June 10, 2012 – June 16, 2012
“That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.” Psalm 144:12.
Study Help: The Ministry of Healing, 395–406; Education, 214–222.
“The children and youth, with their fresh talent, energy, and courage, their quick susceptibilities, are loved of God, and He desires to bring them into harmony with divine agencies. They are to obtain an education that will help them to stand by the side of Christ in unselfish service.” The Ministry of Healing, 395.
1 PRIORITIES IN PLANNING
- What list of top priorities should be instilled in a young heart full of dreams about his or her future? I Timothy 6:5–12; II Corinthians 4:18.
Note: “The young should be taught that both their present and their future well-being depend to a great degree on the habits they form in childhood and youth. They should be early accustomed to submission, self-denial, and a regard for others’ happiness. They should be taught to subdue the hasty temper, to withhold the passionate word, to manifest unvarying kindness, courtesy, and self-control.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 67.
“From a worldly point of view, money is power; but from the Christian standpoint, love is power.” The Adventist Home, 195.
“Be not controlled by the desire for wealth, the dictates of fashion, or the customs of society. Consider what will tend most to simplicity, purity, health, and real worth.” The Ministry of Healing, 363.
“If we do not live to bless others, we are unfaithful stewards, and we shall never receive the heavenly benediction, ‘Well done.’ But God will have a peculiar people, of whom it is written, that Christ is not ashamed to call them brethren.” The Review and Herald, June 27, 1893.
2 YOUTHFUL JESUS, OUR EXAMPLE
- What was seen in the boy Jesus? Romans 12:1, 2; I Peter 1:18, 19.
Note: “He [Jesus] 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 Desire of Ages, 72.
- How can we follow more closely young Jesus’ example? Luke 2:52.
Note: “It was the simplicity of the life of Christ, and His freedom from pride and vanity, that gave Him favor with God and man. He did not seek to attract attention for distinction. His life was characterized with firmness, yet He was ever respectful and obedient. He submitted to the restraint imposed upon children. He took pleasure in discharging His obligations to His parents and to society, without yielding His principles or being contaminated with the impure influence surrounding Him in Nazareth.” The Youth’s Instructor, September 1, 1873.
“Parents must exercise increasing watchfulness, that their children be not lost to God. If it were considered as important that the young possess a beautiful character and amiable disposition as it is that they imitate the fashions of the world in dress and deportment, we would see hundreds where there is one today coming upon the stage of active life prepared to exert an ennobling influence upon society. …
“The efforts of the best teachers must often bear little fruit, if fathers and mothers fail to act their part with faithfulness.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 69, 70.
“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.” Child Guidance, 114.
3 A CHRIST-CENTERED CURRICULUM
- What is a key to planning a Christian curriculum? Psalm 127:1.
Note: “It should be the great aim in every intermediate school to do most thorough work in the common branches.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 210.
“The value of song as a means of education should never be lost sight of. Let there be singing in the home, of songs that are sweet and pure, and there will be fewer words of censure and more of cheerfulness and hope and joy. Let there be singing in the school, and the pupils will be drawn closer to God, to their teachers, and to one another.” Education, 168.
- How can a vital principle of true Christianity be taught even in such subjects as geography and history?
Note: “It is acquaintance that awakens sympathy, and sympathy is the spring of effective ministry. To awaken in the children and youth sympathy and the spirit of sacrifice for the suffering millions in the ‘regions beyond,’ let them become acquainted with these lands and their peoples. In this line much might be accomplished in our schools. Instead of dwelling on the exploits of the Alexanders and Napoleons of history, let the pupils study the lives of such men as the apostle Paul and Martin Luther, as Moffat and Livingstone and Carey, and the present daily-unfolding history of missionary effort. Instead of burdening their memories with an array of names and theories that have no bearing upon their lives, and to which, once outside the schoolroom, they rarely give a thought, let them study all lands in the light of missionary effort and become acquainted with the peoples and their needs.” Education, 269.
“When heavenly intelligences see that men are no longer permitted to present the truth, the Spirit of God will come upon the children, and they will do a work in the proclamation of the truth which the older workers cannot do, because their way will be hedged up.
“Our church schools are ordained by God to prepare the children for this great work.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 203.
4 SCIENCE THAT HONORS GOD
- Why can intermediate subjects be of deep interest? Romans 11:33.
Note: “We would not discourage education, nor put a low estimate on mental culture and discipline. God would have us students as long as we remain in the world. Every opportunity for culture should be improved. The faculties need to be strengthened by exercise, the mind to be trained and expanded by taxing study; but all this may be done while the heart is becoming an easy prey to deception. Wisdom from above must be communicated to the soul. … The Bible is not to be tested by men’s ideas of science, but science is to be brought to the test of the unerring standard.
“Yet the study of the sciences is not to be neglected. Books must be used for this purpose: but they should be in harmony with the Bible, for that is the standard. Books of this character should take the place of many of those now in the hands of students.
“God is the author of science. Scientific research opens to the mind vast fields of thought and information, enabling us to see God in His created works. Ignorance may try to support skepticism by appeals to science; but instead of upholding skepticism, true science contributes fresh evidences of the wisdom and power of God. Rightly understood, science and the written word agree, and each sheds light on the other. Together they lead us to God by teaching us something of the wise and beneficent laws through which He works.
“When the student recognizes God as the source of all knowledge, and honors Him, submitting mind and character to be molded by His word, he may claim the promise, ‘Them that honor me I will honor.’ 1 Samuel 2:30. The more studiously the intellect is cultivated, the more effectively it can be used in the service of God if it is placed under the control of His Spirit.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 425, 426.
- What can even children be instructed to do for the sick and the suffering? I Thessalonians 5:17; James 5:15.
Note: “Children are to be instructed in the special truths for this time and in practical missionary work. They are to enlist in the army of workers to help the sick and the suffering. Children can take part in the medical missionary work and by their jots and tittles can help to carry it forward.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 203.
5 PRACTICAL ABOVE ALL
- What are some important aims we should have for our youth, and how and why can these be promoted? Psalm 144:12; Daniel 1:17.
Note: “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.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 307.
“Young girls should have been instructed to manufacture wearing apparel, to cut, make, and mend garments, and thus become educated for the practical duties of life. For young men, there should be establishments where they could learn different trades, which would bring into exercise their muscles as well as their mental powers. If the youth can have but a one-sided education, which is of the greater consequence—a knowledge of the sciences, with all the disadvantages to health and life, or a knowledge of labor for practical life? We unhesitatingly answer, The latter. If one must be neglected, let it be the study of books.” Counsels on Health, 180.
“In the study of agriculture, let pupils be given not only theory, but practice. While they learn what science can teach in regard to the nature and preparation of the soil, the value of different crops, and the best methods of production, let them put their knowledge to use. … Such an ambition [to do the work in the best possible manner], together with the invigorating effect of exercise, sunshine, and pure air, will create a love for agricultural labor that with many youth will determine their choice of an occupation. Thus might be set on foot influences that would go far in turning the tide of migration which now sets so strongly toward the great cities.” Education, 219, 220.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What change is needed in the heart of the materialistically-minded?
2 How did Jesus differ from most of our youth, and what does this show?
3 How can the spirit of service be entwined into our basic curricula?
4 In what ways can true science bring blessings to the world?
5 How can better agricultural studies greatly help today’s society?
© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.