Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»

Good Health

June 1, 1880

Influence of Woman

By Mrs. E. G. White.

The mother's influence never ceases. It is ever active, either for good or for evil; and if she would have her work abide the test of the Judgment, she must make God her trust, and labor with an eye single to his glory. Her first duty is to her children, to so mold their characters that they may be happy in this life, and secure the future, immortal life. She should not be influenced by what Mrs. So-and-So does, nor by the remarks of Mrs. A, or B., in reference to her being so odd, so different from other people in her dress, or in the arrangement of her house for comfort rather than display, or in the management of her children.

God has given the mother, in the education of her children, a responsibility paramount to everything else. She has an individual duty which her neighbors cannot do for her. If she does this work to glorify God, she will not follow the popular path, and will have to stand in defiance of popular customs.

There are but few women who have the courage to stand at their post, and valiantly battle against the customs and fashions which are ruining their children for a practical life. We feel in earnest in trying to rouse to activity the moral powers of sisters and mothers especially, to see and battle with the great evils which are permitted to ruin our youth.

We wish mothers to ask the questions in the fear of God, realizing their responsibility, What part have we in this matter of reform? How can we work to change the order of things? Wrong habits and pernicious fashions are deteriorating our families, physically, mentally, and morally. What can women do to change the purpose and the character of those with whom we associate? What can we do to stay the moral evils which threaten to ruin our children and debase society? You may, my sisters, come up to the help of God, and do anything and everything you can do and do well. Everything must be done with a love for souls, and in the fear and love of God. You may exercise the faculties which God has given you. “Dare to do right, dare to be true,” whatever the opinions of others may be. We must each answer to our Maker for the improvement or abuse of the powers he has given us. We each have an individual responsibility, and we should study the pattern given us in the life of Christ, and copy it, irrespective of censure or applause.

All have not the same work. There are distinct and individual duties for each to perform; yet with these varied duties there may be a beautiful harmony, binding the work of all together in perfect fitness. Our Heavenly Father requires of none to whom he has given but one talent, the improvement of five. But if the one be wisely used, the possessor will soon have gained more, and may continually increase her power of influence and sphere of usefulness, by making the best use of the talents which God has given her. Her individuality may be distinctly preserved, and yet she be part of the great whole in advancing the work of reform so greatly needed.

Woman, if she wisely improves her time and her faculties, relying upon God for wisdom and strength, may stand on an equality with her husband as adviser, counselor, companion, and co-worker, and yet lose none of her womanly grace or modesty. She may elevate her own character, and just as she does this she is elevating and ennobling the characters of her family, and exerting a powerful though unconscious influence upon others around her. Why should not women cultivate the intellect? Why should they not answer the purpose of God in their existence? Why may they not understand their own powers, and realizing that these powers are given of God, strive to make use of them to the fullest extent in doing good to others, in advancing the work of reform, of truth and real goodness, in the world? Satan knows that women have a power of influence for good or for evil; therefore he seeks to enlist them in his cause. He invents multitudinous fashions, and tempts the women of the present day, as he did Eve to pluck and eat, to adopt and practice these ever-changing, never-satisfying modes.

Sisters and mothers, we have a higher aim, a more noble work than to study the latest fashion, and form garments with needless adorning to meet the standard of this modern Moloch. We may become its slave, and sacrifice upon its altars our own and the present and future happiness of our children. But what do we gain in the end? We have sown to the flesh; we shall reap corruption. Our works cannot bear the inspection of God. We shall see at last how many souls might have been blessed and redeemed from darkness and error by our influence, which, instead, encouraged them in pride and outward display, to the neglect of the inward adorning.

Our words, looks, and actions have a direct bearing upon the characters of our children, and upon others; hence we should ever maintain the most perfect self-possession and self-control.

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Article   Article» Next Pub.» Forward»