The Review and Herald


September 15, 1891

The Mother's Work


The work of the Christian mother begins in the home circle, in making her home what it should be,—pleasant to her husband, pleasant to her children. My sister, has God intrusted you with the responsibilities of a mother? You have a great work, a holy calling. If you are one of those who are to be the light of the world, that light is to shine in your home. Here you are to exemplify the Christian graces, to be lovable, patient, kind, yet firm. You are to be a laborer together with God, and you need to learn right methods, and acquire tact for the training of your little ones, that they may keep the way of the Lord. You need to seek constantly the highest culture of mind and soul that you may bring to the education and training of your children a restful spirit, a loving heart; that you may imbue them with pure aspirations, and cultivate in them a love for things honest and pure and holy. As a humble child of God, learn in the school of Christ; seek constantly to improve your powers, that you may do the most perfect, thorough work at home, by both precept and example. RH September 15, 1891, par. 1

In this work you have the help of the Lord; but if you ignore your duty as a wife and mother, and hold out your hands for the Lord to put another class of work in them, be sure that he will not contradict himself; he points you to the duty you have to do at home. If you have the idea that some work greater and holier than this has been intrusted to you, you are under a deception. By faithfulness in your own home, working for the souls of those who are nearest to you, you may be gaining a fitness to work for Christ in a wider field. But be sure that those who are neglectful of their duty in the home circle are not prepared to work for other souls. RH September 15, 1891, par. 2

Your children need a mother's care. Never did your sons in their helpless babyhood need a mother more than in their boyhood and youth. Your daughters also need a watchful guardianship of an affectionate Christian mother. Do not leave them to become demoralized by improper associations. The children need to be instructed, to be guided in safe paths, to be kept from vice, to be won by kindness, and by diligent training to be confirmed in well-doing. The Saviour discerns a value and dignity in every soul, because of the image of God which it bears. He died that your children might have the gift of eternal life. He looks upon them with divine compassion. Their souls may be saved unto eternal life, and they are just as precious as the souls of others. You have before your own door a little plot of ground to care for, and God will hold you responsible for this work which he has left in your hands. Through earnest prayer and study, you may become wise in your home, learning the different dispositions of your children, and carefully noting their behavior. You may have at home a little school, of which you shall be the teacher. If you seek wisdom from the Lord to understand his way and to keep it, he will give you wisdom and grace. RH September 15, 1891, par. 3

When we give ourselves unreservedly to the Lord, the simple, commonplace duties of home life will be seen in their true importance, and we shall perform them in accordance with the will of God. We are to be vigilant, watching for the coming of the Son of man; and we must also be diligent; working as well as waiting is required; there must be union of the two. This will balance the Christian character, making it well developed, symmetrical. We should not feel that we are to neglect everything else, and give ourselves up to meditation, study, or prayer; neither are we to be full of bustle and hurry and work, to the neglect of personal piety. Waiting and watching and working are to be blended. “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” RH September 15, 1891, par. 4

My sister, you may be bound about with poverty, your lot in life may be humble, but Jesus does not forsake you because of this. God has made you a trustee, a steward, in your home; seek to educate yourself for this work, and he will be by your side to bless all your endeavors, that by and by, when the reckoning time for the administration of your trust shall come, he may say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” RH September 15, 1891, par. 5

Mothers who do not love their children too much, may yet reveal their love unwisely, to the injury of the children. The love must be sanctified, and then the mother will not act from impulse, but from principle. Then she will bring up her children to be pure, and discipline them to obedience. RH September 15, 1891, par. 6

Your interest in your children must not make you a slave to wait on them. Teach them to help you. Boys and girls may be kept busy, trained to be faithful and diligent in the little things. It may seem to you that they hinder more than they help, but let them never know this. You are their teacher, and should train them to be useful, to do things tastefully and thoroughly. This is one of life's great lessons that is essential to the well-being of your children. “He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much.” You can preoccupy the minds of your children. Active brains and hands must be employed in something useful, as the parents may suggest, else they will be occupied with evil things, as Satan may direct. Parents may be teachers in a sacred sense, not only training the children to be useful in the common, homely duties of life, but all the time giving them illustrations of the higher life. Thus you are bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. RH September 15, 1891, par. 7

