Ellen G. White Writings

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Lake Union Herald

April 7, 1909

Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep it Holy

By Mrs. E. G. White

It is a great work to educate, discipline, and train minds for the service of God here, and to dwell in the courts above forever. In the world to come your children will be just what you have made them in this world. “Remember” is placed at the very first of the fourth commandment. Parents, remember the Sabbath day yourselves to keep if holy; and if you do this, you are giving the proper instruction to your children. They will reverence God's holy day.

Let it be your study to select and make your homes as far from Sodom and Gomorrah as you can. Keep out of the large cities. If possible, make your home in the quiet retirement of the country, even if you never can become wealthy by doing so. Come where there is the best influence. Give your children employment. Let them learn some trade. Teach them to be useful on some piece of ground. If you do not keep them busy, the devil will. Children have active minds, and they need to be employed in lifting the burdens of practical life. They should never be left to pick up their employment. Parents should control this matter themselves.

Ministers’ children are in many cases the most neglected children in the world, for the reason that their father can be with them but little, and they are left to choose their own amusement and employment. But the first work of the father should be to situate his children so that they will have work to do, and receive an education in physical work as well as in hard study of books. It may be a gratification to have your children with you; but if you are so situated that you cannot give them employment, place them where they can work and employ their God-given powers in useful labor. They will come to you in the end far stronger in moral powers and in a knowledge that will be of advantage to them and you.

Children are a heritage from the Lord, and the Lord requires of parents that they should give special instruction to their children. Like Abraham, they are to command their children and their household after them. If they neglect this part of the work, they are disqualifying themselves to care for the flock of God.

Parents, do not select a business that will constantly stand in the way to obstruct the exercise of your Christian duties, and where you must imperil your Christian principles. Be firm, be faithful where you are. You are on the battle field. Bring moral courage and firm principle to your aid. Wherever Providence has placed you, take up your God-appointed work. Serve Him most faithfully, but enter into no business relations with men; do not become partners with those who do not revere the Sabbath, and who laugh at your attempt to keep it. They are constantly working out Satan's devices that you should bring worldly business into the Sabbath. They make it their boast that they are just as good as you are. Keep holy the Sabbath day at whatever sacrifice to yourself. Never allow the holy day of the Lord to be disregarded by yourself or by your children.

And wherever you make your home, there erect your altar. Seek the blessing of God upon your home and your children, morning and evening.

The Lord declares, “Them that honor Me I will honor.” The reason that there are so many unhappy, self-willed, ungrateful children, is that they are not educated to revere God, to love Him, to pray to Him, to keep His commandments holy. With the one hand of persevering faith lay hold of your children; with the other hand lifted to heaven, grasp the merciful hand of Jesus Christ. Christian education is needed in your home. All through the week, keep the Lord's holy Sabbath in view; for that day is to be devoted to the service of God. It is the day when the hands are to rest from worldly employment, and when the soul needs to receive special attention.

From the very cradle the children are to be educated and right impressions to be given to the mind. They are to be instructed in regard to the knowledge of God and His holy commandments. Neither infants, nor children, nor youth, should hear an impatient word from father, mother, or any member of the household; for they receive impressions very early in life, and what parents make of them today they will be tomorrow, and the next day and the next. The first lessons impressed upon the child are never forgotten.

(To be continued.)

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