August 7, 2011 – August 13, 2011
“I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.” II John 1:4.
Study Help: Child Guidance, 293–311.
“The greatest evidence of the power of Christianity that can be presented to the world is a well-ordered, well-disciplined family. This will recommend the truth as nothing else can, for it is a living witness of its practical power upon the heart.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 304.
1 PROPERLY TRAINED
- What must we consider in determining our suitableness as parents? Deuteronomy 6:5–8.
Note: “How startling is the proverb, ‘As the twig is bent, the tree is inclined.’ This is to be applied to the training of our children. Parents, will you remember that the education of your children from their earliest years is committed to you as a sacred trust? … Home education is not by any means to be neglected.” Child Guidance, 18.
- What does the Lord desire to see in our homes? Colossians 3:12–14; II John 4.
Note: “God commanded the Hebrews to teach their children His requirements, and to make them acquainted with all His dealings with their people. The home and the school were one. In the place of stranger lips, the loving hearts of the father and mother were to give instruction to their children.” Child Guidance, 18, 19.
“Every family is a church, over which the parents preside. The first consideration of the parents should be to work for the salvation of their children. When the father and mother as priest and teacher of the family take their position fully on the side of Christ, a good influence will be exerted in the home.” Ibid., 549.
2 WHAT SHALL WE TEACH?
- What is included in the mandate to “train up a child”? Exodus 24:12; Deuteronomy 4:1, 9, 10; 20:18.
Note: “There is a time for training children and a time for educating youth, and it is essential that in school both of these be combined in a great degree. Children may be trained for the service of sin or for the service of righteousness. The early education of youth shapes their characters both in their secular and in their religious life. Solomon says, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it’ [Proverbs 22:6]. This language is positive. The training which Solomon enjoins is to direct, educate, and develop.
“In order for parents and teachers to do this work, they must themselves understand ‘the way’ the child should go. This embraces more than merely having a knowledge of books. It takes in everything that is good, virtuous, righteous, and holy. It comprehends the practice of temperance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love to God and to one another. In order to attain this object, the physical, mental, moral, and religious education of children must have attention.” Child Guidance, 297.
- What parable gives us lessons in child training? Mark 4:28.
Note: “The gradual development of the plant from the seed is an object lesson in child training. There is ‘first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear’ [Mark 4:27]. …
“The work of parents and teachers is here suggested. They should aim so to cultivate the tendencies of the youth that at each stage of their life they may represent the natural beauty appropriate to that period, unfolding naturally, as do the plants in the garden. …
“The little ones should be educated in childlike simplicity. They should be trained to be content with the small, helpful duties and the pleasures and experiences natural to their years. … The children should not be forced into a precocious maturity but should retain as long as possible the freshness and grace of their early years.
“The little children may be Christians, having an experience in accordance with their years. This is all that God expects of them. They need to be educated in spiritual things; and parents should give them every advantage that they may form characters after the similitude of the character of Christ.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 82–84.
3 TRUE OR FALSE EDUCATION?
- What is the purpose of true education? Colossians 1:9, 10.
Note: “True education means more than taking a certain course of study. It is broad. It includes the harmonious development of all the physical powers and the mental faculties. It teaches the love and fear of God and is a preparation for the faithful discharge of life’s duties.
“Proper education includes not only mental discipline, but that training which will secure sound morals and correct deportment.
“The first great lesson in all education is to know and understand the will of God. We should bring into every day of life the effort to gain this knowledge.” Child Guidance, 293.
- What should be our textbook and the foundation of all our education? II Timothy 3:15.
Note: “The Bible should be the child’s first textbook. From this book, parents are to give wise instruction. The Word of God is to be made this rule of the life.” Child Guidance, 41.
“God designed the Bible to be a lessonbook to all mankind, in childhood, youth, and manhood, and to be studied through all time. He gave His word to men as a revelation of Himself. … The study of the Scriptures is the means divinely ordained to bring men into closer connection with their Creator and to give them a clearer knowledge of His will. It is the medium of communication between God and man.” The Great Controversy, 69.
