This may be my first post on parenting. I can’t remember for sure. Lately, I’ve been thinking about parenting–both in my family of origin and in our little home. My parents gave me an amazing, yet simple, childhood, and now their 50th wedding anniversary isn’t too far in the future. They’ve provided an important example.
This morning I started reading a book on Christian parenting, and I thought I’d share some of the quotes here for contemplation. These may be incomprehensible to some people or they might sound cheesy to others, but these lines spoke to me, so I’m sharing them here. I’ve added my own headings and rearranged the material to better suit these headings. These words were written between 1890 and 1911.
Importance of the Home
The well-being of society, the success of the church, the prosperity of the nation, depend upon home influences.
The elevation or deterioration of the future of society will be determined by the manners and morals of the youth growing up around us. As the youth are educated, and as their characters are molded in their childhood to virtuous habits, self-control, and temperance, so will their influence be upon society. (p. 15)
Importance of Love (Between spouses and between parents and children)
[Home] should be a little heaven upon earth, a place where the affections are cultivated instead of being studiously repressed. Our happiness depends upon this cultivating of love, sympathy, and true courtesy to one another….
If the will of God is fulfilled, the husband and wife will respect each other and cultivate love and confidence. (p. 15)
Make your home atmosphere fragrant with tender thoughtfulness. (p. 16)
You must not have strife in your household. “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” It is gentleness and peace that we want in our homes. (p. 18)
Every home should be a place of love, a place where the angels of God abide, working with softening, subduing influence upon the hearts of parents and children….
Wherever the love of God is cherished in the soul, there will be peace, there will be light and joy. Spread out the word of God before your families in love, and ask, “Where hath God spoken?” (pp. 18-19)
The home that is beautified by love, sympathy, and tenderness is a place that angels love to visit, and where God is glorified. The influence of a carefully guarded Christian home in the years of childhood and youth is the surest safeguard against the corruption of the world. (p. 19)
Parents and children should unite in offering loving service to Him who alone can keep human love pure and noble (p. 19)
Parenting (Discipline and living examples)
…parents should, in their words and deportment toward each other, give to the children a precious, living example of what they desire them to be. Purity in speech and true Christian courtesy should be constantly practiced. Teach the children and youth to respect themselves, to be true to God, true to principle; teach them to respect and obey the law of God. (p. 16)
Let every lesson be of an elevating and ennobling character…. Children who receive this kind of instruction will…be prepared to fill places of responsibility and, by precept and example, will be constantly aiding other to do right. Those whose moral sensibilities have not been blunted will appreciate right principles; they will put a just estimate upon their natural endowments and will make the best use of their physical, mental, and moral powers. (pp. 16-17)
God would have our families symbols of the family in heaven. (p. 17)
Much depends on the father and mother. They are to be firm and kind in their discipline… (p. 17)
Never forget that you are to make the home bright and happy for yourselves and your children by cherishing the Saviour’s attributes. (p. 17)
Troubles may invade, but these are the lot of humanity. Let patience, gratitude, and love keep sunshine in the heart though the day may be ever so cloudy.
The home may be plain, but it can always be a place where cheerful words are spoken and kindly deeds are done, where courtesy and love are abiding guests. (p. 18)
Administer the rules of the home in wisdom and love, not with a rod of iron. Children will respond with willing obedience to the rule of love. Commend your children whenever you can. Make their lives as happy as possible…. Keep the soil of the heart mellow by the manifestation of love and affection, thus preparing it for the seed of truth…. Remember that children need not only reproof and correction, but encouragement and commendation, the pleasant sunshine of kind words.
The first work to be done in a Christian home is to see that the Spirit of Christ abides there… (p. 20)
NOTE: All material is from chapter 1 of The Adventist Home by Ellen G. White.