The Review and Herald

572/1902

March 31, 1891

Teach by Precept and Example

EGW

If we would have our children pure and elevated in character, we must see that their daily associates are what they should be. If children have companions who are noble and true, in most cases they themselves will become noble and true. They should have companions who will not ridicule what is pure and worthy, but will rather advocate what is right. The fear of ridicule leads many a youth to yield to temptation, and to walk in the way of the ungodly. Mothers may do much by example as well as by precept to show their children how to be upright amid scorn and ridicule. But too often mothers show a morbid sensitiveness as to what others may think of their habits, dress, and opinions, and, to a great extent, they are slaves to the thought of how others may regard them. Is it not a sad thing that judgment-bound creatures should be controlled more by the thought of what their neighbors will think of them than by the thought of their obligation to God? We too often sacrifice the truth in order to be in harmony with custom, that we may avoid ridicule. We do not carry all our burdens to the Lord, but craving human sympathy, we lean on broken reeds, seek to drink from broken cisterns that can hold no water. RH March 31, 1891, par. 1

A mother cannot afford to be in bondage to opinion; for she is to train her children for this life and for the life to come. In dress, mothers should not seek to make a display by needless ornamentation. The fringes, ribbons, laces, and ornaments are not necessary, and in the purchase of these things the money God has intrusted to us is turned away from its proper channel; for it should flow into the treasury to supply the wants of God's cause. RH March 31, 1891, par. 2

We should see that our children have advantages for gaining an education, that they have a pleasant home, furnished simply, and providing convenient, tasteful arrangements. These are legitimate channels in which our means may flow, and in denying self, the gratification of pride, we lose nothing; for we are comfortable in a pleasant home, and are provided with neat, plain garments. Mothers, by not following the practices of the world, you may set before your children an example of faithfulness to God, and so teach them to say no. Teach your children the meaning of the precept, “If sinners entice thee, consent thou not.” But if you would have your children able to say no to temptation, you yourself must be able to say no. It is as needful for the man to say no, as for the child. RH March 31, 1891, par. 3

With the sacred responsibilities of motherhood, how can a woman give herself to the frivolous fashions of the world, and so teach her children to conform to the world's standard? Demoralizing extravagance prevails everywhere, and souls are going to ruin because of their love of dress and display. The life of nine tenths of those who are devotees of fashion is a living lie. Deception, fraud, is in their daily practices; for they wish to appear that which they are not. RH March 31, 1891, par. 4

Nobility of soul, gentleness, generosity, are bartered away to gratify the lust after evil things. Thousands sell their virtue that they may have means for following the fashions of the world. Such madness concerning the changing fashions of the world should call forth an army of reformers who would take their position for simple and plain attire. Satan is ever inventing fashions that cannot be followed except through the sacrifice of money, time, and health. RH March 31, 1891, par. 5

Having before us the picture of the world's demoralization upon the point of fashion, how dare professed Christians follow in the path of the worldling? Shall we appear to sanction these demoralizing fashions by adopting them? Many do adopt the fashions of the world, but it is because Christ is not formed within them, the hope of glory. Luxurious living, extravagant dressing, is carried to such an extent as to constitute one of the signs of the last days. RH March 31, 1891, par. 6

Pride and vanity are manifested everywhere; but those who are inclined to look into the mirror to admire themselves, will have little inclination to look into the law of God, the great moral mirror. This idolatry of dress destroys all that is humble, meek, and lovely in character. It consumes the precious hours that should be devoted to meditation, to searching the heart, to the prayerful study of God's word. In the word of God, inspiration has recorded lessons especially for our instruction. Paul writes, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” No Christian can conform to the demoralizing fashions of the world without imperiling his soul's salvation. RH March 31, 1891, par. 7

Devotion to dress takes from the means intrusted for works of mercy and benevolence, and this extravagant outlay is robbery toward God. Our means has not been given to us for the gratification of pride and love of display. We are to be wise stewards, and clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and give our means to advance the cause of God. If we want adornment, the graces of meekness, humility, modesty, prudence, are suited to every person, in every rank and condition of life. RH March 31, 1891, par. 8

Shall we not take our stand as faithful sentinels, and by precept and example frown down indulgence in the dissipation and extravagance of this degenerate age? Shall we not set a right example to our youth, and whether we eat or drink, or whatsoever we do, do all to the glory of God? RH March 31, 1891, par. 9