The Signs of the Times


August 19, 1875

Mothers and their Daughters


Some mothers are at fault in releasing their daughters from toil and care. By so doing they encourage them in indolence. The excuse these mothers sometimes plead is, “My daughters are not strong.” But they take the sure course to make them weak and inefficient. Well-directed labor is just what they require to make them strong, vigorous, cheerful, happy, and courageous to meet the various trials with which this life is beset. ST August 19, 1875, par. 1

Mothers, labor will not injure your daughters so much as indolence will. Do they feel weary at the close of their day's duties? A night's rest will refresh and invigorate them, and in the morning they will be prepared to engage again in useful labor. ST August 19, 1875, par. 2

Many mothers are too ready to shield their delicate, ease-loving, pleasure-seeking, daughters from care and responsibility, as though they feared that a little care would injure them. These mothers make a sad mistake. In lifting responsibilities from their daughters, they make them inefficient for useful labor, and render them useless so far as practical life is concerned. ST August 19, 1875, par. 3

Their education has a tendency to make them thoughtless of others. They are frivolous, and, perhaps, vain. Their minds are occupied with themselves. Their own amusements and selfish gratifications are their chief study. They become proud, unteachable, and unamiable. They fancy themselves delicate in health, when they have the powers within them, if called into exercise, to make useful, working women. ST August 19, 1875, par. 4

Indolence is a curse to them. They learn the fashionable, simpering, and artificial lisping, so common with spoiled young ladies. Affectation is seen in almost every action. They are amused with themselves, and are thoughtless of others. They live upon the plenty which surrounds them in their parental homes, and depend upon the bounty given them of their parents. They lean upon parental strength, and fail to acquire the power of depending upon themselves. And those of this class are unprepared for the stern realities of life. They make no provision for the losses and disappointments of this inconstant life. They may be deprived of property and of parents. What then, will they lean upon? They have not acquired a principle of self-support, of noble independence and self reliance, and they droop through murmuring, disappointment, and discouragement. They may then regret the defects in their education, and blame their mothers for them. These are some of the many fruits of a mother's mistaken fondness. ST August 19, 1875, par. 5

Inactivity weakens the system. God made men and women to be active and useful. Nothing can increase the strength of the young like proper exercise of all the muscles in useful labor. But the indulgent mother frequently sacrifices her life in her misguided affection for her children. And are they, in any way, benefited by the great sacrifice of the precious strength of the mother? No; they are positively and permanently injured. They are taught to think and care only for themselves. “Just as the twig is bent, the tree inclines.” ST August 19, 1875, par. 6

Especially is this the case with those daughters who are more directly under the influence of the mother. She should instruct her daughters not to yield to indispositions and slight ailments. If they complain of inability to labor, they should not be urged to eat. They should be taught that if they are unable to perform light labor, the system is not in a condition to take care of food. They should fast for one or two meals, and drink only pure, soft water. The loss of a meal or two will enable the overburdened system to overcome slight indispositions; and even graver difficulties may be overcome by this simple process. ST August 19, 1875, par. 7

It is very injurious for persons in full flesh to lie in bed, simply because they feel sick. Some, even while thus inactive, eat regularly. The physical, mental, and moral powers are enfeebled by indolence. ST August 19, 1875, par. 8

Mothers, if your daughters are surrounded with plenty, do not make this an excuse for neglecting to give them an education in the useful branches of household labor. Do not encourage them in indolence, or allow frivolous employment of their time. You should help your children to acquire a knowledge, that, if necessary, they could live by their own labor. You should teach them to be decided in following the calls of duty. ST August 19, 1875, par. 9

Young friends, learn to lean upon divine strength. All other, in comparison with this, is feebleness. Although you may feel weak, you may look to God by faith, for energy to make your efforts efficient. In the strength of your Redeemer, you can follow in the path of duty. You can stand in his strength self-reliant, with noble independence, working with diligence to develop good physical, mental, and moral strength. You can do this while you depend upon the grace of your Redeemer to aid you in your efforts. Follow in the path of duty, and you may be assured that the dangers, trials, toils, and conflicts, of life, will never intrude their dark shadows in the mansions Christ is preparing for the faithful. ST August 19, 1875, par. 10

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying; neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things have passed away.” ST August 19, 1875, par. 11

E. G. White.