Family Religion Defined. --Family religion consists in bringing up the
children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Every one in the family is
to be nourished by the lessons of Christ, and the interest of each soul is to be
strictly guarded, in order that Satan shall not deceive and allure away from
Christ. This is the standard every family should aim to reach, and they should
determine not to fail or to be discouraged. When parents are diligent and
vigilant in their instruction, and train their children with an eye single to
the glory of God, they co-operate with God, and God co-operates with them in the
saving of the souls of the children for whom Christ has died.
Religious instruction means much more than ordinary instruction. It means
that you are to pray with your children, teaching them how to approach Jesus and
tell Him all their wants. It means that you are to show in your life that Jesus
is everything to you, and that His love makes you patient, kind, forbearing, and
yet firm in commanding your children after you, as did Abraham.
Just as you conduct yourself in your home life, you are registered in the
books of heaven. He who would become a saint in heaven must first become a saint
in his own family. If fathers and mothers are true Christians in the family,
they will be useful members of the church and be able to conduct affairs in the
church and in society after the same manner in which they conduct their family
concerns. Parents, let not your religion be simply a profession, but let it
become a reality.
Religion to Be a Part of Home Education. --Home religion is fearfully
neglected. Men and women show much interest in foreign missions. They give
liberally to them and thus seek to satisfy their conscience, thinking that
giving to the cause of God will atone for their neglect to set a right example
in the home. But the home is their special field, and no excuse is accepted by
God for neglecting this field.
Where religion is a practical thing in the home, great good is accomplished.
Religion will lead the parents to do the very work God designed should be done
in the home. Children will be brought up in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
The reason why the youth of the present age are not more religiously inclined
is that their education is defective. True love is not exercised toward children
when they are allowed to indulge passion, or when disobedience of your laws is
permitted to go unpunished. As the twig is bent, the tree is inclined.
If religion is to influence society, it must first influence the home circle.
If children were trained to love and fear God at home, when they go forth into
the world, they would be prepared to train their own families for God, and thus
the principles of truth would become implanted in society and would exert a
telling influence in the world. Religion should not be divorced from home
Home Religion Precedes That in the Church. --In the home the foundation is
laid for the prosperity of the church. The influences that rule in the home life
are carried into the church life; therefore church duties should first begin in
When we have good home religion, we will have excellent meeting religion.
Hold the fort at home. Consecrate your family to God, and then speak and act at
home as a Christian. Be kind and forbearing and patient at home, knowing that
you are teachers. Every mother is a teacher, and every mother should be a
learner in the school of Christ that she may know how to teach, that she may
give the right mould, the right form of character to her children.
Where there is a lack of home religion, a profession of faith is valueless. .
. . Many are deceiving themselves by thinking that the character will be
transformed at the coming of Christ, but there will be no conversion of heart at
His appearing. Our defects of character must here be repented of, and through
the grace of Christ we must overcome them while probation shall last. This is
the place for fitting up for the family above.
Home religion is greatly needed, and our words in the home should be of a
right character, or our testimonies in the church will amount to nothing. Unless
you manifest meekness, kindness, and courtesy in your home, your religion will
be vain. If there were more genuine home religion, there would be more power in
Terrible Mistake to Delay Religious Instruction. -- It is a most grievous
thing to let children grow up without the knowledge of God.
Parents make a most terrible mistake when they neglect the work of giving
their children religious training, thinking that they will come out all right in
the future and, as they get older, will of themselves be anxious for a religious
experience. Cannot you see, parents, that if you do not plant the precious seeds
of truth, of love, of heavenly attributes, in the heart, Satan will sow the
field of the heart with tares?
Too often children are allowed to grow up without religion because their
parents think they are too young to have Christian duties enjoined upon them. .
The question of the duty of children in regard to religious matters is to be
decided absolutely and without hesitancy while they are members of the family.
Parents stand in the place of God to their children to tell them what they
must do and what they must not do with firmness and perfect self-control. Every
effort made for them with kindness and self-control will cultivate in their
characters the elements of firmness and decision. . . . Fathers and mothers are
in duty bound to settle this question early so that the child will no more think
of breaking the Sabbath, neglecting religious worship and family prayer than he
would think of stealing. Parents' own hands must build the barrier.
From the earliest age a wise education in Christ's lines is to be begun and
carried forward. When the children's hearts are impressible, they are to be
taught concerning eternal realities. Parents should remember that they are
living, speaking, and acting in the presence of God.
Parents, what course are you pursuing? Are you acting upon the idea that in
religious matters your children should be left free of all restraint? Are you
leaving them without counsel or admonition through childhood and youth? Are you
leaving them to do as they please? If so, you are neglecting your God-given
Adapt Instruction to the Child's Age. --As soon as the little ones are
intelligent to understand, parents should tell them the story of Jesus that they
may drink in the precious truth concerning the Babe of Bethlehem. Impress upon
the children's minds sentiments of simple piety that are adapted to their years and ability. Bring your children in
prayer to Jesus, for He has made it possible for them to learn religion as they
learn to frame the words of the language.
