June 3, 2012 – June 9, 2012
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.” I Corinthians 10:23, 24.
Study Help: Fundamentals of Christian Education, 373–380; Testimonies, vol. 6, 141–151.
“He [God] requires every one to attain the highest possible degree of usefulness.” The Signs of the Times, September 18, 1884.
1 THE TOP TWO BOOKS
- Why is the Bible unsurpassed in teaching sharp, accurate thinking, and discernment? Ezekiel 44:23; Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 1:13, 16.
Note: “Above all other books, the word of God must be our study, the great textbook, the basis of all education; and our children are to be educated in the truths found therein, irrespective of previous habits and customs. In doing this, teachers and students will find the hidden treasure, the higher education.
“Bible rules are to be the guide of the daily life. The cross of Christ is to be the theme, revealing the lessons we must learn and practice. Christ must be brought into all the studies.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 131, 132.
- What is the second textbook? Psalm 19:1–3; Romans 1:20.
Note: “While the Bible should hold the first place in the education of children and youth, the book of nature is next in importance. God’s created works testify to His love and power.” Special Testimonies on Education, 58.
2 USEFULNESS HINDERED
- From what has the Lord always called His people to flee, and why is this important today? Isaiah 52:11; Revelation 18:4. To what dangers are children and youth exposed when they attend public schools?
Note: “Those who attend the public schools often associate with others more neglected than they, those who, aside from the time spent in the schoolroom, are left to obtain a street education. The hearts of the young are easily impressed; and unless their surroundings are of the right character, Satan will use these neglected children to influence those who are more carefully trained. Thus before Sabbathkeeping parents know what evil is being done, the lessons of depravity are learned, and the souls of their little ones are corrupted. …
“Do our children receive from the teachers in the public schools ideas that are in harmony with the word of God? Is sin presented as an offense against God? Is obedience to all the commandments of God taught as the beginning of all wisdom? We send our children to the Sabbath school that they may be instructed in regard to the truth, and then as they go to the day school, lessons containing falsehood are given them to learn. These things confuse the mind, and should not be; for if the young receive ideas that pervert the truth, how will the influence of this education be counteracted?
“Can we wonder that under such circumstances some of the youth among us do not appreciate religious advantages? Can we wonder that they drift into temptation? Can we wonder that, neglected as they have been, their energies are devoted to amusements which do them no good, that their religious aspirations are weakened and their spiritual life darkened? The mind will be of the same character as that upon which it feeds, the harvest of the same nature as the seed sown.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 193, 194.
- Why are some sports (mostly athletic contests) wasteful? Ecclesiastes 12:8; I Corinthians 10:23.
Note: “What force of powers is put into your games of football and your other inventions after the way of the Gentiles—exercises which bless no one! Just put the same powers into exercise in doing useful labor, and would not your record be more pleasing to meet in the great day of God?” Special Testimonies on Education, 191.
3 PRACTICAL PHYSICAL EDUCATION
- In what blessing can youth rejoice? Proverbs 20:29, first part.
Note: “Physical culture is an essential part of all right methods of education. The young need to be taught how to develop their physical powers, how to preserve these powers in the best condition, and how to make them useful in the practical duties of life. Many think that these things are no part of school work; but this is a mistake. The lessons necessary to fit one for practical usefulness should be taught to every child in the home and to every student in the schools.
“It is well that physiology is introduced into the common schools as a branch of education; all children should study it.” The Signs of the Times, March 14, 1900.
- What gives very productive physical education? Genesis 2:15; 3:19.
Note: “Working the soil is one of the best kinds of employment, calling the muscles into action and resting the mind. Study in agricultural lines should be the A, B, and C of the education given in our schools. This is the very first work that should be entered upon. Our schools should not depend upon imported produce, for grain and vegetables, and the fruits so essential to health.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 179.
- Why is the study of physiology and hygiene an important part of the curriculum? Psalm 139:14.
Note: “A knowledge of physiology and hygiene should be the basis of all educational effort.” Education, 195.
“In the study of physiology, pupils should be led to see the value of physical energy and how it can be so preserved and developed as to contribute in the highest degree to success in life’s great struggle.
“Children should be early taught, in simple, easy lessons, the rudiments of physiology and hygiene. … They should understand the importance of guarding against disease by preserving the vigor of every organ and should also be taught how to deal with common diseases and accidents.” Ibid., 196.
4 THE MUSCLES PUT TO GOOD USE
- What foundation is to be laid early in life? Galatians 5:13, last part.
Note: “When the child is old enough to be sent to school, the teacher should co-operate with the parents, and manual training should be continued as a part of his school duties. There are many students who object to this kind of work in the schools. They think useful employments, like learning a trade, degrading; but such persons have an incorrect idea of what constitutes true dignity. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is one with the Father, the Commander in the heavenly courts, was the personal instructor and guide of the children of Israel; and among them it was required that every youth should learn how to work. All were to be educated in some business line, that they might possess a knowledge of practical life, and be not only self-sustaining, but useful.” Special Testimonies on Education, 38.
“The greatest benefit is not gained from exercise that is taken as play or exercise merely. There is some benefit derived from being in the fresh air, and also from the exercise of the muscles; but let the same amount of energy be given to the performance of helpful duties, and the benefit will be greater, and a feeling of satisfaction will be realized; for such exercise carries with it the sense of helpfulness and the approval of conscience for duty well done.
“In the children and youth an ambition should be awakened to take their exercise in doing something that will be beneficial to themselves and helpful to others.” Ibid., 39, 40.
- What can we learn from Christ’s life while at home? Luke 2:51.
Note: “In His earth-life, Christ was an example to all the human family, and He was obedient and helpful in the home. He learned the carpenter’s trade, and worked with His own hands in the little shop at Nazareth.” Special Testimonies on Education, 38.
“When children reach a suitable age, they should be provided with tools. Both boys and girls should learn to use these tools. You will find them apt pupils.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 10, 325, 326.
5 A SOLID MENTAL FOUNDATION
- Name some important subjects for every student. Psalm 71:17.
Note: “More important than the acquirement of foreign languages, living or dead, is the ability to write and speak one’s mother tongue with ease and accuracy.” Education, 234.
“Voice culture should be taught in the reading class; and in other classes the teacher should insist that the students speak distinctly and use words which express their thoughts clearly and forcibly.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 216.
“To spell correctly, to write a clear, fair hand, and to keep accounts, are necessary accomplishments.” Ibid., 218.
“When very young, children should be educated to read, to write, to understand figures, to keep their own accounts. They may go forward, advancing step by step in this knowledge.” Ibid., 168, 169.
“In the study of figures the work should be made practical. Let every youth and every child be taught, not merely to solve imaginary problems, but to keep an accurate account of his own income and outgoes.” Education, 238, 239.
“Do not neglect to teach your children how to prepare wholesome food. In giving them these lessons in physiology and in good cooking, you are teaching them the first steps in some of the most useful branches of education.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 127.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 How can all subjects taught center around one chief Textbook?
2 As students peer into nature, what should the teacher emphasize?
3 What serious dangers do students face in the public school system?
4 Name some benefits to be gained from agricultural programs.
5 What is the spiritual advantage of each subject named in this lesson?
© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.