April 1, 2012 – April 7, 2012
Educating for Eternity
“The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Thessalonians 5:23.
Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 3, 131–138; 143–148.
“True education … is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come.” Education, 13.
1 THE NICEST WORK EVER
- What is the nicest task given to humans? Proverbs 22:6.
Note: “It is the nicest work ever assumed by men and women to deal with youthful minds. …
“The training which Solomon enjoins [in Proverbs 22:6] is to direct, educate, and develop.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 131.
- What is essential in teaching? Deuteronomy 4:9; Proverbs 16:32.
Note: “Parents and schoolteachers are certainly disqualified to properly educate children if they have not first learned the lesson of self-control, patience, forbearance, gentleness, and love. …
“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.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 131, 132.
2 AN EXTENSIVE WORK
- What does true education encompass? I Thessalonians 5:23.
Note: “True education is the preparation of the physical, mental, and moral powers for the performance of every duty; it is the training of body, mind, and soul for divine service. This is the education that will endure unto eternal life.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 330.
“The physical, mental, moral, and religious education of children must have attention.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 132.
- What aim should be sought? Isaiah 61:3, last part; II Timothy 3:17.
Note: “The great object to be secured should be the proper development of character, that the individual may be fitted rightly to discharge the duties of the present life and to enter at last upon the future, immortal life.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 418.
- Why are educational efforts often misguided? I Corinthians 8:1, last part.
Note: “Children are in great need of proper education in order that they may be of use in the world. But any effort that exalts intellectual culture above moral training is misdirected. Instructing, cultivating, polishing, and refining youth and children should be the main burden with both parents and teachers. Close reasoners and logical thinkers are few for the reason that false influences have checked the development of the intellect. The supposition of parents and teachers that continual study would strengthen the intellect has proved erroneous, for in many cases it has had the opposite effect.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 142, 143.
“Self-denial and self-control have not been molded into their [children’s] characters. They have been petted and indulged until they are spoiled for practical life. The love of pleasure controls minds, and children are flattered and indulged to their ruin. Children should be so trained and educated that they will expect temptations and calculate to meet difficulties and dangers. They should be taught to have control over themselves and to nobly overcome difficulties.” Ibid., 143, 144.
3 ENVIRONMENT AND DISCIPLINE
- Where is the ideal environment to begin true education, and what results should we seek? Genesis 2:15; Colossians 4:12, last part.
Note: “The only schoolroom for children from eight to ten years of age should be in the open air amid the opening flowers and nature’s beautiful scenery. And their only textbook should be the treasures of nature.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 137.
“Let the study of books be combined with useful manual labor, and by faithful endeavor, watchfulness, and prayer secure the wisdom that is from above. This will give you an all-round education.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 334.
- How serious a responsibility is it to train children properly? How will children benefit by listening to their Christian parents? Proverbs 4:10, 20–26.
Note: “Fathers and mothers, think earnestly of the importance of your work. It rests with you to decide whether good or evil thoughts shall occupy the minds of your children.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 18, 118.
“God hates the passion, evil tempers, etc., manifested by unruly children. He cannot save them in the time of trouble. They will be eternally lost. Parents, negligent, unfaithful parents, their blood will be upon you, and can you expect to be saved in the day of God’s fierce anger with the blood of your children upon you—children who might have been saved had you acted as faithful parents should?” Ibid., vol. 9, 322.
- Describe the best atmosphere for learning. I Corinthians 16:14.
Note: “Children will respond by willing obedience to a rule of love. Commend your children whenever you can. Provide the little ones with innocent amusements. As soon as they are old enough, give them something to do, according to their strength. Encourage them with the thought that they are helping you. Then, in doing these little duties, they will find greater pleasure than in mere amusement. Do not let them pass through childhood in a dull routine. Never wound their hearts by a lack of consideration. Walk constantly in the way of the Lord, following the example set by Christ.” The Review and Herald, January 29, 1901.
4 LAYING THE FOUNDATION
- Who are to be the first and favorite teachers? Deuteronomy 6:6–9.
Note: “God had commanded the Hebrews to teach their children His requirements and to make them acquainted with all His dealings with their fathers. This was one of the special duties of every parent—one that was not to be delegated to another. In the place of stranger lips the loving hearts of the father and mother were to give instruction to their children.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 592.
“Parents should be the only teachers of their children until they have reached eight or ten years of age.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 137.
“Christ is ready to teach the father and the mother to be true educators.” Child Guidance, 282.
- How can a warm, loving relationship with our children be enjoyed for a lifetime? Galatians 6:2; II Timothy 1:5; 3:15.
Note: “Parents should encourage their children to confide in them and unburden to them their heart griefs, their little daily annoyances and trials.
“Kindly instruct them and bind them to your hearts. It is a critical time for children. Influences will be thrown around them to wean them from you which you must counteract. Teach them to make you their confidant. Let them whisper in your ear their trials and joys.
“Children would be saved from many evils if they would be more familiar with their parents. Parents should encourage in their children a disposition to be open and frank with them, to come to them with their difficulties and, when they are perplexed as to what course is right, to lay the matter just as they view it before the parents and ask their advice. Who are so well calculated to see and point out their dangers as godly parents? Who can understand the peculiar temperaments of their own children as well as they? The mother who has watched every turn of the mind from infancy, and is thus acquainted with the natural disposition, is best prepared to counsel her children. Who can tell as well what traits of character to check and restrain as the mother, aided by the father?” The Adventist Home, 191. (Emphasis author’s.)
5 INVESTING TIME AND KEEN INTEREST
- What argument do many parents make to justify a lack of attention to their children? What should they bear in mind? Ecclesiastes 3:1.
Note: “Young children love companionship and can seldom enjoy themselves alone. They yearn for sympathy and tenderness. That which they enjoy they think will please mother also, and it is natural for them to go to her with their little joys and sorrows. The mother should not wound their sensitive hearts by treating with indifference matters that, though trifling to her, are of great importance to them. Her sympathy and approval are precious. An approving glance, a word of encouragement or commendation, will be like sunshine in their hearts, often making the whole day happy.” The Adventist Home, 190.
“ ‘No time,’ says the father; ‘I have no time to give to the training of my children, no time for social and domestic enjoyments.’ Then you should not have taken upon yourself the responsibility of a family.” Ibid., 191.
- What painful words will God be forced to utter to negligent parents who fail to take active interest in their children? Matthew 7:23.
Note: “They [parents who have misspent their time will] hear pronounced upon their children the terrible denunciation, ‘Depart!’ This separates their children forever from the joys and glories of heaven, and from the presence of Christ. And they themselves also receive the denunciation: Depart, ‘thou wicked and slothful servant’ [Matthew 25:26].” Testimonies, vol. 3, 145.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What is the first basic qualification of a good parent or teacher?
2 What is much more important than mere intellectual culture?
3 What factors make the best environment for learning?
4 Why is the relationship between parent and child so important?
5 How serious is one’s failure to “bond” with his or her children?
Copyright © 2008 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.