When very young, children are susceptible to divine influences. The Lord
takes these children under His special care; and when they are brought up in the
nurture and admonition of the Lord, they are a help and not a hindrance to their
Parents Jointly Foster Religion in the Home. --The father and the mother are
responsible for the maintenance of religion in the home.
Let not the mother gather to herself so many cares that she cannot give time
to the spiritual needs of her family. Let parents seek God for guidance in their
work. On their knees before Him they will gain a true understanding of their
great responsibilities, and there they can commit their children to One who will
never err in counsel and instruction. . . .
The father of the family should not leave to the mother all the care of
imparting spiritual instruction. A large work is to be done by fathers and
mothers, and both should act their individual part in preparing their children
for the grand review of the judgement.
Parents, take your children with you into your religious exercises. Throw
around them the arms of your faith, and consecrate them to Christ. Do not allow
anything to cause you to throw off your responsibility to train them aright; do
not let any worldly interest induce you to leave them behind. Never let your
Christian life isolate them from you. Bring them with you to the Lord; educate
their minds to become familiar with divine truth. Let them associate with those
that love God. Bring them to the people of God as children whom you are seeking to help to build characters
fit for eternity.
Religion in the home--what will it not accomplish? It will do the very work
that God designed should be done in every family. Children will be brought up in
the nurture and admonition of the Lord. They will be educated and trained, not
to be society devotees, but members of the Lord's family.
Children Look to Parents for Consistent Life. -- Everything leaves its
impress upon the youthful mind. The countenance is studied, the voice has its
influence, and the deportment is closely imitated by them. Fretful and peevish
fathers and mothers are giving their children lessons which at some period in
their lives they would give all the world, were it theirs, could they unlearn.
Children must see in the lives of their parents that consistency which is in
accordance with their faith. By leading a consistent life and exercising
self-control, parents may mould the characters of their children.
God Honours a Well-ordered Family. --Fathers and mothers who make God first
in their households, who teach their children that the fear of the Lord is the
beginning of wisdom, glorify God before angels and before men by presenting to
the world a well-ordered, well-disciplined family, a family that love and obey
God instead of rebelling against Him. Christ is not a stranger in their homes;
His name is a household name, revered and glorified. Angels delight in a home
where God reigns supreme, and the children are taught to reverence religion, the
Bible, and their Creator. Such families can claim the promise: "Them that
honour Me I will honour."
How Christ Is Brought Into the Home. --When Christ is in the heart, He is
brought into the family. The father and mother feel the importance of living in
obedience to the Holy Spirit so that the heavenly angels, who minister to those
who shall be heirs of salvation, will minister to them as teachers in the home,
educating and training them for the work of teaching their children. In the home
it is possible to have a little church which will honour and glorify the
Make Religion Attractive. --Make the Christian life an attractive one. Speak
of the country in which the followers of Christ are to make their home. As you
do this, God will guide your children into all truth, filling them with a desire
to fit themselves for the mansions which Christ has gone to prepare for those
that love Him.
Parents are not to compel their children to have a form of religion, but they
are to place eternal principles before them in an attractive light.
Parents are to make the religion of Christ attractive by their cheerfulness,
their Christian courtesy, and their tender, compassionate sympathy; but they are
to be firm in requiring respect and obedience. Right principles must be
established in the mind of the child.
We need to present to the youth an inducement for right doing. Silver and
gold is not sufficient for this. Let us reveal to them the love and mercy and
grace of Christ, the preciousness of His word, and the joys of the overcomer. In
efforts of this kind you will do a work that will last throughout eternity.
Why Some Parents Fail. --Some parents, although they profess to be religious,
do not keep before their children the fact that God is to be served and obeyed, that convenience, pleasure, or inclination should not interfere with His
claims upon them. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."
This fact should be woven into the very life and character. The right conception
of God through the knowledge of Christ, who died that we might be saved, should
be impressed upon their minds.
You may think, parents, that you have not time to do all this, but you must
take time to do your work in your family, else Satan will supply the deficiency.
Cut out everything else from your life that prevents this work from being done,
and train your children after His order. Neglect anything of a temporal nature,
be satisfied to live economically, bind about your wants, but for Christ's sake
do not neglect the religious training of yourselves and your children.
Every Member of the Family to Be Dedicated to God. --The directions that
Moses gave concerning the Passover feast are full of significance, and have an
application to parents and children in this age of the world. . . .
The father was to act as the priest of the household, and if the father was
dead, the eldest son living was to perform this solemn act of sprinkling the
doorpost with blood. This is a symbol of the work to be done in every family.
Parents are to gather their children into the home and to present Christ before
them as their Passover. The father is to dedicate every inmate of his home to
God and to do a work that is represented by the feast of the Passover. It is
perilous to leave this solemn duty in the hands of others.
Let Christian parents resolve that they will be loyal to God, and let them
gather their children into their homes with them and strike the doorpost with blood, representing Christ as the only
One who can shield and save, that the destroying angel may pass over the
cherished circle of the household. Let the world see that a more than human
influence is at work in the home. Let parents maintain a vital connection with
God, set themselves on Christ's side, and show by His grace what great good may
be accomplished through parental agency.