schoolroom; that influence will be felt by many others. Thus the Lord will be glorified.17 CG 484.4