Child Guidance


Section 4—Obedience, The Most Important Lesson

Chapter 10—The Key to Happiness and Success

Happiness Dependent on Obedience—Let fathers, mothers, and the educators in our schools remember that it is a higher branch of education to teach children obedience. Altogether too little importance is attached to this line of education.1 CG 79.1

Children will be happier, far happier, under proper discipline than if left to do as their untrained impulses suggest.2 CG 79.2

Prompt and continual obedience to wise parental rule will promote the happiness of the children themselves, as well as the honor of God and the good of society. Children should learn that in submission to the laws of the household is their perfect liberty. Christians will learn the same lesson—that in their obedience to God's law is their perfect freedom.3 CG 79.3

The will of God is the law of heaven. As long as that law was the rule of life, all the family of God were holy and happy. But when the divine law was disobeyed, then envy, jealousy, and strife were introduced, and a part of the inhabitants of heaven fell. As long as God's law is revered in our earthly homes, the family will be happy.4 CG 79.4

Disobedience Caused Loss of Eden—The history of Adam and Eve's disobedience in the very beginning of this earth's history is fully given. By that one act of disobedience our first parents lost their beautiful Eden home. And it was such a little thing! We have reason to be thankful that it was not a larger matter, because if it had been, little disregards in disobedience would have been multiplied. It was the least test that God could give the holy pair in Eden. CG 79.5

Disobedience and transgression are ever a great offense to God. Unfaithfulness in that which is least will soon, if uncorrected, lead to transgression in that which is great. It is not the greatness of the disobedience, but the disobedience itself which is the crime.5 CG 80.1

The Foundation of Temporal and Spiritual Prosperity—Temporal and spiritual prosperity are made conditional upon obedience to the law of God. But we do not read God's Word, and thus become familiar with the terms of the blessing that is to be given to all who hearken diligently to God's law and teach it diligently in their families. Obedience to God's Word is our life, our happiness. We look upon the world and see it groaning under the wickedness and violence of men who have degraded the law of God. He has withdrawn His blessing from orchard and vineyard. Were it not for His commandment-keeping people who live upon the earth, He would not stay His judgments. He extends His mercy because of the righteous, who love and fear Him.6 CG 80.2

Guide the Children Into Paths of Obedience—A sacred duty rests upon parents to guide their children into paths of strict obedience. True happiness in this life and in the future life depends upon obedience to a “Thus saith the Lord.” Parents, let Christ's life be the pattern. Satan will devise every possible means to break down this high standard of piety as one altogether too strict. It is your work to impress upon your children in their early years the thought that they are formed in the image of God. Christ came to this world to give them a living example of what they all must be, and parents who claim to believe the truth for this time are to teach their children to love God and to obey His law. This is the greatest and most important work that fathers and mothers can do.... It is God's design that even the children and youth shall understand intelligently what God requires, that they may distinguish between righteousness and sin, between obedience and disobedience.7 CG 80.3

Obedience to Become a Delight—Parents should educate their children line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, not allowing any disregard of God's holy law. They should rely upon divine power, asking the Lord to help them to keep their children true to Him who gave His only-begotten Son to bring the disloyal and disobedient back to their allegiance. God longs to pour upon men and women the rich current of His love. He longs to see them delighting to do His will, using every jot of their entrusted powers in His service, teaching all who come within the sphere of their influence that the way to be treated as righteous for Christ's sake is to obey the law.8 CG 81.1