Child Guidance

Chapter 1—Importance of the Home

School Education Begins at Home—It is in the home that the education of the child is to begin. Here is his first school. Here, with his parents as instructors, he is to learn the lessons that are to guide him throughout life—lessons of respect, obedience, reverence, self-control. The educational influences of the home are a decided power for good or for evil. They are in many respects silent and gradual, but if exerted on the right side, they become a far-reaching power for truth and righteousness. If the child is not instructed aright here, Satan will educate him through agencies of his choosing. How important, then, is the school in the home!1CG 17.1Here the Foundations Are Laid—Upon all parents there rests the obligation of giving physical, mental, and spiritual instruction. It should be the object of every parent to secure to his child a well-balanced, symmetrical character. This is a work of no small magnitude and importance—a work requiring earnest thought and prayer no less than patient, persevering effort. A right foundation must be laid, a framework, strong and firm, erected; and then day by day the work of building, polishing, perfecting, must go forward.2CG 17.2Deny the Child Anything but This Right—Parents, remember that your home is a training school, in which your children are to be prepared for the home above. Deny them anything rather than the education that they should receive in their earliest years. Allow no word of pettishness. Teach your children to be kind and patient. Teach them to be thoughtful of others. Thus you are preparing them for higher ministry in religious things.3CG 17.3The home should be a preparatory school, where children and youth may be fitted to do service for the Master, preparatory to joining the higher school in the kingdom of God.4CG 18.1Not a Secondary Matter—Let not home education be regarded as a secondary matter. It occupies the first place in all true education. Fathers and mothers have entrusted to them the molding of their children’s minds.5CG 18.2How startling is the proverb, “As the twig is bent, the tree is inclined.” This is to be applied to the training of our children. Parents, will you remember that the education of your children from their earliest years is committed to you as a sacred trust? These young trees are to be tenderly trained, that they may be transplanted to the garden of the Lord. Home education is not by any means to be neglected. Those who neglect it neglect a religious duty.6CG 18.3The Great Scope of Home Education—Home education means much. It is a matter of great scope. Abraham was called the father of the faithful. Among the things that made him a remarkable example of godliness was the strict regard that in his home he paid to the commands of God. He cultivated home religion. He who sees the education given in every home, and who measures the influence of this education, said, “I know him that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.”7CG 18.4God commanded the Hebrews to teach their children His requirements, and to make them acquainted with all His dealings with their people. The home and the school were one. In the place of stranger lips, the loving hearts of the father and mother were to give instruction to their children. Thoughts of God were associated with all the events of daily life in the home dwelling. The mighty works of God in the deliverance of His people were recounted with eloquence and reverential awe. The great truths of God’s providence and of the future life were impressed on the young mind. It became acquainted with the true, the good, the beautiful. CG 18.5By the use of figures and symbols the lessons given were illustrated, and thus more firmly fixed in the memory. Through this animated imagery the child was, almost from infancy, initiated into the mysteries, the wisdom, and the hopes of his fathers, and guided in a way of thinking and feeling and anticipating, that reached beyond things seen and transitory, to the unseen and eternal.8CG 19.1It Precedes and Prepares for the Day School—The work of parents precedes that of the teacher. They have a home school—the first grade. If they seek carefully and prayerfully to know and to do their duty, they will prepare their children to enter the second grade—to receive instructions from the teacher.9CG 19.2It Fashions Character—The home may be a school where the children are indeed fashioned in character after the similitude of a palace.10CG 19.3Education in the Nazareth Home—Jesus secured His education in the home. His mother was His first human teacher. From her lips, and from the scrolls of the prophets, He learned of heavenly things. He lived in a peasant’s home and faithfully and cheerfully acted His part in bearing the household burdens. He who had been the commander of heaven was a willing servant, a loving, obedient son. He learned a trade, and with His own hands worked in the carpenter’s shop with Joseph.11CG 19.4