Courtesy Will Banish Half Life's Ills. --The principle inculcated by the
injunction, "Be kindly affectioned one to another," lies at the very
foundation of domestic happiness. Christian courtesy should reign in every
household. It is cheap, but it has power to soften natures which would grow hard
and rough without it. The cultivation of a uniform courtesy, a willingness to do
by others as we would like them to do by us, would banish half the ills of life.
Courtesy Begins in the Home. --If we would have our children practice
kindness, courtesy, and love, we ourselves must set them the example.
Courtesy, even in little things, should be manifested by the parents toward
each other. Universal kindness should be the law of the house. No rude language
should be indulged; no bitter words should be spoken.
All may posses a cheerful countenance, a gentle voice, a courteous manner;
and these are elements of power. Children are attracted by a cheerful, sunny
demeanor. Show them kindness and courtesy, and they will manifest the same
spirit toward you and toward one another.
Your courtesy and self-control will have greater influence upon the
characters of your children than mere words could have.
Mutual Kindness Makes Home a Paradise. -- By speaking kindly to their
children and praising them when they try to do right, parents may encourage
their efforts, make them very happy, and throw around the family circle a charm which will chase away very dark shadow and bring
cheerful sunlight in. Mutual kindness and forbearance will make home a Paradise
and attract holy angels into the family circle; but they will flee from a house
where there are unpleasant words, fretfulness, and strife. Unkindness,
complaining, and anger shut Jesus from the dwelling.
The courtesies of everyday life and the affection that should exist between
members of the same family do not depend upon outward circumstances.
Pleasant voices, gentle manners, and sincere affection that finds expression
in all the actions, together with industry, neatness, and economy, make even a
hovel the happiest of homes. The Creator regards such a home with approbation.
There are many who should live less for the outside world and more for the
members of their own family circle. There should be less display of superficial
politeness and affection toward strangers and visitors and more of the courtesy
that springs from genuine love and sympathy toward the dear ones of our own
True Politeness Defined. --There is great need of the cultivation of true
refinement in the home. This is a powerful witness in favour of the truth. In
whomsoever they may appear, vulgarity of language and of demeanor indicate a
vitiated heart. Truth of heavenly origin never degrades the receiver, never
makes him coarse or rough. Truth is softening and refining in its influence.
When received into the heart, it makes the youth respectful and polite.
Christian politeness is received only under the working of the Holy Spirit. It
does not consist in affection or artificial polish, in bowing and simpering.
This is the class of politeness possessed by those of the world, but they are destitute of true Christian politeness. True polish, true
politeness, is obtained only from a practical knowledge of the gospel of Christ.
True politeness, true courtesy, is a kindness shown to all, high or low, rich or
The essence of true politeness is consideration for others. The essential,
enduring education is that which broadens the sympathies and encourages
universal kindliness. That so-called culture which does not make a youth
deferential toward his parents, appreciative of their excellences, forbearing
toward their defects, and helpful to their necessities; which does not make him
considerate and tender, generous and helpful toward the young, the old, and the
unfortunate, and courteous toward all is a failure.
Christian courtesy is the golden clasp which unites the members of the family
in bonds of love, becoming closer and stronger every day.
Make the Golden Rule the Law for the Family. -- The most valuable rules for
social and family intercourse are to be found in the Bible. There is not only
the best and purest standard of morality but the most valuable code of
politeness. Our Saviour's Sermon on the Mount contains instruction of priceless
worth to old and young. It should be often read in the family circle and its
precious teachings exemplified in the daily life. The golden rule,
"Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to
them," as well as the apostolic injunction, "In honour preferring one
another," should be made the law of the family. Those who cherish the
spirit of Christ will manifest politeness at home, a spirit of benevolence even
in little things. They will be constantly seeking to make all around them happy,
forgetting self in their kind attentions to others. This is the fruit which grows upon the
The golden rule is the principle of true courtesy, and its truest
illustration is seen in the life and character of Jesus. Oh, what rays of
softness and beauty shone forth in the daily life of our Saviour! What sweetness
flowed from His very presence! The same spirit will be revealed in His children.
Those with whom Christ dwells will be surrounded with a divine atmosphere. Their
white robes of purity will be fragrant with perfume from the garden of the Lord.
Their faces will reflect light from His, brightening the path for stumbling and
The Best Treatise on Etiquette. --The most valuable treatise on etiquette
ever penned is the precious instruction given by the Saviour, with the utterance
of the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul--words that should be ineffaceably
written in the memory of every human being, young or old:
"As I have loved you, that ye also love one another." "Love
suffereth long, and is kind; Love envieth not; Love vaunteth not itself, Is not
puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, Seeketh not its own, Is not
provoked, Taketh not account of evil; Rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, But
rejoiceth with the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, Hopeth all
things, endureth all things. Love never faileth."
The Bible enjoins courtesy; and it presents many illustrations of the
unselfish spirit, the gentle grace, the winsome temper, that characterize true
politeness. These are but reflections of the character of Christ. All the real
tenderness and courtesy in the world, even among those who do not acknowledge
His name, is from Him. And He desires these characteristics to be perfectly
reflected in His children. It is His purpose that in us men shall behold His
Christianity will make a man a gentleman. Christ was courteous, even to His
persecutors; and His true followers will manifest the same spirit. Look at Paul
when brought before rulers. His speech before Agrippa is an illustration of true
courtesy as well as persuasive eloquence. The gospel does not encourage the
formal politeness current with the world, but the courtesy that springs from
real kindness of heart.