- What fundamental truths must we be aware of in seeking to educate our children? I Corinthians 3:18–20; Colossians 2:8.
Note: “There are two classes of educators in the world. One class is those whom God makes channels of light, and the other class is those whom Satan uses as his agents, who are wise to do evil. …
“In planning for the education of their children outside the home, parents should realize that it is no longer safe to send them to the public school, and should endeavor to send them to schools where they will obtain an education based on a Scriptural foundation.” Child Guidance, 303, 304.
- What else is necessary for our own well-being and that of our families? Titus 2:12; Mark 6:31.
Note: “An intensity such as never before was seen is taking possession of the world. In amusement, in money-making, in the contest for power, in the very struggle for existence, there is a terrible force that engrosses body and mind and soul. In the midst of this maddening rush, God is speaking. He bids us come apart and commune with Him. ‘Be still and know that I am God’ [Psalm 46:10]. …
“Not a pause for a moment in His presence, but personal contact with Christ, to sit down in companionship with Him—this is our need.” Education, 260, 261.
“The more quiet and simple the life of the child—the more free from artificial excitement, and the more in harmony with nature—the more favorable is it to physical and mental vigor and to spiritual strength.” The Desire of Ages, 74.
- How can we simplify our lives so that we can make time for being still? I Timothy 6:8.
Note: “We must turn away from a thousand topics that invite attention. There are matters that consume time and arouse inquiry, but end in nothing.” The Ministry of Healing, 456.
“A great work was before them [the disciples], and first of all they must learn that their strength was not in self, but in God. Like Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, like David among the hills of Judea, or Elijah by the brook Cherith, the disciples needed to come apart from the scenes of their busy activity, to commune with Christ, with nature, and with their own hearts.” The Desire of Ages, 360.
“I was shown that Sabbathkeepers as a people labor too hard without allowing themselves change or periods of rest. Recreation is needful to those who are engaged in physical labor and is still more essential for those whose labor is principally mental. It is not essential to our salvation, nor for the glory of God, to keep the mind laboring constantly and excessively, even upon religious themes. …
“Recreation in the open air, the contemplation of the works of God in nature, will be of the highest benefit.” The Adventist Home, 494, 496.
5 KEEPING THE FOCUS
- What warnings has our Saviour given to us? Matthew 6:20; I Timothy 6:10.
Note: “Money is not ours; houses and grounds, pictures and furniture, garments and luxuries, do not belong to us. We are pilgrims, we are strangers. We have only a grant of those things that are necessary for health and life. … Our temporal blessings are given us in trust, to prove whether we can be entrusted with eternal riches.” The Adventist Home, 367.
“God’s requirements come first. We are not doing His will if we consecrate to Him what is left of our income after all our imaginary wants have been supplied.” Ibid., 369.
“If we represent the character of Christ, every particle of selfishness must be expelled from the soul. In carrying forward the work He gave to our hands, it will be necessary for us to give every jot and tittle of our means that we can spare. …
“That which is spent for the gratification of pride in dress, in buildings, in furniture, and in decorations would relieve the distress of many wretched, suffering families. God’s stewards are to minister to the needy.” Ibid., 370.
“It is not necessary to specify here how economy may be practiced in every particular. Those whose hearts are fully surrendered to God, and who take His word as their guide, will know how to conduct themselves in all the duties of life. They will learn of Jesus, who is meek and lowly of heart; and in cultivating the meekness of Christ, they will close the door against innumerable temptations.” Ibid., 380.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What should be the fundamental purpose of the home and the church?
2 List some of the things that should be taught to our children.
3 What three areas of your life will be affected by true education?
4 Describe what your priorities in life should be.
5 What guidelines are helpful in family financing?
Copyright © 2002 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.