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Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1

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    Chapter 20—The Home Atmosphere

    Home Influences Affect Society—The heart of the community, of the church, and of the nation is the household. The well-being of society, the success of the church, the prosperity of the nation, depend upon home influences.—The Ministry of Healing, 349 (1905).1MCP 174.1

    Effective Agencies for Formation of Character—God designs that the families of earth shall be a symbol of the family in heaven. Christian homes, established and conducted in accordance with God's plan, are among His most effective agencies for the formation of Christian character and for the advancement of His work.—Testimonies for the Church 6:430 (1900).1MCP 174.2

    Worship at Home—I had pious parents, who in every way tried to acquaint us with our heavenly Father. Every morning and every evening we had family prayer. We sang the praises of God in our household. There were eight children in the family, and every opportunity was improved by our parents to lead us to give our hearts to Jesus.—Manuscript 80, 1903.1MCP 174.3

    Greater the Unity, Greater the Influence—The more closely the members of a family are united in their work in the home, the more uplifting and helpful will be the influence that father and mother and sons and daughters will exert outside the home.—Letter 189, 1903 (The Adventist Home, 37.)1MCP 174.4

    Authority With Firmness—Authority must be maintained by a firm severity, or it will be received by many with mockery and contempt. The so-called tenderness, the coaxing and indulgence, used toward youth by parents and guardians is one of the worst evils which can come upon them. In every family, firmness, decision, positive requirements, are essential.—Prophets and Kings, 236 (1917).1MCP 175.1

    Home an Object Lesson—God would have our families symbols of the family in heaven. Let parents and children bear this in mind every day, relating themselves to one another as members of the family of God. Then their lives will be of such a character as to give to the world an object lesson of what families who love God and keep His commandments may be. Christ will be glorified; His peace and grace and love will pervade the family circle like a precious perfume.—The Review and Herald, November 17, 1896. (The Adventist Home, 17.)1MCP 175.2

    The Peace Principle—There is no fretfulness seen in the home if Christ is the peace principle exercised in your soul. There is no uncourteousness there. There is no roughness or sharp speech there. Why? Because we believe and act out that we are members of the Royal Family, children of the Heavenly King, bound to Jesus Christ by the strongest tie of love—that love which works by faith and purifies the soul. You love Jesus and you are constantly at work to overcome all selfishness and to be a blessing, and comfort, and strength, and a support to the souls He has purchased with His blood.1MCP 175.3

    I cannot see why we should not the more earnestly try to bring the peace of Christ right into our family than to labor for those that have no living connection with us; but if we have religion in the home, it will extend outside of the home. You will have it everywhere. You will carry it with you to the church. You can carry it with you when you go out to your work. It will be with you wherever you shall be. What we want is religion in the home. What we need is the peace principle which shall control our spirit and our life and character after the Christlife He has given as His example.—Manuscript 36, 1891.1MCP 175.4

    Love Revealed in Action—From every Christian home a holy light should shine forth. Love should be revealed in action. It should flow out in all home intercourse, showing itself in thoughtful kindness, in gentle, unselfish courtesy. There are homes where this principle is carried out—homes where God is worshiped and truest love reigns. From these homes, morning and evening prayer ascends to God as sweet incense, and His mercies and blessings descend upon the suppliants like the morning dew.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 144 (1890).1MCP 176.1

    Christianity in Home Shines Everywhere—The effort to make the home what it should be—a symbol of the home in heaven—prepares us for work in a larger sphere. The education received by showing a tender regard for each other enables us to know how to reach hearts that need to be taught the principles of true religion. The church needs all the cultivated spiritual force which can be obtained, that all, and especially the younger members of the Lord's family, may be carefully guarded. The truth lived at home makes itself felt in disinterested labor abroad. He who lives Christianity in the home will be a bright and shining light everywhere.—The Signs of the Times, September 1, 1898. (The Adventist Home, 38, 39.)1MCP 176.2

    Uplifting of Humanity Begins in Home—The restoration and uplifting of humanity begins in the home. The work of parents underlies every other. Society is composed of families and is what the heads of families make it. Out of the heart are “the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).—The Ministry of Healing, 349 (1905).1MCP 176.3

    Things That Make Home Attractive—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.—The Signs of the Times, October 2, 1884. (My Life Today, 200.)1MCP 177.1

    Purity in the Home—Order is heaven's first law, and the Lord desires His people to give in their homes a representation of the order and harmony that pervade the heavenly courts. Truth never places her delicate feet in a path of uncleanness or impurity. Truth does not make men and women coarse or rough and untidy. It raises all who accept it to a high level. Under Christ's influence a work of constant refinement goes on....1MCP 177.2