Children who have been properly educated, who love to be useful, to help father and mother, will extend a knowledge of correct ideas and Biblical principles to all with whom they associate. Such a family will have a powerful influence in favor of Christianity. But in order to secure this result, parents must not neglect their work or lose sight of their responsibility. Infidels assemble and devise plans to spread the poison of infidelity. The papists are untiring in plying their subtle arts to suppress the Bible, the living oracles which exalt God as supreme. They want the control of men's consciences. They want to enslave the soul, so that finite man shall occupy the place where God should be. And shall Christians who bow to God alone as infallible, be dull and inactive? Shall they not seek to understand what they can do to build up barriers against the tide of evil? Will they not educate and train their own children to become intelligent Christians, so that they may represent the character of Christ? RH September 15, 1891, par. 8

If parents believe that sin is an offense to God, and that none but the pure and holy can enter heaven; and if they are consistent in their belief, they will seek wisdom and grace from Christ, that by every means in their power they may teach their children to resist and overcome sin. Parents have given their children their own stamp of character; and if some traits are unduly developed in one child, and another reveals a different phase of character which is unlovely, who should be as patient and forbearing and kind as the parents? who should be as earnest as they to cultivate in their children the precious graces of character revealed in Christ Jesus? RH September 15, 1891, par. 9

Mothers do not half appreciate their privileges and possibilities. They do not seem to understand that they can be in the highest sense missionaries, laborers together with God in aiding their children to build up a symmetrical character. This is the great burden of the work given them of God. The mother is God's agent to Christianize her family. She is to exemplify Biblical religion, showing how its influence is to control us in its everyday duties and pleasures, teaching her children that by grace alone can they be saved, through faith, which is the gift of God. This constant teaching as to what Christ is to us and to them, his love, his goodness, his mercy, revealed in the great plan of redemption, will make a hallowed, sacred impress on the heart. RH September 15, 1891, par. 10

Scolding and fretting, gathering clouds and gloom about the soul, will bring only a shadow and discouragement in the home life. Let not one word of fretfulness harshness, or passion escape your lips. The grace of Christ awaits your demand. His Spirit will take control of your heart and conscience, presiding over your words and deeds. Never forfeit your self-respect by hasty, thoughtless words. See that your words are pure, your conversation holy. Give your children an example of that which you wish them to be. RH September 15, 1891, par. 11

The mother needs constant sympathy and help from the father of her children. The parents must be perfectly united in their work, and must seek help from God. While keenly alive to their sacred responsibilities, they should not become distrustful because they see that their work is imperfect, and does not secure the results they hoped for. Keep sowing the seed for time and eternity. All heaven is watching the efforts of the Christian parent. RH September 15, 1891, par. 12

The husband and father, the wife and mother, are in God's sight, in their religious life, just what they are in their home life. Father and mother, bind your hearts in closest, happiest union. Do not grow apart, but bind yourselves more closely to each other; then you are prepared to bind your children's hearts to you by the silken cord of love. RH September 15, 1891, par. 13

Mothers, be careful of your precious moments. Remember that your children are passing forward where they may be beyond your educating and training. You may be to them the very model of all that is good and pure and noble. Identify your interest with theirs. God does not intend that any other should do the mother's work in the training of her child. He wills that she shall rise to meet her sacred responsibility; but this can never be done while mothers so largely neglect their duty. RH September 15, 1891, par. 14

Nothing can have a greater claim upon the mother than her children have; and when their needs are lightly regarded, when she sets aside their claims, in order to devote herself to visitors, she is robbing her children of their God-given rights. No absorption in business on the part of parents can warrant a departure from God's plans and ways. Your first and grandest work is for your children. Let the light of heavenly grace irradiate your character, that there may be sunlight in the home. Let there be peace, pleasant words, and cheerful countenances. This is not blind affection, not that tenderness which encourages sin by unwise indulgence, and which is the veriest cruelty, not that false love which allows the children to rule, and makes the parents slaves to their caprices. There should be no parental partiality, no oppression; the combined influence of affection and authority will place the right mold upon the family. RH September 15, 1891, par. 15

We have Bible rules for the guidance of all, both parents and children, a high and holy standard, from which there can be no swerving. God's injunctions must be paramount. Let the father and mother of the family spread out God's word before him, the searcher of hearts, and ask in sincerity, “What hath God said?” RH September 15, 1891, par. 16