Wisdom for Husbands and Fathers

Below are some of the quotes that stood out to me from Section IX (Father, the House-Band) of The Adventist Home, a compilation of writings by Ellen White. Most of these were written between the 1870s and 1890s. I marked or underlined a number of statements not listed here.

The husband is the house-band of the home treasures, binding by his strong, earnest, devoted affection the members of this household, mother and children, together in the strongest bonds of union. (p. 211)

The father should do his part toward making home happy. Whatever his cares and business perplexities, they should not be permitted to overshadow his family; he should enter his home with smiles and pleasant words. (p. 211-212)

Whatever may be his calling and its perplexities, let the father take into his home the same smiling countenance and pleasant tones with which he has all day greeted visitors and strangers. (p. 216)

Brethren, pray at home, in your family, night and morning; pray earnestly in your closet; and while engaged in your daily labor, lift up the soul to God in prayer. (p. 213)

You are to learn daily of Christ. Never, never are you to show a tyrannical spirit in the home…. Do all in your power to make the life of your wife pleasant and happy. (p. 213-214)

When you are almost ready to yield, to lose patience and self-control, to be hard and denunciatory, to find fault and accuse–this is the time to send to heaven the prayer, “Help me, O God, to resist temptation….” (p. 214)

Christ’s authority is exercised in wisdom, in all kindness and gentleness; so let the husband exercise his power and imitate the great Head of the church. (p. 215)

There must be love and respect manifested by the parents for one another, if they would see these qualities developed in their children. (p. 216)

The life of a mother in the humbler walks of life is one of unceasing self-sacrifice, made harder if the husband fails to appreciate the difficulties of her position and to give her his support. (p. 217)

The father should not become so absorbed in business life or in the study of books that he cannot take time to study the natures and necessities of his children. He should help in devising ways by which they may be kept busy in useful labor agreeable to their varying dispositions. (p. 221)

Fathers, spend as much time as possible with your children…. Never should a word of discouragement pass your lips. Do not bring darkness into the home. Be pleasant, kind, and affectionate toward your children, but not foolishly indulgent. (p. 222)

Fathers, combine affection with authority, kindness and sympathy with firm restraint. Give some of your leisure hours to your children; become acquainted with them; associate with them in their work and in their sports, and win their confidence. (p. 222)

Your life would be much happier if you did not feel that absolute authority is vested in you because you are a husband and father. (p. 225)

[Brother B] should be very tender and gentle toward his wife, who is his equal in every respect…. (p. 227)

You have looked upon it as a weakness to be kind, tender, and sympathetic and have thought it beneath your dignity to speak tenderly, gently, and lovingly to your wife. Here you mistake in what true manliness and dignity consist. (p. 228)

If the husband is tyrannical, exacting, critical of the actions of his wife, he cannot hold her respect and affection, and the marriage relation will become odious to her. She will not love her husband, because he does not try to make himself lovable. Husbands should be careful, attentive, constant, faithful, and compassionate. They should manifest love and sympathy…. (p. 228)

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