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From Eternity Past

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    The Influence of Daily Living

    Abraham's children and household were taught that they were under the rule of the God of heaven. There was to be no oppression on the part of parents and no disobedience on the part of children. The silent influence of his daily life was a constant lesson. There was a fragrance about the life, a nobility of character, which revealed to all that he was connected with Heaven. He did not neglect the humblest servant. In his household there was not one law for the master and another for the servant. All were treated with justice and compassion as inheritors with him of the grace of life.EP 86.4

    How few in our day follow this example! On the part of too many parents there is a blind and selfish sentimentalism, miscalled love, manifested in leaving children to the control of their own will. This is cruelty to the youth and a great wrong to the world. Parental indulgence confirms in the young the desire to follow inclination instead of submitting to divine requirements. Thus they grow up to transmit their irreligious, insubordinate spirit to their children and children's children. Let obedience to parental authority be taught as the first step in obedience to the authority of God.EP 87.1

    The teaching which has become widespread—that the divine statutes are no longer binding—is the same as idolatry in its effect on the morals of the people. Parents do not command their household to keep the way of the Lord. Children, as they make homes of their own, feel no obligation to teach their children what they themselves have never been taught. This is why there are so many godless families, why depravity is so widespread.EP 87.2

    A reformation is needed, deep and broad. Parents, ministers, need to reform; they need God in their households. They must bring His Word into their families and teach their children kindly and untiringly how to live in order to please God. The children of such a household have a foundation that cannot be swept away by the incoming tide of skepticism.EP 87.3

    In many households parents feel they cannot spare a few moments in thanksgiving to God for the sunshine and showers and for the guardianship of holy angels. They have no time to offer prayer. They go forth to labor as the ox or the horse, without one thought of God or heaven. The Son of God gave His life to ransom them, but they have little more appreciation of His goodness than beasts that perish.EP 87.4

    If ever there was a time when every house should be a house of prayer, it is now. Let the father as priest of the household lay upon the altar of God the morning and evening sacrifice, while the wife and children unite in prayer and praise. In such a household Jesus will love to tarry.EP 87.5

    From every home love should flow out in thoughtful kindness, in gentle, unselfish courtesy. There are homes where God is worshiped and truest love reigns. His mercies and blessings descend upon the suppliants like morning dew.EP 88.1

    A well-ordered household is a powerful argument in favor of the Christian religion. An influence at work in the family affects the children. The God of Abraham is with them. God speaks to every faithful parent: “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.”EP 88.2

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