A subject that cannot be overly emphasized in our modern society is the importance of a healthy family unit. Home should be a place where cheerfulness, courtesy, and love abide; and where these graces dwell, there will abide happiness and peace. Troubles may invade, but these are the lot of humanity. Let patience, gratitude, and love keep sunshine in the heart, though the day may be ever so cloudy. In such homes angels of God abide.
The home should be to the children the most attractive place in the world, and the mother’s presence should be its greatest attraction. Children have sensitive, loving natures. They are easily pleased and easily made unhappy. By gentle discipline, in loving words and acts, mothers may bind their children to their hearts.
The father’s spiritual leadership
In the morning before he leaves home for his daily labor, let the father gather his children about him and, bowing before God, commit them to the care of the Father in heaven. When the cares of the day are past, let the family unite in offering grateful prayer and raising the song of praise, in acknowledgment of divine care during the day. Fathers and mothers, however pressing your business, do not fail to gather your family around God’s altar. Ask for the guardianship of holy angels in your home. Remember that your dear ones are exposed to temptations. Daily annoyances beset the path of young and old. Those who would live patient, loving, cheerful lives must pray. Only by receiving constant help from God can we gain the victory over self.
Little courtesies between spouses
Let the husband and wife study each other’s happiness, never failing in the small courtesies and little kindly acts that cheer and brighten the life. Perfect confidence should exist between husband and wife. Together they should consider their responsibilities. Together they should work for the highest good of their children. Never should they in the presence of the children criticize each other’s plans or question each other’s judgment. Let the wife be careful not to make the husband’s work for the children more difficult. Let the husband hold up the hands of his wife, giving her wise counsel and loving encouragement.
Children trained to contribute
Children as well as parents have important duties in the home. They should be taught that they are a part of the home firm. They are fed and clothed and loved and cared for, and they should respond to these many mercies by bearing their share of the home burdens and bringing all the happiness possible into the family of which they are members.
The mother should cultivate a cheerful, contented, happy disposition. Every effort in this direction will be abundantly repaid in both the physical well-being and the moral character of her children. In the children committed to her care, every mother has a sacred charge from God. ‘Take this son, this daughter,’ He says; ‘train it for Me; give it a character polished after the similitude of a palace, that it may shine in the courts of the Lord forever.’
The more quiet and simple the life of the child, the more favorable it will be to both physical and mental development. At all times the mother should endeavor to be quiet, calm, and self-possessed. Many infants are extremely susceptible to nervous excitement, and the mother’s gentle, unhurried manner will have a soothing influence that will be of untold benefit to the child.
Consistent child care
Mothers who desire their boys and girls to possess the vigor of health should dress them properly and encourage them in all reasonable weather to be much in the open air.
The importance of training children to right dietetic habits can hardly be overestimated. The little ones need to learn that they eat to live, not live to eat.
In many cases the sickness of children can be traced to errors in management. Irregularities in eating, insufficient clothing in the chilly evening, lack of vigorous exercise to keep the blood in healthy circulation, or lack of abundance of air for its purification, may be the cause of the trouble. Let the parents study to find the causes of the sickness, and then remedy the wrong conditions as soon as possible.
Teach your children from the cradle to practice self-denial and self-control. Teach them to enjoy the beauties of nature and in useful employment to exercise systematically all the powers of body and mind. Bring them up to have sound constitutions and good morals, to have sunny dispositions and sweet tempers. Impress upon their tender minds the truth that God does not design that we should live for present gratification merely, but for our ultimate good. Above everything else, let parents surround their children with an atmosphere of cheerfulness, courtesy, and love.
In harmony with God’s plan
In the beginning God placed our first parents amidst the beautiful sights and sounds He desires us to rejoice in today. The more nearly we come into harmony with God’s original plan, the more favorable will be our position to secure health of body, and mind, and soul. Better than any other inheritance of wealth you can give to your children will be the gift of a healthy body, a sound mind, and a noble character.
Instead of dwelling where only the works of men can be seen, go where you can look upon the works of God. Find rest of spirit in the beauty and quietude and peace of nature. Go where, apart from the distractions and dissipations of city life, you can give your children your companionship, where you can teach them to learn of God through His works, and train them for lives of integrity and usefulness.—E. G. White.
From Radiant Living by Project Restore http://www.projectrestore.com