The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
December 19, 1878 A Few Words to Parents
Filed under: EG White Articles

The position of a parent is one of the most responsible on earth, yet it is far too lightly regarded by the majority of the world. The things which are perishable receive their time, labor, and money, while the work which will be enduring as eternity is made a secondary matter. The future of the rising generation is in the hands of parents; for, in a great measure, they hold within their control the destiny of their children both for time and for eternity. The salvation of the young depends almost wholly upon the training they receive in childhood. Christian parents, who believe the sacred truth of God, are required to regulate their own conduct by the sanctifying influence of that truth, and, by precept and example, impress lessons of morality and religion upon their children. Line upon line, precept upon precept they should be taught concerning the precious love of Jesus for man, and the virtue of his atonement. That love should be blended with all their studies and duties.

The love of Jesus won the hearts of children, and when the disciples would sent away the mothers with their children, through mistaken zeal to preserve the dignity of their Master, Jesus rebuked them, saying: “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Parents, it is your sacred privilege to bring your children to Jesus, and receive his blessing upon them. Bring your children to the loving Jesus, and then teach them the love and fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom. Impress upon them the sense of sacred things, and their own responsibility to God, and that no evil passion, selfishness, or pride will be excused by God, or will find entrance into the kingdom of heaven.

Children should be taught that simplicity of dress is to be preferred to gaudy display. They should learn that dress is a small matter in comparison with the acts of their daily life, and the character they are forming for eternity; that beauty of soul, the virtues and graces of a true Christian, are pearls of inestimable price, before which costly apparel and jewels sink into insignificance. They should be guarded against pride in their beauty of form or features. No idle words of praise of these attractions should ever fall upon their ears. Such seeds, dropped into ready soil of the heart, are speedily nourished by Satan, and soon spring forth into vigorous growth, bearing the bitter fruit of vanity, selfishness and folly.

Tell your children how little the Saviour values the vain things of earth; that he has said: “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Thus Christ exalts natural simplicity above artificial adornment, and counts the flowers growing in beauty in the valley as more attractive than all the glory of Solomon upon his throne. The devoted mother will not rob her children of the time that should be spent in their instruction, to waste it in preparing fine clothes for them, and in arraying them with garments that would tend to excite their vanity. She will rather impress upon their minds the fact that purity of heart and beauty of character are the only ornaments necessary for them to wear in order to enter the heavenly courts.

Love of the world is one of the leading temptations of youth, and one that our Saviour repeatedly warned his disciples against. Parents, however, frequently encourage in their children the desire to seek happiness in gratifying the outward senses, and in frequenting scenes of gayety and frivolous amusements. By teaching them to avoid these things, you prepare them to cherish elevated thoughts, fit them to occupy positions of trust and importance in this life, and to receive the reward of the faithful in the future immortal life.

In accepting the truth of God the minds of the young become strengthened to attain to greater intelligence. The dormant energies of the mind are, as it were, electrified, new powers seem to spring into life. The understanding, in striving to comprehend the heights and depths of the plan of salvation, becomes strong and grasping, and the whole being is illuminated by the brightness and glory of the infinite God. What a contrast is such a one with the youth who devotes his time and energies to the vain pleasures of the day, drifting into dissipation and folly, as surely dwarfing and enfeebling his mind as he is destroying his physical powers.

Children, as a rule, are allowed to gratify their appetite to a decidedly injurious extent. Their tastes are perverted by the use of coffee, tea, rich pastry, condiments, and sweetmeats. These indulgences lay the foundation for various diseases of the body, irritability, nervousness, and mental imbecility. Health, happiness, and life itself is too often sacrificed on the altar of appetite. The mother therefore cannot be too careful of her children in the matter of their eating and drinking. Their food should be simple, healthful, and well prepared; Nothing should pass their lips between meals, and then they should not be allowed to contract the habit of eating to excess. Your hired helpers should understand that they are not at liberty to infringe upon any of your rules in regard to the management of your children. If they fail to comply with this requirement, and secretly indulge your children in that which you have forbidden, discharge them at once. Let nothing interfere with your family government. Remember that hurtful indulgence of appetite renders the physical, mental, and moral faculties weak, and opens the way to temptations of various kinds, into which the victim of perverted appetite drifts almost unconsciously.

 If parents seek to obey the word of God, in bringing their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, they find a work before them requiring thought, resolution, and trust in God. Difficulties will arise on every hand which seem almost impossible to be overcome; but the parents must have continual communion with God in their trials and efforts, and have their souls stayed on him. He will not turn a deaf ear to their prayers, but will impart to them wisdom and strength.

Mothers, you have no time for vain display or idle gossip. Your precious moments should be employed in teaching your children the fear of the Lord and self-control, instilling into their minds godly principles, that will become a part of their very nature, and rule their lives; which will make them firm as a rock when temptations assail them, and true to God through weal and woe. Mothers, God will work with your efforts. If you plead the name of Jesus before the Father, that name will not be presented in vain. The Saviour has linked man with God, and earth with heaven. Be patient; work is faith. Believe yourself to be in the presence of Jesus. Anticipate the crown, the robe, the harp, for your dear children, the “Well done, good and faithful servant,” the rest, the peace, and joy of heaven, with those loved ones for whom you have prayed and striven on earth.
                                                        Mrs. E. G. White.

Jenny @ 3:15 am

% Comments for 'December 19, 1878 A Few Words to Parents'

  1.  
    Hazel Riley
    September 3, 2008 | 9:11 pm
     

    These words are as true today as when they were written over a hundred years ago.

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