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    Chapter 42—Mother's Health and Personal Appearance

    Mother's Health to Be Cherished—The strength of the mother should be tenderly cherished. Instead of spending her precious strength in exhausting labor, her care and burdens should be lessened. Often the husband and father is unacquainted with the physical laws which the well-being of his family requires him to understand. Absorbed in the struggle for a livelihood, or bent on acquiring wealth, and pressed with cares and perplexities, he allows to rest upon the wife and mother burdens that overtax her strength at the most critical period and cause feebleness and disease.1The Ministry of Healing, 373.AH 251.1

    It is for her own interest, and that of her family, to save herself all unnecessary taxation and to use every means at her command to preserve life, health, and the energies which God has given her; for she will need the vigor of all her faculties for her great work. A portion of her time should be spent out-of-doors, in physical exercise, that she may be invigorated to do her work indoors with cheerfulness and thoroughness, being the light and blessing of the home.2Pacific Health Journal, June, 1890 (The Health Reformer, June, 1877).AH 251.2

    Mothers to Be Advocates of Health Reform—The will of God has been plainly expressed to all mothers; He would have them, by precept and example, advocates of health reform. They should plant their feet firmly upon principle, in no case to violate the physical laws which God has implanted in their beings. “Standing by a purpose true,” with firm integrity, mothers will have moral power and grace from Heaven to let their light shine forth to the world, both in their own upright course and in the noble character of their children.3Good Health, February, 1880.AH 251.3

    To Exercise Self-control in Diet—The mother needs the most perfect self-control; and in order to secure this, she should take all precautions against any physical or mental disorder. Her life should be ordered according to the laws of God and of health. As the diet materially affects the mind and disposition, she should be very careful in that particular, eating that which is nourishing but not stimulating, that her nerves may be calm and her temper equable. She will then find it easier to exercise patience in dealing with the varying tendencies of her children and to hold the reins of government firmly yet affectionately.4Pacific Health Journal, May, 1890 (The Health Reformer, May, 1877).AH 252.1

    To Radiate Sunshine Under All Circumstances—The mother can and should do much toward controlling her nerves and mind when depressed; even when she is sick, she can, if she only schools herself, be pleasant and cheerful and can bear more noise than she would once have thought possible. She should not make the children feel her infirmities and cloud their young, sensitive minds by her depression of spirits, causing them to feel that the house is a tomb and the mother's room the most dismal place in the world. The mind and nerves gain tone and strength by the exercise of the will. The power of the will in many cases will prove a potent soother of the nerves. Do not let your children see you with a clouded brow.5Testimonies for the Church 1:387.AH 252.2

    To Regard the Esteem of Husband and Children—Sisters, when about their work, should not put on clothing which would make them look like images to frighten the crows from the corn. It is more gratifying to their husbands and children to see them in a becoming, well-fitting attire than it can be to mere visitors or strangers. Some wives and mothers seem to think it is no matter how they look when about their work and when they are seen only by their husbands and children, but they are very particular to dress in taste for the eyes of those who have no special claims upon them. Is not the esteem and love of husband and children more to be prized than that of strangers or common friends? The happiness of husband and children should be more sacred to every wife and mother than that of all others.6Ibid., 1:464, 465.AH 252.3

    Wear clothing that is becoming to you. This will increase the respect of your children for you. See to it that they, too, are dressed in a becoming manner. Do not allow them to fall into habits of untidiness.7Letter 47a, 1902.AH 253.1

    Not to Be in Bondage to Public Opinion—Too often mothers show a morbid sensitiveness as to what others may think of their habits, dress, and opinions; and, to a great extent, they are slaves to the thought of how others may regard them. Is it not a sad thing that judgment-bound creatures should be controlled more by the thought of what their neighbors will think of them than by the thought of their obligation to God? We too often sacrifice the truth in order to be in harmony with custom, that we may avoid ridicule....AH 253.2

    A mother cannot afford to be in bondage to opinion; for she is to train her children for this life and for the life to come. In dress, mothers should not seek to make a display by needless ornamentation.8The Review and Herald, March 31, 1891.AH 253.3

    To Give Lessons in Neatness and Purity—If mothers allow themselves to wear untidy garments at home, they are teaching their children to follow in the same slovenly way. Many mothers think that anything is good enough for home wear, be it ever so soiled and shabby. But they soon lose their influence in the family. The children draw comparisons between their mother's dress and that of others who dress neatly, and their respect for her is weakened.AH 253.4

    Mothers, make yourselves as attractive as possible; not by elaborate trimming, but by wearing clean, well-fitting garments. Thus you will give to your children constant lessons in neatness and purity. The love and respect of her children should be of the highest value to every mother. Everything upon her person should teach cleanliness and order and should be associated in their minds with purity. There is a sense of fitness, an idea of the appropriateness of things, in the minds of even very young children; and how can they be impressed with the desirability of purity and holiness when their eyes daily rest on untidy dresses and disorderly rooms? How can the heavenly guests, whose home is where all is pure and holy, be invited into such a dwelling?9Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 143, 144.AH 254.1

    Order and cleanliness is the law of heaven; and in order to come into harmony with the divine arrangement, it is our duty to be neat and tasty.10Testimonies for the Church 4:142, 143.AH 254.2

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