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.
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.
PATTERN FOR CHILDHOOD
is the childhood of Jesus our example? Luke 2:40.
“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.
YOUNG AT RISK
does Scripture illustrate the predicament of many busy parents today? Song of
Solomon 1:6; Proverbs 29:15.
“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
“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.
b. In what peril could many of our youth
find themselves—and why? Proverbs 15:19; 18:9; 21:25; 26:13–16.
“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.
is the first duty of parents? Proverbs 22:6.
“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
“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.
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?
“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.
should we consider about many of the philosophies in the secular schools of
today? Proverbs 6:28.
“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.
b. Besides guarding their scholastic
influences, of what else must we be watchful for our young? I Corinthians
“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.
one problem plaguing many youth. Proverbs 7:6–27.
“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.
should we keep in mind when our youth need to be corrected? Proverbs 3:11, 12;
12:25; 15:23, 24.
“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.
environment is most conducive to the happiness and industry of our families?
Song of Solomon 6:11, 12; Isaiah 65:21.
“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
Review and Thought Questions
1 Where did Jesus go to school, and what
did He learn?
2 Why do many parents need to change
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?