Child Guidance


Chapter 19—Purity

Give Instruction in the Principles of Purity—Christian mothers, be entreated by a mother to realize the responsibility resting upon you. Teach your children from the cradle to practice self-denial and self-control. Bring them up to have sound constitutions and good morals. Impress upon their tender minds the truth that God does not design that we shall live for present gratification merely, but for our ultimate good. These lessons will be as seed sown in fertile soil, and they will bear fruit that will make your hearts glad.1 CG 113.1

To shield their children from contaminating influences, parents should instruct them in the principles of purity. Those children who in the home form habits of obedience and self-control will have little difficulty in their school life and will escape many of the temptations that beset the youth. Parents should train their children to be true to God under all circumstances and in all places. They should surround them with influences that tend to strengthen character. With such a training, children, when sent away to school, will not be a cause of disturbance or anxiety. They will be a support to their teachers and an example and encouragement to their fellow pupils.2 CG 113.2

Exercise Unceasing Watchfulness—Parents and guardians must themselves maintain purity of heart and life if they would have their children pure. They must give the needed instruction, and in addition to this they must exercise unceasing watchfulness. Every day new thoughts are awakened in the minds of the young, new impressions made upon their hearts. The associations they form, the books they read, the habits they cherish—all must be guarded.3 CG 113.3

Keep the Home Pure and Attractive—The home must be kept pure and clean. Unclean, neglected corners in the house will tend to make impure, neglected corners in the soul. Mothers, you are the educators of your children, and you can do a great deal if you begin early to inculcate pure thoughts, by fitting up their rooms in a cleanly, tasteful, attractive manner.4 CG 114.1

Guard the Associations—If parents desire their children to be pure, they must surround them with pure associations such as God can approve.5 CG 114.2

With what care parents should guard their children from careless, loose, demoralizing habits! Fathers and mothers, do you realize the importance of the responsibility resting on you? Do you allow your children to associate with other children without being present to know what kind of education they are receiving? Do not allow them to be alone with other children. Give them your special care. Every evening know where they are and what they are doing. Are they pure in all their habits? Have you instructed them in the principles of moral purity? If you have neglected to teach them line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, let not another day pass without confessing to them your neglect to do this. Then tell them that you mean now to do your God-appointed work. Ask them to take hold with you in the reform.6 CG 114.3

Neighbors may permit their children to come to your house to spend the evening and the night with your children. Here is a trial and a choice for you, to run the risk of offending your neighbors by sending their children to their own home, or gratify them, and let them lodge with your children, and thus expose them to be instructed in that knowledge which would be a lifelong curse to them. To save my children from becoming corrupted, I have not allowed them to sleep in the same bed, or in the same room, with other boys, and have, as occasion has required, when traveling, made a scanty bed upon the floor for them, rather than have them lodge with others. I have tried to keep them from associating with rough, rude boys and have presented inducements before them to make their employment at home cheerful and happy. By keeping their minds and hands occupied, they have had but little time, or disposition, to play in the street with other boys and obtain a street education.7 CG 114.4

Erect Barriers Against Sensuality—Those who have charge of God's property in the souls and bodies of the children formed in His image should erect barriers against the sensual indulgence of the age, which is ruining the physical and moral health of thousands. If many of the crimes of this time were traced to their true cause, it would be seen that they are chargeable to the ignorance of fathers and mothers who are indifferent on this subject. Health and life itself are being sacrificed to this lamentable ignorance. CG 115.1

Parents, if you fail to give your children the education which God has made it your duty to give them, you must answer to Him for the results. These results will not be confined merely to your children. As the one thistle permitted to grow in the field produces a harvest of its kind, so the sins resulting from your neglect will work to ruin all who come within the sphere of their influence.8 CG 115.2

Fill the Mind With Images of Purity—The Christian life is one of constant self-denial and self-control. These are the lessons to be taught the children from their infancy. Teach them that they must practice temperance, purity in thought and heart and act, that they belong to God because they have been bought with a price, even the precious blood of His dear Son.9 CG 116.1

If in their tender years the minds of children are filled with pleasant images of truth, of purity and goodness, a taste will be formed for that which is pure and elevated, and their imagination will not become easily corrupted or defiled. While if the opposite course is pursued, if the minds of the parents are continually dwelling upon low scenes; if their conversation lingers over objectionable features of character; if they form a habit of speaking complainingly of the course others have pursued, the little ones will take lessons from the words and expressions of contempt and will follow the pernicious example. The evil impress, like the taint of the leprosy, will cleave to them in afterlife. CG 116.2

The seed sown in infancy by the careful, God-fearing mother will become trees of righteousness, which will blossom and bear fruit; and the lessons given by a God-fearing father by precept and example will, as in the case of Joseph, yield an abundant harvest by and by.10 CG 116.3