Child Guidance


Chapter 81—Co-Ordination of Home and Church

Begin the Work of Grace in the Home—Parents, begin the work of grace in the church in your own home, so conducting yourselves that your children will see that you are co-operating with the heavenly angels. Be sure that you are converted every day. Train yourselves and your children for life eternal in the kingdom of God. Angels will be your strong helpers. Satan will tempt you, but do not yield. Do not speak one word of which the enemy can take an advantage. CG 548.1

Truth is pure and uncorrupted. Let it dwell in the heart. Let the determination of each member of the family be, “I will be a Christian, for in the school here below I must form a character which will give me entrance into the higher grade in heaven. I must do to others as I desire them to do to me, for only those who reveal Christ in this world can enter the courts of heaven.” CG 548.2

Make the home life as nearly as possible like heaven. Let the members of the family forget not, as they gather round the family altar, to pray for the men in positions of responsibility in God's work.1 CG 548.3

Those who govern their families in the right way will bring into the church an influence of order and reverence. They will represent the attributes of mercy and justice as standing hand in hand. They will reveal to their children the character of Christ. The law of kindness and love upon their lips will not make their commands weak and without authority, and their injunctions will not be met with disobedience.2 CG 548.4

Model Homes Make a Model Church—Every family is a church, over which the parents preside. The first consideration of the parents should be to work for the salvation of their children. When the father and mother as priest and teacher of the family take their position fully on the side of Christ, a good influence will be exerted in the home. And this sanctified influence will be felt in the church and will be recognized by every believer. Because of the great lack of piety and sanctification in the home, the work of God is greatly hindered. No man can bring into the church an influence that he does not exert in his home life and in his business relations.3 CG 549.1

Proper Church Conduct Is Learned at Home—The home is a school where all may learn how they are to act in the church. When all are members of the royal family, there will be true politeness in the home life. Each member of the family will seek to make it pleasant for every other member. The angels of God, who minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation, will help you to make your family a model of the heavenly family. Let there be peace in the home, and there will be peace in the church. This precious experience brought into the church will be the means of creating a kindly affection one for another. Quarrels will cease. True Christian courtesy will be seen among church members. The world will take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus and have learned of Him. What an impression the church would make upon the world if all the members would live Christian lives!4 CG 549.2

Why There Is Weakness in the Church—Many seem to think that the declension in the church, the growing love of pleasure, is due to want of pastoral work. True, the church is to be provided with faithful guides and pastors. Ministers should labor earnestly for the youth who have not given themselves to Christ, and also for others who, though their names are on the church roll, are irreligious and Christless. But ministers may do their work faithfully and well, yet it will amount to very little if parents neglect their work. It is to a lack of Christianity in the home life that the lack of power in the church is due. Until parents take up their work as they should, it will be difficult to arouse the youth to a sense of their duty. If religion reigns in the home, it will be brought into the church. The parents who do their work for God are a power for good. As they restrain and encourage their children, bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, they bless the neighborhood in which they live. And the church is strengthened by their faithful work.5 CG 550.1

Neglectful Parents Cannot Uplift the Church—If disobedience is allowed in the home life, the hearts of the children will be filled with opposition to the government of God. The power of the Holy Spirit will prove ineffectual to soften and subdue their hearts. If in later years, under special circumstances, they yield to the gospel of Christ, they will have to fight terrible battles to bring the disloyal will into submission to the will of God. Often the church has to suffer through its members because of the wrong education received by them in childhood. When children, they were allowed to practice deception in order to gain their own way; and the spirit that was permitted to be rebellious in the home will be the last to render obedience to the requirements of God's Word.6 CG 550.2

Spirituality May Be Killed by Criticism—When you are tempted to speak cross words, pray for grace to resist the temptation. Remember that your children will speak as they hear you speaking. By your example you are educating them. Remember that if you speak cross words to fellow church members, you would speak the same kind of words in heaven, were you permitted to enter there.... CG 551.1

After the family then comes the church. The influence of the family is to be such that it will be a help and a blessing in the church. Never speak a word of complaint or faultfinding. There are churches in which the spirituality has been almost killed, because the spirit of backbiting has been allowed to enter. Why do we speak words of blame and censure? To be silent is the strongest rebuke that you can give to one who is speaking harsh, discourteous words to you. Keep perfectly silent. Often silence is eloquence.7 CG 551.2

In Care for Unfortunate Youth—Young men and women who are not under home influences need someone to look after them and to manifest some interest for them; and those who do this are supplying a great lack and are as verily doing a work for God and the salvation of souls as the minister in the pulpit. This work of disinterested benevolence in laboring for the good of the youth is no more than God requires of every one of us. How earnestly should the experienced Christian work to prevent the formation of those habits that indelibly mar the character! Let the followers of Christ make the Word of God attractive to the youth.8 CG 551.3

The Minister Has a Special Opportunity—At every suitable opportunity let the story of Jesus’ love be repeated to the children. In every sermon let a little corner be left for their benefit. The servant of Christ may make lasting friends of these little ones. Then let him lose no opportunity of helping them to become more intelligent in a knowledge of the Scriptures. This will do more than we realize to bar the way against Satan's devices. If children early become familiar with the truths of God's Word, a barrier against ungodliness will be erected, and they will be able to meet the foe with the words, “It is written.”9 CG 552.1

Be As Faithful at Home As at Worship—Parents, as teachers of your loved ones the truth should have a controlling power over your conscience and your understanding, presiding over word and deed. Be as faithful in your home life as you are in the worship of God. Give a right character to all within the home. Angels of God are present, noting how the younger members of the Lord's family are treated. The religion of the home will surely be brought into the church.10 CG 552.2