April 4 – 10, 2021
“These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:6, 7).
Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 3, 131–160; vol. 5, 36–45.
“The youth are receptive, fresh, ardent, hopeful. When once they have tasted the blessedness of self-sacrifice, they will not be satisfied unless they are constantly learning of the Great Teacher.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 471.
1 THE TRAINING OF YOUTH
1.a. How should the training of children be different from the training of animals? 1 Chronicles 28:9; James 3:3.
Note: “Children have an intelligent will, which should be directed to control all their powers. Dumb animals need to be trained, for they have not reason and intellect. But the human mind must be taught self-control. It must be educated to rule the human being, while animals are controlled by a master and are trained to be submissive to him. The master is mind, judgment, and will for his beast. A child may be so trained as to have, like the beast, no will of his own. Even his individuality may be merged in the one who superintends his training; his will, to all intents and purposes, is subject to the will of the teacher.
“Children who are thus educated will ever be deficient in moral energy and individual responsibility. They have not been taught to move from reason and principle; their wills have been controlled by another, and the mind has not been called out, that it might expand and strengthen by exercise.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 132.
1.b. How can “Peter’s ladder” be applied to raising children? 2 Peter 1:5–8.
Note: “The severe training of youth, without properly directing them to think and act for themselves as their own capacity and turn of mind will allow, that by this means they may have growth of thought, feelings of self-respect, and confidence in their own ability to perform, will ever produce a class who are weak in mental and moral power. And when they stand in the world to act for themselves they will reveal the fact that they were trained like the animals, and not educated. …
“Those parents and teachers who boast of having complete control of the minds and wills of the children under their care would cease their boastings could they trace out the future lives of the children who are thus brought into subjection by force or through fear. These are almost wholly unprepared to share in the stern responsibilities of life. When these youth are no longer under their parents and teachers, and are compelled to think and act for themselves, they are almost sure to take a wrong course and yield to the power of temptation. They do not make this life a success, and the same deficiencies are seen in their religious life.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 133, 134.
2 BALANCE IN EDUCATION
2.a. Why is manual labor important for every child/youth? Haggai 2:4, last part; 1 Kings 19:19; Lamentations 3:27; 2 Thessalonians 3:7–12. What can we learn from the example of Elisha?
Note: “In the quietude of country life, under the teaching of God and nature and the discipline of useful work, he [Elisha] received the training in habits of simplicity and of obedience to his parents and to God that helped to fit him for the high position he was afterward to occupy. …
“While co-operating with his father in the home-life duties, he was learning to co-operate with God.” Prophets and Kings, 217, 218.
“And now, as in the days of Israel, every youth should be instructed in the duties of practical life. Each should acquire a knowledge of some branch of manual labor by which, if need be, he may obtain a livelihood. This is essential, not only as a safeguard against the vicissitudes of life, but from its bearing upon physical, mental, and moral development. Even if it were certain that one would never need to resort to manual labor for his support, still he should be taught to work. Without physical exercise, no one can have a sound constitution and vigorous health; and the discipline of well-regulated labor is no less essential to the securing of a strong and active mind and a noble character.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 601.
2.b. What is the four-fold goal of childhood education? Luke 2:40, 52.
Note: “If the physical powers are not taxed equally with the mental, too much strain is brought upon the latter. Unless every part of the human machinery performs its allotted tasks, the mental powers cannot be used to their highest capability for any length of time.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 522.
3.a How often are children to be instructed from God’s word? Deuteronomy 6:6, 7.
Note: “The power of self-restraint strengthens by exercise. That which at first seems difficult, by constant repetition grows easy, until right thoughts and actions become habitual. If we will we may turn away from all that is cheap and inferior, and rise to a high standard; we may be respected by men and beloved of God.” The Ministry of Healing, 491.
4.a. What things should a person think about to develop a good conscience? Philippians 4:8; 2 Corinthians 3:18.
Note: “The removal of one safeguard from the conscience, the failure to do the very thing that the Lord has marked out, one step in the path of wrong principle, often leads to an entire change of the life and action. … We are safe only in following where Christ leads the way.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 320.
4.b. How is man’s conscience to be educated and guided? John 14:6, 26; 16:13.
Note: “He whose conscience is a sure guide will not stop to reason when light shines upon him out of God’s Word. He will not be guided by human counsel. He will not allow worldly business to stand in the way of obedience. He will lay every selfish interest at the door of investigation and will approach the word of God as one whose eternal interest is hanging in the balance.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 325.
“Every room in the soul temple has become more or less defiled, and needs cleansing. The cobwebbed closet of conscience is to be entered. The windows of the soul are to be closed earthward and thrown wide open heavenward that the bright beams of the Sun of righteousness may have free access. The memory is to be refreshed by Bible principles. The mind is to be kept clear and pure that it may distinguish between good and evil.” Ibid., 327, 328.
5 PERCEPTION AND MOTIVATION
5.a. How does a person become changed for the worse? For the better? Jeremiah 2:13; 2 Corinthians 3:18.
Note: “As those sacred precepts in which God has opened to men the perfection and holiness of His character are neglected, and the minds of the people are attracted to human teachings and theories, what marvel that there has followed a decline of living piety in the church.” The Great Controversy, 478.
“Looking unto Jesus we obtain brighter and more distinct views of God, and by beholding we become changed. Goodness, love for our fellow men, becomes our natural instinct. We develop a character which is the counterpart of the divine character. Growing into His likeness, we enlarge our capacity for knowing God. More and more we enter into fellowship with the heavenly world, and we have continually increasing power to receive the riches of the knowledge and wisdom of eternity.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 355.
5.b. What should one’s personal aim be? Philippians 3:14.
Note: “The specific place appointed us in life is determined by our capabilities. Not all reach the same development or do with equal efficiency the same work. God does not expect the hyssop to attain the proportions of the cedar, or the olive the height of the stately palm. But each should aim just as high as the union of human with divine power makes it possible for him to reach.” Education, 267.
“Let the youth be impressed with the thought that education is not to teach them how to escape life’s disagreeable tasks and heavy burdens; that its purpose is to lighten the work by teaching better methods and higher aims. Teach them that life’s true aim is not to secure the greatest possible gain for themselves, but to honor their Maker in doing their part of the world’s work, and lending a helpful hand to those weaker or more ignorant.” Ibid., 221, 222.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 Discuss the difference between education and training.
2 How are habits established?
3 Once habits are formed, how do they determine one’s destiny?
4 Discuss the importance of conscience.
5 How can one obtain a symmetrical education?
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