Family Matters

"The family tie is the closest, the most tender and sacred, of any on earth. It was designed to be a blessing to mankind. And it is a blessing wherever the marriage covenant is entered into intelligently, in the fear of God, and with due consideration for its responsibilities. Every home should be a place of love, a place where the angels of God abide, working with softening, subduing influence upon the hearts of parents and children."  

"Our homes must be made a Bethel, our hearts a shrine. Wherever the love of God is cherished in the soul, there will be peace; there will be light and joy. Christ's Presence Makes a Home Christian. The home that is beautified by love, sympathy, and tenderness is a place that angels love to visit, and where God is glorified. The influence of a carefully guarded Christian home in the years of childhood and youth is the surest safeguard against the corruptions of the world."

"In the atmosphere of such a home the children will learn to love both their earthly parents and their heavenly Father. Every Christian family should illustrate to the world the power and excellence of Christian influence. . . Holiness to God is to pervade the home. . . . Parents and children are to educate themselves to co-operate with God. They are to bring their habits and practices into harmony with God's plans." 

"The family relationship should be sanctifying in its influence. Christian homes, established and conducted in accordance with God's plan, are a wonderful help in forming Christian character. . . Parents and children should unite in offering loving service to Him who alone can keep human love pure and noble. The first work to be done in a Christian home is to see that the Spirit of Christ abides there, that every member of the household may be able to take his cross and follow where Jesus leads the way."   E.G. White

Raising up royalty
“It is the privilege of parents to take their children with them to the gates of the city of God, saying, "I have tried to instruct my children to love the Lord, to do His will, and to glorify Him." “God requires parents to bring up their children to know Him and to respect His claims; they are to train their little ones, as the younger members of the Lord's family, to have beautiful characters and lovely tempers, that they may be fitted to shine in the heavenly courts. By neglecting their duty and indulging their children in wrong, parents close to them the gates of the city of God.”

Good parents are exemplary
Parenting is a sacred trust that God has given to parents, this duty does not stem from just a set of do's and don'ts, if anything that kind of iron rod training, tends to make children militant and rebellious. True education begins at home, and raising true men and women of God, depends on the influence of the parents in the home. Parents are placed by God to be the child's first trainers and instructors and the lessons that the children learn from infancy, through youth will determine what life they will choose.

Jesus was an obedient little boy, He learnt every day at His mother's feet. He also helped His father Joseph in the carpentry shop, even as a child, Jesus showed by His willingness around the home that He would grow up to help suffering humanity. Small duties that the children faithfully perform in the home, will prepare them to be faithful even in the future.

It is often said that children mimic (copy) what their parents do. In most cases when a child is impatient, irreverent and unkind, it calls for serious introspection on the part of the parents. When correct principles are not lived out by the parents, it will be reflected by the children. It is thus important that children should be taught from an early age to be obedient, kind and patient. But most importantly when the children see their parents expressing love in looks, words and deeds, the same influence will motivate them to do the same.

Of course we cannot be ignorant of the influence that Satan might want to exert on the children in order to discourage parents from their long years of training and instruction. Even if he seems to be swaying the little flock God has entrusted to you, do not give up, keep them in prayer and ask God to keep them from giving in to temptation.

 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Proverbs 22:6

Unity in discipline
It is the duty of God fearing parents to cooperate with God and constantly ask Him for guidance on which steps to take in disciplining the children and in moulding their characters for their life as God's instruments in service for humanity, and in reflecting the precious image of Jesus.
Parents who unitedly share their duty will be successful in raising their children, the mother as the personal trainer of the children, while the father as the instructor. From a tender age the child's will can be bent. Teach them to pray and ask help from God even in the little things, this will teach them faith and reliance on Jesus.

Gentle words are said to turn away wrath, and it should be the privilege of both mother and father to exercise gentleness without neglecting firmness. Patiently take time to reason with the children and show them their errors without seeming judgmental  While guiding them, encourage your children to think independently and to come to an understanding of truth, for themselves. Learn to really listen to them and give them unconditional love.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
Proverbs 3:5 

Teach modesty and chastity
Teach your children godly reserve and modesty. Teach them spiritual values and practice them. Your children must know that their bodies are temples of God and must be treated as such, in eating and dressing, they must reveal that they believe what they have been taught, and for many young ladies, this will take away undue attention from young men, but will also exert a powerful influence for the truth on other youth. How we choose to dress strongly reflects the state of our minds and hearts.

They must be taught that cleanliness is next to godliness, that it pleases Jesus when they are neat orderly as their Master was. This notion that boys must be messy is erroneous and should be corrected. They must be reminded that their Saviour neatly folded His grave garments after He rose from the dead, Jesus maintained order. In most cases such tardiness or neatness reflects the state of the heart, and spirituality.

Chastity (sexual purity) must not only be taught to the girls, but must also be emphasized for the boys too. The father can by exhibiting pure manly traits of character, serve as an  example to the male children how to grow up and be men after God's heart, taking care of their sisters and respecting them. Likewise the mother, by her chaste deportment, can exert an influence upon her growing female children to aspire to be the same.

 “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” Psalm 119:9

From nature and the God of nature
Teach spiritual lessons from studying nature and from studying about the God who created nature. Memorize Bible texts, and promises, sing songs and teach them Bible stories in a simple and understandable manner, suitable for their little minds. Perhaps you can even use a small piece of land to cultivate and to plant. Teach them that the garden is their heart  and should not be left to have weeds.

Kind hearts are the gardens,
Kind thoughts are the roots,
Kind words are the flowers,
Kind deeds are the fruits,
Take care of your garden,
And keep out the weeds,
Fill it up with sunshine,
Kind words and kind deeds.

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow~

In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”
 Proverbs 3:6

Teach the children lessons of perseverance, industry and purity irrespective of surroundings. Remind them that disobedience made Adam and Eve lose Eden, and that it was because of disobedience, that pain and suffering exist today. Once again, talk is cheap, but there is nothing as powerful as an exemplary life. Show them by your obedience and self-control toward God and how you and your husband work together, adds happiness to the home and your relationship. This will convince them that, indeed obedience to God and their parents adds happiness and peace.

 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10 

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