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Daughters of God

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    Invite the Softening, Subduing Spirit of God to Settle Differences

    Portion of a long letter written to Mrs. Mary Nelson on March 19, 1902. Ellen White tried to give the Nelsons counsel that would unite them as a family once again.DG 186.2

    Your children need a father, you need a husband, and your husband needs a wife. You need the help of your husband, and you both need the help of the Saviour. Both of you should cultivate faith. Your children need a father who will wear Christ's yoke, a father who will submit his will to God's will, to be molded and fashioned by the divine hand.DG 186.3

    My brother, my sister, for some time you have not been living together. You should not have pursued this course, and would not have done so, if both of you had been cultivating the patience, kindness, and forbearance that should ever exist between husband and wife. Neither of you should set up your own will and try to carry out your individual ideas and plans, whatever the consequences may be. Neither of you should be determined to do as you please. Let the softening, subduing influence of the Spirit of God work upon your hearts, and fit you for the work of training your children. Your work, under God, is to mold and fashion their characters. In order to lay hold on the strength and power that the Lord alone can give you, you must exercise faith. Appeal to your heavenly Father to keep you from yielding to the temptation to speak in an impatient, harsh, willful manner to each other—the husband to the wife, and the wife to the husband. Both of you have imperfect characters. Because you have not been under God's control, your conduct toward each other has been unwise.DG 186.4

    I beseech you to bring yourselves under God's control. When tempted to speak provokingly, refrain from saying anything. You will be tempted on this point, because you have never overcome this objectionable trait of character. But every wrong habit must be overcome. Make a complete surrender to God. Fall on the Rock, Christ Jesus, and be broken. As husband and wife, discipline yourselves. Go to Christ for help. He will willingly supply you with His divine sympathy, His free grace. He who for thirty years was a faithful son, working at the carpenter's trade in order to do His share in bearing the burdens of the family firm, will give His followers strength faithfully to do their part in sharing the burdens of homelife.DG 187.1

    My sister, Christ has committed to you the sacred work of teaching His commandments to your children. In order to be fitted for this work, you must yourself live in obedience to all His precepts. Cultivate a watchful observance of every word and action. Guard most diligently your words. Overcome all hastiness of temper; for impatience, if manifested, will help the adversary to make the homelife disagreeable and unpleasant for your children.DG 187.2

    We are all the property of the Lord Jesus. He gave His life as a ransom to redeem us. By His gift every family—father, mother, and children—may be saved. My sister, will you neglect your home duties by not putting to tax your God-given power of will in an effort to help your children? In the name of the Lord, I charge you to make every effort, with your husband's help, to save your children.DG 187.3

    Upon each of you, as parents, rests the equal responsibility of guarding every word and action, that neither your words nor your deportment shall disparage you in the estimation of your children. Bring into the household all the pleasantness and comfort and joy that you possibly can.DG 187.4

    My dear Brother and Sister Nelson, repent before God for your past course. Come to an understanding and reunite as husband and wife. Put away the disagreeable, unhappy experience of your past life. Take courage in the Lord. Close the windows of the soul earthward and open them heavenward. If your voices are uplifted in prayer to heaven for light, the Lord Jesus, who is light and life, peace and joy, will hear your cry. He, the Sun of righteousness, will shine into the chambers of your mind, lighting up the soul-temple. If you welcome the sunshine of His presence into your home, you will not utter words of a nature to cause feelings of unhappiness.DG 188.1

    Oh, Mary, I beg of you to stop and consider how much you are grieving the Holy Spirit of God! Seek the Lord with your whole heart, that the Sun of righteousness may shine into your soul, and work in you an entire transformation, sanctifying your every word and action.DG 188.2

    How I wish I could cry with a loud voice to every mother in the land, “Sanctify your spirit through the grace that Christ freely gives to those who ask Him for grace. Practice tenderness. Manifest a sanctified love for your children. Interest yourself in their happiness. Teach them to exercise good sense. Acquaint them with God and His purpose for them. Make the religion of Jesus Christ attractive. Never offend the Lord God by dissension and unhappy differences. Seek for meekness and lowliness of heart. Cultivate affection.”DG 188.3

    Brother and Sister Nelson, while in the past you have disagreed, you are now under solemn obligation to God to make the most of your God-given abilities and powers. You should improve every opportunity you have for reaching a higher standard. It is God's purpose, signified to you through Sister White, His servant, that you should look to Jesus, and, by beholding Him, be changed into His likeness. The Lord desires that you shall no longer be children in your Christian experience, but, through the impartation of His grace, that you shall be complete in Him. If you take advantage of the present opportunity for reaching a higher experience, you can become strong and complete in Christ Jesus.DG 188.4

    Brother Nelson, will you soften and subdue your nature? You may become like Jesus and be His missionary, His helping hand. He never prompts you to be exacting, dictatorial, and severe toward the members of your family and toward others with whom you associate. You can live this life only once. Will you not bring the pleasantness and the goodness of a perfect character into this life? The Lord wants you to be good and to do good. We can individually make life what we please. If we choose, we can honor God by using aright the talent of speech.DG 188.5

    My brother, take up the care of your children. It will do no good to blame them; for they have received your disposition as an inheritance. In governing them, be firm, but not arbitrary. In talking with them, speak in a manner that will not create a feeling of stubborn resistance.DG 189.1

    Brother and Sister Nelson, the example that you have set before your children has not been what it would have been had you been converted. If you were changed by the grace of Christ, you would show that you had overcome selfishness and the desire to have your own way, to consult your natural inclinations, and to do as you please. Now is the time to show that you do not live to please self. Bring into the character the fragrance of Christ's character. Put away the spirit of scolding, fretting, and repining. Cultivate purity of speech. Pray and sing to the glory of God. Let the peace of God rule in your hearts.—Letter 47a, 1902.DG 189.2

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