The Signs of the Times


April 1, 1903



Men and women are generally designed for the home life, and from an early age they should be taught to perform the duties of this life. They should be taught to see and improve opportunities for helping others. ST April 1, 1903, par. 1

Such a training is of untold value to a child, and it can be so given that the child will find pleasure and happiness in learning to be helpful. This is the mother's work,—patiently to train her children for usefulness. In doing this work, she will gain an invaluable experience. ST April 1, 1903, par. 2

Children are as easily interested in useful employment as in play. Each child should have his given duties, and should be taught to perform them with thoughtfulness and care. And when he does well, let the mother express her thanks. This will fill his heart with joy. Let her show her children that she appreciates their efforts to help. A word of praise will encourage them in well-doing. Thus teaching her children, the mother becomes their companion; and they are bound together by ties of love and helpfulness. ST April 1, 1903, par. 3

In the training of a child, there are times when the firm, matured will of the mother meets the unreasoning, undisciplined will of the child. At such times there is need of great wisdom on the part of the mother. By unwise management, by stern compulsion, she may do her child great harm. ST April 1, 1903, par. 4

Whenever possible, this crisis should be avoided; for it means a severe struggle for both mother and child. But once such a crisis is entered into, the child must be led to yield its will to the wiser will of the parent. ST April 1, 1903, par. 5

The mother should keep herself under perfect control, doing nothing that will arouse in the child a spirit of defiance. She is to give no loud-voiced commands. She will gain much by keeping the voice low and gentle. She is to deal with the child in a way that will draw him to Jesus. She is to realize that God is her Helper; love, her power. If she is a wise Christian, she will not attempt to force the child to submit. She prays earnestly, and as she prays, she is conscious of a renewal of spiritual power. She sees that the same power that is working in her is working also in the child. He becomes more gentle, more submissive. The battle is won. The mother's patience, her words of wise restraint, have done their work. There is peace after the storm, like the shining of the sun after rain. And the angels, who have been watching the scene, break forth into songs of joy. ST April 1, 1903, par. 6

My brother, my sister, are you living in close connection with God, so that you represent Him in the home? Do your children see in your daily life that which strengthens them in every right purpose? Your words and actions, yes, and the tones of your voice and the expression of your countenance, are leaving on their minds impressions that can never be effaced. The influence that you exert in the home mingles with the first conceptions of your children, and it should be to them a savor of life unto life. If your heart is sanctified by Christ's grace, you will stand in the home as an oracle of the cross. Christ will teach you to speak right words. He will speak through you, revealing the power of His grace. ST April 1, 1903, par. 7

Let not your hearts grow faint or your hands weary. By and by the portals of the heavenly city will open to you and your children, and you may bring them to God, saying, “Here am I, and the children whom Thou hast given me.” What a reward will then be yours!—to see your children crowned with immortal life in the city of God. ST April 1, 1903, par. 8