June 5, 2011 – June 11, 2011
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6.
Study Helps: Fundamentals of Christian Education, 64–70; Testimonies, vol. 5, 36–45.
“Parents, for Christ’s sake do not blunder in your most important work, that of molding the characters of your children for time and for eternity.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 39.
1 GOD’S PATTERN FOR CHILDHOOD
- How is the childhood of Jesus our example? Luke 2:40.
Note: “As Jesus worked in childhood and youth, mind and body were developed. He did not use His physical powers recklessly, but in such a way as to keep them in health, that He might do the best work in every line. He was not willing to be defective, even in the handling of tools. He was perfect as a workman, as He was perfect in character. By His own example He taught that it is our duty to be industrious, that our work should be performed with exactness and thoroughness, and that such labor is honorable. The exercise that teaches the hands to be useful and trains the young to bear their share of life’s burdens gives physical strength, and develops every faculty. All should find something to do that will be beneficial to themselves and helpful to others. God appointed work as a blessing, and only the diligent worker finds the true glory and joy of life. The approval of God rests with loving assurance upon children and youth who cheerfully take their part in the duties of the household, sharing the burdens of father and mother. Such children will go out from the home to be useful members of society.” The Desire of Ages, 72.
2 THE YOUNG AT RISK
- How does Scripture illustrate the predicament of many busy parents today? Song of Solomon 1:6; Proverbs 29:15.
Note: “Those who feel that they have an imperative call to labor for the improvement of society, while their own children grow up undisciplined, should inquire if they have not mistaken their duty. Their own household is the first missionary field in which parents are required to labor. Those who leave the home garden to grow up to thorns and briers, while they manifest great interest in the cultivation of their neighbor’s plot of ground, are disregarding the word of God. …
“Fathers and mothers should carefully and prayerfully study the characters of their children. They should seek to repress and restrain those traits that are too prominent, and to encourage others which may be deficient, thus securing harmonious development. This is no light matter. The father may not consider it a great sin to neglect the training of his children; but thus does God regard it. Christian parents need a thorough conversion upon this subject. Guilt is accumulating upon them, and the consequences of their actions reach down from their own children to children’s children. The ill-balanced mind, the hasty temper, the fretfulness, envy, or jealousy, bear witness to parental neglect.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 66, 67.
- In what peril could many of our youth find themselves—and why? Proverbs 15:19; 18:9; 21:25; 26:13–16.
Note: “Parents have neglected to train their sons and daughters to the faithful performance of domestic duties. Children are permitted to spend their hours in play, while father and mother toil on unceasingly. Few young persons feel that it is their duty to bear a part of the family burden. They are not taught that the indulgence of appetite, or the pursuit of ease or pleasure, is not the great aim of life.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 65.
3 BUILDING THE FOUNDATION
- What is the first duty of parents? Proverbs 22:6.
Note: “Let the foundation of a strong constitution be laid in early life. Parents should be the only teachers of their children, until they are eight or ten years of age. … The fields and hills—nature’s audience chamber—should be the schoolroom for little children. Her treasures should be their textbook.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 61.
“The school in the home should be a place where children are taught that the eye of God is upon them, observing all that they do. If this thought were deeply impressed upon the mind, the work of governing children would be made much easier. In the home-school our boys and girls are being prepared to attend a church-school when they reach a proper age to associate more intimately with other children.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 8, 5.
- What should parents teach their children in regard to appetite? Proverbs 23:1–3. Why is it so important to begin this instruction as early as possible?
Note: “Parents who have taught their children to eat unhealthful, stimulating food all their lives—until the taste is perverted, and they crave clay, slate pencils, burned coffee, tea grounds, cinnamon, cloves, and spices—cannot claim that the appetite demands what the system requires. The appetite has been falsely educated, until it is depraved. The fine organs of the stomach have been stimulated and burned, until they have lost their delicate sensitiveness. Simple, healthful food seems to them insipid. The abused stomach will not perform the work given it, unless urged to it by the most stimulating substances. If these children had been trained from their infancy to take only healthful food, prepared in the most simple manner, preserving its natural properties as much as possible, and avoiding flesh meats, grease, and all spices, the taste and appetite would be unimpaired. In its natural state, it might indicate, in a great degree, the food best adapted to the wants of the system.” Child Guidance, 381, 382.
4 EDUCATING FOR ETERNITY
- What should we consider about many of the philosophies in the secular schools of today? Proverbs 6:28.
Note: “Can we … expect the youth to develop Christian character while their education is molded by the teaching of those who set at defiance the principles of the law of God?” The Ministry of Healing, 443.
“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, 304.
- Besides guarding their scholastic influences, of what else must we be watchful for our young? I Corinthians 15:33.
Note: “With what care parents should guard their children from careless, loose, demoralizing habits! Fathers and mothers, do you realize the importance of the responsibility resting on you? Do you allow your children to associate with other children without being present to know what kind of education they are receiving? Do not allow them to be alone with other children. Give them your special care. Every evening know where they are and what they are doing.” Child Guidance, 114.
- Name one problem plaguing many youth. Proverbs 7:6–27.
Note: “The young are bewitched with the mania for courtship and marriage. Lovesick sentimentalism prevails. Great vigilance and tact are needed to guard the youth from these wrong influences. Many parents are blind to the tendencies of their children. Some parents have stated to me, with great satisfaction, that their sons or daughters had no desire for the attentions of the opposite sex, when in fact these children were at the same time secretly giving or receiving such attentions, and the parents were so much absorbed in worldliness and gossip that they knew nothing about the matter.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 60.
5 A NURTURING ENVIRONMENT
- What should we keep in mind when our youth need to be corrected? Proverbs 3:11, 12; 12:25; 15:23, 24.
Note: “Children are what their parents make them by their instruction, discipline, and example.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 37.
“Parents must see that their own hearts and lives are controlled by the divine precepts, if they would bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. They are not authorized to fret and scold and ridicule. They should never taunt their children with perverse traits of character, which they themselves have transmitted to them. This mode of discipline will never cure the evil. Parents, bring the precepts of God’s word to admonish and reprove your wayward children. Show them a ‘thus saith the Lord’ for your requirements. A reproof which comes as the word of God is far more effective than one falling in harsh, angry tones from the lips of parents.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 67, 68.
- What environment is most conducive to the happiness and industry of our families? Song of Solomon 6:11, 12; Isaiah 65:21.
Note: “Parents can secure small homes in the country, with land for cultivation where they can have orchards and where they can raise vegetables and small fruits to take the place of flesh-meat, which is so corrupting to the lifeblood coursing through the veins. On such places the children will not be surrounded with the corrupting influences of city life. God will help His people to find such homes outside of the cities.” Medical Ministry, 310.
Review and Thought Questions
1 Where did Jesus go to school, and what did He learn?
2 Why do many parents need to change their priorities?
3 In what areas should we be living up to greater light?
4 What challenges may be overwhelming our youth today?
5 How can we improve our relationship with our youth?
Copyright © 2002 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.