    He who was so particular that the children of Israel should cherish habits of cleanliness will not sanction any impurity in the homes of His people today. God looks with disfavor on uncleanness of any kind. How can we invite Him into our homes unless all is neat and clean and pure?—The Review and Herald, June 10, 1902. (Counsels on Health, 101.)1MCP 177.3

    Location of the Home—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. Those who understand what constitutes life's true success will be wise betimes. They will keep in view life's best things in their choice of a home.1MCP 177.4

    Instead of dwelling where only the works of men can be seen, where the sights and sounds frequently suggest thoughts of evil, where turmoil and confusion bring weariness and disquietude, go where you can look upon the works of God. Find rest of spirit in the beauty and quietude and peace of nature. Let the eye rest on the green fields, the groves, and the hills. Look up to the blue sky, unobscured by the city's dust and smoke, and breathe the invigorating air of heaven. 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.—The Ministry of Healing, 366, 367 (1905).1MCP 177.5

    Fine Furniture Does Not Make a Home—Four walls and costly furniture, velvet carpets, elegant mirrors, and fine pictures do not make a “home” if sympathy and love are wanting. That sacred word does not belong to the glittering mansion where the joys of domestic life are unknown....1MCP 178.1

    In fact the comfort and welfare of the children are the last things thought of in such a home. They are neglected by the mother, whose whole time is devoted to keeping up appearances and meeting the claims of fashionable society. Their minds are untrained; they acquire bad habits and become restless and dissatisfied. Finding no pleasure in their own homes, but only uncomfortable restrictions, they break away from the family circle as soon as possible. They launch out into the great world with little reluctance, unrestrained by home influence and the tender counsel of the hearthstone.—The Signs of the Times, October 2, 1884. (The Adventist Home, 155.)1MCP 178.2

    Faultfinding Opens the Door for Satan—Fathers and mothers, be on guard. Let your conversation in the home be pleasant and encouraging. Always speak kindly, as if in the presence of Christ. Let there be no faultfinding, no accusing. Words of this kind wound and bruise the soul. It is natural for human beings to speak sharp words. Those who yield to this inclination open the door for Satan to enter their hearts and to make them quick to remember the mistakes and errors of others. Their failings are dwelt upon, their deficiencies noted, and words are spoken that cause a lack of confidence in one who is doing his best to fulfill his duty as a laborer together with God. Often the seeds of distrust are sown because one thinks that he ought to have been favored but was not.—Letter 169, 1904.1MCP 178.3

    The Influence of Parental Defects—It seems perfectly natural for some men to be morose, selfish, exacting, and overbearing. They have never learned the lesson of self-control and will not restrain their unreasonable feelings, let the consequences be what they may. Such men will be repaid by seeing their companions sickly and dispirited and their children bearing the peculiarities of their own disagreeable traits of character.—Healthful Living, 36, 1865 (Part 2). (Selected Messages 2:430.)1MCP 179.1

    Angels Not Attracted to Discordant Home—Angels are not attracted to the home where discord reigns supreme. Let fathers and mothers cease all faultfinding and murmuring. Let them educate their children to speak pleasant words, words that bring sunshine and joy. Shall we not now enter the home-school as Christ's students? Bring practical godliness into the home. Then see if the words you speak do not cause joy.1MCP 179.2

    Parents, begin the work of grace in the church in your own home, so conducting yourselves that your children will see that you are cooperating with the heavenly angels. Be sure that you are converted every day. Train yourselves and your children for life eternal in the kingdom of God. Angels will be your strong helpers. Satan will tempt you, but do not yield. Do not speak one word of which the enemy can take an advantage.—Manuscript 93, 1901.1MCP 179.3

    A Plea for More Home Hospitality—Even among those who profess to be Christians, true hospitality is little exercised. Among our own people the opportunity of showing hospitality is not regarded as it should be, as a privilege and blessing. There is altogether too little sociability, too little of a disposition to make room for two or three more at the family board without embarrassment or parade. Some plead that “it is too much trouble.” It would not be if you would say, “We have made no special preparation, but you are welcome to what we have.” By the unexpected guest a welcome is appreciated far more than is the most elaborate preparation.—Testimonies for the Church 6:343 (1900).1MCP 179.4

    Things That Make a Happy Home—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.—The Signs of the Times, October 2, 1884. (The Adventist Home, 422.)1MCP 180.1

    Cultivation of True Refinement—There is great need of the cultivation of true refinement in the home. This is a powerful witness in favor 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 affectation 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.1MCP 180.2

    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 poor.—Manuscript 74, 1900. (The Adventist Home, 422, 423.)1MCP 180.3

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