Child Guidance


Chapter 26—Courtesy and Reserve

Courtesy Begins in the Home [Note: See The Adventist Home, 421-429, chapter entitled “Courtesy and Kindness.”]—Parents, teach your children ... how to conduct themselves in the home with true politeness. Educate them to show kindness and tenderness to one another. Allow no selfishness to live in the heart or find room in the home.1 CG 143.1

The youth who grow up careless and rude in words and manners reveal the character of their home training. The parents have not realized the importance of their stewardship; and the harvest they have sown, they have also reaped.2 CG 143.2

Principles of Heaven to Pervade—The principles of heaven are to be brought into the government of the home. Every child is to be taught to be polite, compassionate, loving, pitiful, courteous, tenderhearted.3 CG 143.3

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.4 CG 143.4

Teach It by Precept and Example—Children, as well as those of older years, are exposed to temptations; and the older members of the family should give them, by precept and example, lessons in courtesy, cheerfulness, affection, and in the faithful discharge of their daily duties.5 CG 143.5

Respect for Weary Feet Nearing Their Rest—And God has especially enjoined tender respect toward the aged. He says, “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.” Proverbs 16:31. It tells of battles fought and victories gained, of burdens borne and temptations resisted. It tells of weary feet nearing their rest, of places soon to be vacant. Help the children to think of this, and they will smooth the path of the aged by their courtesy and respect, and will bring grace and beauty into their young lives as they heed the command to “rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man.” Leviticus 19:32.6 CG 144.1

Teach Reserve and Modesty—Pride, self-esteem, and boldness are marked characteristics of the children of this day; and they are the curse of the age.... The most sacred lessons of modesty and humility are to be taught to the children, both at home and in the Sabbath school.7 CG 144.2

Will you to whom I now address these words take heed to the instruction given you? Let the youth take warning; let them not be forward in conversation, but be modest and retiring. Let them be quick to hear things that will profit the soul, and be slow to speak, unless it be to represent Jesus, and to witness to the truth. Show humility of mind by modesty of demeanor.8 CG 144.3

A Guard to Virtue—Cherish the precious, priceless gem of modesty. This will guard virtue.... I feel impelled by the Spirit of the Lord to urge my sisters who profess godliness to cherish modesty of deportment and a becoming reserve.... I have inquired, When will the youthful sisters act with propriety? I know there will be no decided change for the better until parents feel the importance of greater carefulness in educating their children correctly. Teach them to act with reserve and modesty.9 CG 144.4

True Graces—A child's truest graces consist in modesty and obedience—in attentive ears to hear the words of direction, in willing feet and hands to walk and work in the path of duty. And a child's true goodness will bring its own reward, even in this life.10 CG 145.1