Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

February 17, 1904

Home Religion

By Mrs. E. G. White

The work of sanctification begins in the home. Those who are Christians in the home will be Christians in the church and in the world. There are many who do not grow in grace because they fail of cultivating home religion.

In the home the spirit of criticism and fault-finding should have no place. The peace of the home is too sacred to be marred by this spirit. But how often, when seated at the meal-table, the members of the family pass round a dish of criticism, fault-finding, and scandal. Were Christ to come today, would He not find many of the families who profess to be Christians, cherishing the spirit of criticism and unkindness? The members of such families are unready to unite with the family above.

God expects His children to use the talent of speech in a way that will honor the Saviour. Let evil-thinking and evil-speaking be put away as leaven that will produce contention, alienation, and strife. Let the unruly tongue be brought under the control of God.

No harsh, passionate word is ever spoken without grieving the Lord Jesus, and hurting the heart of speaker and of hearer. From the Christian home all angry or trifling speeches will be excluded; for in the home above nothing of this character finds place.

Parents, be sure to spend some time each day in private prayer, asking the Lord for wisdom, lest self-importance take possession of you, and you give the talent of speech into the control of the enemy. In the home circle, generous, gracious, Christ-like words are of more value than any earthly treasure.

Remember that your children will follow closely the example that in word and act you set them. Live lives that will help them to prepare for translation into the courts above when the last trump shall sound, and Christ shall come to gather His faithful ones to Himself. Do not neglect your children. They are your first care. The home is to be their first school. And in this school you yourselves are to learn lessons that will prepare you better to work for their salvation and for the salvation of others. These lessons will be of the highest value to you in your religious experience.

As you labor successfully for your children, you are working out your own salvation, and God is working in you, to will and to do of His good pleasure.

Kindly but firmly correct every inclination to wrong that may appear in the lives of your children. When you are obliged to correct a child, do not raise the voice to a high key bringing into it that which will arouse the worst passions of the child's heart. Do not lose your self-control. The parent who, when correcting a child, gives way to anger, is more at fault than the child.

Restrain every hasty speech that struggles for utterance. Before you speak that fretful, impatient word, stop and think of the influence which, if spoken, it will exert. Remember that children are quick to hear every word, and to mark every intonation of the voice. Remember, too, that angels hear the words you speak. You are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. Follow a course that will be an honor to Jesus, a course that will bring angels to your side. Let your home be such that Christ can enter it as an abiding guest. Let it be such that people will take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus, and have learned of Him.

The home in which the members are kindly, courteous Christians, exerts a far-reaching influence for good. Other families mark the results attained by such a home, and follow the example set, in their turn guarding their homes against evil influences.

Angels of heaven often visit the home in which the will of God bears sway. Under the power of divine grace, such a home becomes a place of refreshing to worn, weary pilgrims. Self is kept from asserting itself. Right habits are formed. There is a careful recognition of the rights of others. The faith that works by love and purifies the soul stands at the helm, presiding over the entire household. Under the hallowed influence of such a home, the principle of brotherhood laid down in the Word of God is more widely recognized and obeyed.

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