Child Guidance


Chapter 27—Cheerfulness and Thankfulness

Let a Sweet Influence Pervade the Home—Above all things else, let parents surround their children with an atmosphere of cheerfulness, courtesy, and love. A home where love dwells, and where it is expressed in looks, in words, and in acts, is a place where angels delight to manifest their presence. CG 146.1

Parents, let the sunshine of love, cheerfulness, and happy contentment enter your own hearts; and let its sweet, cheering influence pervade your home. Manifest a kindly, forbearing spirit; and encourage the same in your children, cultivating all the graces that will brighten the home life. The atmosphere thus created will be to the children what air and sunshine are to the vegetable world, promoting health and vigor of mind and body.1 CG 146.2

Let the Countenance Be Cheerful—There is nothing gloomy in the religion of Jesus. While all lightness, trifling, and jesting, which the apostle says are not convenient, are to be studiously avoided, there is a sweet rest and peace in Jesus that will be expressed in the countenance. Christians will not be mournful, depressed, and despairing. They will be sober-minded, yet they will show to the world a cheerfulness which only grace can impart.2 CG 146.3

Children are attracted by a cheerful, sunny demeanor. Show them kindness and courtesy, and they will manifest the same spirit toward you and toward one another.3 CG 146.4

Educate the soul to cheerfulness, to thankfulness, and to the expression of gratitude to God for the great love wherewith He hath loved us.... Christian cheerfulness is the very beauty of holiness.4 CG 146.5

Speak Pleasant, Cheery Words—Pleasant, cheery words cost no more than unpleasant, moody words. Do you dislike to have harsh words spoken to you? Remember that when you speak such words, others feel the sharp sting.... Parents, bring practical godliness into the home. Angels are not attracted to a home where discord reigns. Educate your children to speak words that will bring sunshine and joy.5 CG 147.1

Encourage a Happy Frame of Mind—If there is anyone who should be continually grateful, it is the Christian. If there is anyone who enjoys happiness, even in this life, it is the faithful follower of Jesus Christ. It is the duty of God's children to be cheerful. They should encourage a happy frame of mind. God cannot be glorified by His children living continually under a cloud and casting a shadow wherever they go. The Christian should cast sunshine instead of a shadow.... He will bear a cheerful countenance.6 CG 147.2

Children hate the gloom of clouds and sadness. Their hearts respond to brightness, to cheerfulness, to love.7 CG 147.3

Smile, Parents, Smile—Some parents—and some teachers as well—seem to forget that they themselves were once children. They are dignified, cold, and unsympathetic.... Their faces habitually wear a solemn, reproving expression. Childish mirth or waywardness, the restless activity of the young life, finds no excuse in their eyes. Trifling misdemeanors are treated as grave sins. Such discipline is not Christlike. Children thus trained fear their parents or teachers, but do not love them; they do not confide to them their childish experiences. Some of the most valuable qualities of mind and heart are chilled to death, as a tender plant before the wintry blast. CG 147.4

Smile, parents; smile, teachers. If your heart is sad, let not your face reveal the fact. Let the sunshine from a loving, grateful heart light up the countenance. Unbend from your iron dignity, adapt yourselves to the children's needs, and make them love you. You must win their affection if you would impress religious truth upon their heart.8 CG 148.1

A Fitting Prayer—Make your work pleasant with songs of praise. If you would have a clean record in the books of heaven, never fret or scold. Let your daily prayer be, “Lord, teach me to do my best. Teach me how to do better work. Give me energy and cheerfulness.” ... Bring Christ into all that you do. Then your lives will be filled with brightness and thanksgiving.... Let us do our best, moving forward cheerfully in the service of the Lord, with our hearts filled with His joy.9 CG 148.2

Teach Children to Be Grateful—“Thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given thee.” Thanksgiving and praise should be expressed to God for temporal blessings and for whatever comforts He bestows upon us. God would have every family that He is preparing to inhabit the eternal mansions above give glory to Him for the rich treasures of His grace. Were children, in the home life, educated and trained to be grateful to the Giver of all good things, we would see an element of heavenly grace manifest in our families. Cheerfulness would be seen in the home life, and coming from such homes, the youth would bring a spirit of respect and reverence with them into the schoolroom and into the church. There would be an attendance in the sanctuary where God meets with His people, a reverence for all the ordinances of His worship, and grateful praise and thanksgiving would be offered for all the gifts of His providence. CG 148.3

If the word of the Lord were now as strictly carried out as it was when enjoined upon ancient Israel, fathers and mothers would give to their children an example which would be of the highest value.... Every temporal blessing would be received with gratitude, and every spiritual blessing become doubly precious because the perception of each member of the household had become sanctified by the Word of truth. The Lord Jesus is very near to those who thus appreciate His gracious gifts, tracing all their good things back to the benevolent, loving, care-taking God, and recognizing Him as the great Fountain of all comfort and consolation, the inexhaustible Source of grace.10 CG 149.1