The Youth’s Instructor


April 21, 1886

Home Education


Children and youth should cultivate habits of thoroughness in the matter of education. The college course does not embrace all the education which they are to receive. They may be constantly learning lessons from the things they see and hear. They may study from cause to effect, from the surroundings and the circumstances of life. They may learn every day something they must avoid, and something they may practice, that will elevate and ennoble them, giving solidity to the character, and strengthening in them those principles which are the foundation of noble manhood and womanhood. YI April 21, 1886, par. 1

If they enter upon their education with careless purposes, well content to pass along without any particular effort on their part, then they will not reach the standard God would have them attain. They will not be prepared to give the Lord that perfect service which he requires. The character which Jesus, who has redeemed us, expects us to exemplify before the world by right principles and correct action, requires constant effort on our part to attain. The work is to begin at home in the family circle. Here is where the discipline of self is to be entered upon. YI April 21, 1886, par. 2

Gird up the loins of your mind, says the apostle; then control your thoughts, not allowing them to have full scope. The thoughts may be guarded and controlled by your own determined efforts. Think right thoughts, and you will perform right actions. You have, then, to guard the affections, not letting them go out and fasten upon improper objects. Jesus has purchased you with his own life; you belong to him, therefore he is to be consulted in all things, as to how the powers of your mind and the affections of your heart shall be employed. YI April 21, 1886, par. 3

You will not find it profitable to think much of yourself; to esteem yourself will be to think less of others than they deserve. You will not find it profitable for growth in grace to select a few favorites whom you shall love, and to whom you will give special attention, while others even more worthy shall be neglected. There should be principle in all you do. There are those around you whom you can help if you will not be constantly studying how you can choose those things that will administer gratification to yourself. Bear in mind every day that you are not your own, you are bought with a price; you must, then, glorify God in your body and spirit, which are the Lord's. Your affections must center in Jesus Christ; then you will set the Lord ever before you, and know that he is at your right hand to help you. He will guide you continually with his counsel. YI April 21, 1886, par. 4

The controlling influence of the Spirit of God will direct the affections, that they shall not be placed upon improper objects. Will our youth bear in mind that this world is a training school, where they are to be fitted for the future immortal life? therefore their habits, their temper, their disposition, should have careful attention. Every wrong tendency may be, through the grace of Christ, repressed, not in a languid, irresolute manner, but with firmness of purpose, with high resolves to make Christ the pattern. Let your love go out for those things that Jesus loved, and be withheld from those things that will give no strength to right impulses. With determined energy seek to learn, and to improve the character every day. You must have firmness of purpose to take yourself in hand, and be what you know God would be pleased to have you. YI April 21, 1886, par. 5

Cultivate affection for your parents; seek to make them happy. This is the duty that God has enjoined upon you. “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” I have seen children who seemed to have no affection to give to their parents; no expressions of love and endearment, which are due them, and which they would appreciate; but they lavish an abundance of affection and caresses to select ones for whom they show preference. Is this as God would have it?—No, no. Bring all the rays of sunshine, of love, and of affection into the home circle. Your father and mother will appreciate these little attentions you can give. Your efforts to lighten the burdens, and to repress every word of fretfulness and ingratitude, show that you are not a thoughtless child, and that you do appreciate the care and love that has been bestowed upon you in the years of your helpless infancy and childhood. YI April 21, 1886, par. 6

Neglect not the little as well as the larger attentions in the home life. Cultivate tenderness, affection, and love, that have expression in little courtesies, in speech, in thoughtful attentions. Always remember that you are forming a character that will admit you as a member of the family above. Let the love of home be cherished; put away restless, dissatisfied feelings. If you have high aims, and purpose to reach an elevated standard, the home life is the very best discipline you can have. If you are wrong at home, you will be wrong in every aim and endeavor. Begin there to perfect a character that God will approve, that will make you a blessing at home; and when away from home, you will not fail to be a blessing to those you are brought in contact with. Religion practiced in the home will reflect beyond the home circle. The simple home lessons in a correct experience will become natural, will be lasting; and the best of all, these acts are registered in the books of heaven, admired by the heavenly angels, and will bring the reward when the Judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened, and every one rewarded as his works have been. YI April 21, 1886, par. 7

Idle dreaming, good purposes never carried out, will not benefit yourselves or any one else. But if you put yourselves to task to be right, to be useful, to be a blessing in the home and among the school associates, leading them by your example to right doing, your influence will extend beyond the school associations to all who come within the sphere of your influence. How much better to lead such a life than to be constantly weak in moral power, practicing evil, and leaving on the minds of others impressions that will not help them in the path of righteousness. May God help you, dear children, to build, through the grace of Christ, a symmetrical character, that you may secure the reward of eternal life. YI April 21, 1886, par. 8

Mrs. E. G. White