The Review and Herald


September 8, 1904

Training Children for God—No. 1


“That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner-stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.” RH September 8, 1904, par. 1

It should be the object of every parent to secure to his children a well-balanced, symmetrical character. This is a work of no small magnitude and importance. It requires earnest thought and prayer, no less than patient, persevering effort. A right foundation must be laid, a framework, strong and firm, erected, and then day by day the work of building, polishing, perfecting, must go forward. RH September 8, 1904, par. 2

The early training of children is a subject that all should carefully study. We need to make the education of our children a business; for their salvation depends largely upon the education given them in childhood. Parents and guardians must themselves maintain purity of heart and life, if they desire their children to be pure. As fathers and mothers, we should train and discipline ourselves. Then as teachers in the home, we can train our children, preparing them for the immortal inheritance. RH September 8, 1904, par. 3

At an early age the minds of children are very susceptible to impressions of good or of evil. Even in infancy a child is affected by a sorrowful expression on the mother's face. In a home where harsh, fretful, scolding words are spoken, a child cries much, and upon its tender sensibilities are impressed the marks of unhappiness and discord. Then, mothers, let your countenance be full of sunshine. Smile, if you can, and the infant's mind and heart will reflect the light of your countenance, as the polished plate of an artist portrays the human features. Be sure, mothers, to have an indwelling Christ, so that on your child's plastic mind may be impressed the divine likeness. RH September 8, 1904, par. 4

Mothers, have you neglected your God-given responsibility of multiplying agencies for the service of Christ? Children are the younger members of the Lord's family. Parents should not allow them to be hindrances. They should be led to consecrate themselves wholly to God, whose they are by creation and by redemption. With their parents, children are to share spiritual as well as temporal burdens. They should be trained to be helpful. Thus they will be taught to serve the Saviour. RH September 8, 1904, par. 5

Opportunities of inestimable worth, interests infinitely precious, are committed to every mother. During the first three years of the life of Samuel the prophet, his mother carefully taught him to distinguish between good and evil. By every familiar object surrounding him, she sought to lead his thoughts up to the Creator. In fulfilment of her vow to give her son to the Lord, with great self-denial she placed him under the care of Eli the high priest, to be trained for service in the house of God. Though Samuel's youth was passed at the tabernacle devoted to the worship of God, he was not free from evil influences or sinful example. The sons of Eli feared not God, nor honored their father; but Samuel did not seek their company nor follow their evil ways. His early training led him to choose to maintain his Christian integrity. What a reward was Hannah's! and what an encouragement to faithfulness is her example! RH September 8, 1904, par. 6

The father should be the faithful high priest of the home, the house band of the family. He should not be so absorbed in business life or in the study of books that he can not take time to study the nature and the necessities of his children. He should devise ways by which they may be kept busy in useful labor agreeable to their individual dispositions. It is a great mistake to allow young men to grow up without learning some trade. To the parents of ancient Israel God gave a positive command that every child should learn a trade. The carelessness of parents in neglecting to furnish employment to their children has resulted in untold evil, imperiling the lives of many youth, and sadly crippling their usefulness. RH September 8, 1904, par. 7

God desires both parents and teachers to train children in the practical duties of every-day life. Encourage industry. Girls—and even boys who do not have outdoor work—should learn how to help the mother. From childhood, boys and girls should be taught to bear heavier and still heavier burdens, intelligently helping in the work of the family firm. Mothers, patiently show your children how to use their hands. Let them understand that their hands are to be used as skilfully as are yours in the household work. Often a fretful infant or a sick child keeps the mother awake night after night. At such times how much better it is for the children to draw upon their strength than to allow the already overtaxed mother to be burdened with work that they should do. Too often the mother succumbs to disease, sometimes lying upon her death-bed before her children realize that by sharing the home burdens, they could have lessened her cares, and spared her much suffering and affliction. RH September 8, 1904, par. 8

Prayerfully, unitedly, the father and the mother should bear the grave responsibility of guiding their children aright. Whatever else they neglect, they should never leave their children free to wander in paths of sin. Many parents allow children to go and do as they please, amusing themselves, and choosing evil associates. In the judgment such parents will learn that their children have lost heaven because they have not been kept under home restraint. Parents should awake to their solemn responsibility, realizing that they are to teach their children to walk in the narrow way, that at last, a united family, they may enter the heavenly kingdom. RH September 8, 1904, par. 9

Children left in the hands of Satan are gladly taken by him and used in his service. Fathers and mothers, Satan is seeking to seize every one of your children. Come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty powers of darkness. Consecrate your household to God. RH September 8, 1904, par. 10

Evening and morning join with your children in God's worship, reading his Word and singing his praise. Teach them to repeat God's law. Concerning the commandments the Israelites were instructed: “Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Accordingly, Moses directed the Israelites to set the words of the law to music. While the older children played on instruments, the younger ones marched, singing in concert the song of God's commandments. In later years they retained in their minds the words of the law which they learned during childhood. RH September 8, 1904, par. 11

If it was essential for Moses to embody the commandments in sacred song, so that as they marched in the wilderness, the children could learn to sing the law verse by verse, how essential it is at this time to teach our children God's Word! Let us come up to the help of the Lord, instructing our children to keep the commandments to the letter. Let us do everything in our power to make music in our homes, that God may come in. Banish the discord of scolding and fretting. Never exhibit passion. Christian parents will put away every objectionable trait of character, daily learning from the Great Teacher to train their children wisely, bringing them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. RH September 8, 1904, par. 12

Parents, your own home is the first field in which you are called to labor. The precious plants in the home garden demand your first care. To you it is appointed to watch for souls as they that must give an account. Carefully consider your work, its nature, its bearing, and its results. Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, you must instruct, warn, and counsel, ever remembering that your looks, words, and actions have a direct bearing upon the future of your dear ones. Your work is not to form beauty upon canvas, nor to chisel it from marble, but to impress upon a human soul the image of the Divine. RH September 8, 1904, par. 13

For Christ's sake, for the sake of your children, seek to conform your own life to the divine standard. Let nothing come between you and your God. Be earnest, patient, and persevering; be instant in season and out of season. Give your children intellectual culture and moral training. Fortify their young hearts with firm, pure principles. While you have opportunity, lay the foundation for a noble manhood and womanhood. Your labor will be rewarded a thousandfold. RH September 8, 1904, par. 14