We do not plead for a manifestation of what the world calls courtesy, but for
that courtesy which everyone will take with him to the mansions of the blessed.
True Courtesy Must Be Motivated by Love. --The most careful cultivation of
the outward proprieties of life is not sufficient to shut out all fretfulness,
harsh judgement, and unbecoming speech. True refinement will never be revealed
so long as self is considered as the supreme object. Love must dwell in the
heart. A thoroughgoing Christian draws his motives of action from his deep
heart-love for his Master. Up through the roots of his affection for Christ
springs an unselfish interest in his brethren.
Of all things that are sought, cherished, and cultivated, there is nothing so
valuable in the sight of God as a pure heart, a disposition imbued with
thankfulness and peace. If the divine harmony of truth and love exists in the heart, it will shine
forth in words and actions. . . . The spirit of genuine benevolence must dwell
in the heart. Love imparts to its possessor grace, propriety, and comeliness of
deportment. Love illuminates the countenance and subdues the voice; it refines
and elevates the entire man. It brings him into harmony with God, for it is a
True courtesy is not learned by the mere practice of rules of etiquette.
Propriety of deportment is at all times to be observed; wherever principle is
not compromised, consideration of others will lead to compliance with accepted
customs; but true courtesy requires no sacrifice of principle to
conventionality. It ignores caste. It teaches self-respect, respect for the
dignity of man as man, a regard for every member of the great human brotherhood.
Love Is Expressed in Looks, Words, and Acts. -- Above all things, parents
should surround their children with an atmosphere of cheerfulness, courtesy, and
love. A home where love dwells and where it finds expression in looks, in words,
in acts, is a place where angels delight to dwell. Parents, let the sunshine of
love, cheer, and happy content enter your own hearts, and let its sweet
influence pervade the home. Manifest a kindly, forbearing spirit, and encourage
the same in your children, cultivating all those graces that will brighten the
home life. The atmosphere thus created will be to the children what air and
sunshine are to the vegetable world, promoting health and vigour of mind and
Gentle manners, cheerful conversation, and loving acts will bind the hearts
of children to their parents by the silken cords of affection and will do more
to make home attractive than the rarest ornaments that can be bought for gold.
Varied Temperaments Must Blend. --It is in the order of God that persons of
varied temperament should associate together. When this is the case, each member
of the household should sacredly regard the feelings and respect the rights of
the others. By this means mutual consideration and forbearance will be
cultivated, prejudices will be softened, and rough points of character smoothed.
Harmony may be secured, and the blending of the varied temperaments may be a
benefit to each.
Nothing Will Atone for Lack of Courtesy. --Those who profess to be followers
of Christ and are at the same time rough, unkind, and uncourteous in words and
deportment have not learned of Jesus. A blustering, overbearing, faultfinding
man is not a Christian; for to be a Christian is to be Christlike. The conduct
of some professed Christians is so lacking in kindness and courtesy that their
good is evil spoken of. Their sincerity may not be doubted; their uprightness
may not be questioned, but sincerity and uprightness will not atone for a lack
of kindness and courtesy. The Christian is to be sympathetic as well as true,
pitiful and courteous as well as upright and honest.
Any negligence of acts of politeness and tender regard on the part of brother
for brother, any neglect of kind, encouraging words in the family circle,
parents with children and children with parents, confirms habits which make the
character unchristlike. But if these little things are performed, they become
great things. They increase to large proportions. They breathe a sweet perfume
in the life which ascends to God as holy incense.
Many Are Longing for Thoughtfulness. --Many long intensely for friendly
sympathy. . . . We should be self-forgetful, ever looking out for opportunities,
even in little things, to show gratitude for the favours we have received of
others, and watching for opportunities to cheer others and lighten and relieve
their sorrows and burdens by acts of tender kindness and little deeds of love.
These thoughtful courtesies that, commencing in our families, extend outside the
family circle help make up the sum of life's happiness; and the neglect of these
little things makes up the sum of life's bitterness and sorrow.
Through Social Relations Contact Is Made With the World. --It is through the
social relations that Christianity comes in contact with the world. Every man or
woman who has tasted of the love of Christ and has received into the heart the
divine illumination is required of God to shed light on the dark pathway of
those who are unacquainted with the better way.
We can manifest a thousand little attentions in friendly words and pleasant
looks, which will be reflected upon us again. Thoughtless Christians manifest by
their neglect of others that they are not in union with Christ. It is impossible
to be in union with Christ and yet be unkind to others and forgetful of their
We should all become witnesses for Jesus. Social power, sanctified by the
grace of Christ, must be improved in winning souls to the Saviour. Let the world
see that we are not selfishly absorbed in our own interests, but that we desire
others to share our blessings and privileges. Let them see that our religion
does not make us unsympathetic or exacting. Let all who profess to have found
Christ minister as He did for the benefit of men.
We should never give to the world the false impression that Christians are a
gloomy, unhappy people.
If we are courteous and gentle at home, we shall carry the savour of a
pleasant disposition when away from home. If we manifest forbearance, patience,
meekness, and fortitude in the home, we shall be able to be a light to the