Child Guidance


Chapter 16—Health Principles

Begin Health Education Early .—The Creator of man has arranged the living machinery of our bodies. Every function is wonderfully and wisely made. And God has pledged Himself to keep this human machinery in healthful action if the human agent will obey His laws and co-operate with God.... We may behold and admire the work of God in the natural world, but the human habitation is the most wonderful. CG 103.1

From the first dawn of reason, the human mind should become intelligent in regard to the physical structure. Here Jehovah has given a specimen of Himself, for man was made in the image of God.1 CG 103.2

The first study of the young should be to know themselves and how to keep their bodies in health.2 CG 103.3

Lessons of Primary Importance—In the early education of children, many parents and teachers fail to understand that the greatest attention needs to be given to the physical constitution, that a healthy condition of body and brain can be secured.3 CG 103.4

The future happiness of your families and the welfare of society depend largely upon the physical and moral education which your children receive in the first years of their life.4 CG 103.5

Parents to Understand and Teach Physiology—If parents themselves would obtain knowledge and feel the importance of putting it to a practical use in the education of their dear children, we should see a different order of things among youth and children. The children need to be instructed in regard to their own bodies. There are but few youth who have any definite knowledge of the mysteries of human life. They know but little about the living machinery. Says David, “I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” CG 103.6

Teach your children to study from cause to effect; show them that if they violate the laws of their being, they must pay the penalty by suffering disease. If in your effort you can see no special improvement, be not discouraged; patiently instruct, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.... Press on until the victory is gained. Continue to teach your children in regard to their own bodies, and how to take care of them. Recklessness in regard to bodily health tends to recklessness in moral character.5 CG 104.1

Healthful Living Should Be a Family Matter—Healthful living must be made a family matter. Parents should awake to their God-given responsibilities. Let them study the principles of health reform and teach their children that the path of self-denial is the only path of safety. The mass of the inhabitants of the world by their disregard of physical law are destroying their power of self-control and unfitting themselves to appreciate eternal realities. Willingly ignorant of their own structure, they lead their children in the path of self-indulgence, thus preparing the way for them to suffer the penalty of the transgression of nature's laws.6 CG 104.2

Physical Training Should Be Given—Physical training, the development of the body, is far more easily given than spiritual training. The nursery, the playground, the workshop; the sowing of the seed, and the gathering of the harvest—all these give physical training. Under ordinarily favorable circumstances a child naturally gains healthful vigor and a proper development of the bodily organs. Yet even in physical lines the child should be carefully trained.7 CG 104.3

Obedience to Nature's Laws Brings Health and Happiness—Our children should be instructed that they may be intelligent in regard to their own physical organism. They can at an early age, by patient instruction, be made to understand that they should be made to obey the laws of their being if they would be free from pain and disease. They should understand that their lives cannot be useful if they are crippled by disease. Neither can they please God if they bring sickness upon themselves by the disregard of nature's laws.8 CG 105.1