Peter’s Counsel to Parents


Peter's Counsel to Parents

Introduction to 2 Peter 1

There are portions of scripture that seem to have been tailor-made for the needs of God's last-day people. Second Peter summarizes the message of all sixty-six books of the Bible—that God is worthy of man's admiration and trust—in a way that is particularly helpful to believers living just prior to Christ's second coming. PCP 7.1

Ellen White was fascinated with Peter's second epistle. She loved its optimism and often used it as a touchstone for letters, sermons, and articles. Of special interest to her was the clear help 2 Peter provided in the area of child guidance. PCP 7.2

We live in an age when many individuals are skeptical about the value of Christianity. And this skepticism goes largely unchecked because most forms of Christianity do not hold out much hope to the individual who wishes to experience real Christlike character development in this life, in the here and now. PCP 7.3

But Seventh-day Adventists are different. They rejoice in the possibility of daily change after the likeness of Jesus. Further, they believe not only that this growth has to do with the soul but that it is reflected in all aspects of living, whether health, education, citizenship, or parenting. They refer to this renewal and growth process as character development. PCP 7.4

Sometimes nonbelieving friends interpret the Seventh-day Adventist emphasis on character development as legalism and a system of salvation by works. But Adventists have a realistic understanding of man's grave limitations. Consequently, their optimism has not to do with their own ability to change and grow; it has to do with God's ability to restore His creatures, which is so clearly documented in such passages as 2 Peter 1. PCP 7.5

God never makes claims without providing evidence, and he has always sought to have a people whose lives would demonstrate the wisdom of his values. Seventh-day adventists believe that God has called them to live the message they preach, and so demonstrate its effectiveness for renewal in this life. The life styles of God's remnant people are to illustrate what God will do for all men and women of faith. PCP 8.1

In her comments on 2 Peter, Ellen White refers to God's offer to restore His image in believers as “an eternal life insurance policy.” God's prophet was surely anticipating world conditions today. Situations, achievements, and material things that have provided security for years are now breaking up, leaving people clamoring for something effective and lasting to cling to. Surely this is an age of opportunity for a church that is optimistic about God's ability to bring order, peace, and personal growth and fulfillment to individuals right here and now. PCP 8.2

We may not know the intricacies of God's method of redeeming men and women. But like patients who trust themselves to complex procedures understood only by their physician, Adventists trust in God's ability to restore His image perfectly in human beings. PCP 8.3

Each minute we are becoming more like the God we worship. Peter offers us a picture of a gracious God, one who stands ready to fill our lives with meaning. He reveals a God of growth and fulfillment. Ellen White draws on Peter's life. In what follows, she offers practical guidance for training children. PCP 8.4

Previously unpublished material from the pen of Ellen White is always exciting to discover. Since many of the following selections have not been readily available to parents and teachers, the reader will be delighted to see new concepts and emphases given to basic problems in the areas of parenting and teaching. Such topics as discipline, home education, and instilling imaginative religious faith in children are dealt with in a way that provides practical, usable guidelines, as well as personal inspiration. Of course, no study of Christian growth would be comprehensive without The Acts Of The Apostles chapter on 2 Peter 1, which is reprinted here for the reader's convenience. PCP 8.5