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Child Guidance

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    Chapter 52—Choosing the School

    We Sustain Terrible Losses—At times I find myself wishing that God would speak to parents with an audible voice as He spoke to the wife of Manoah, telling them what they must do in training their children. We are sustaining terrible losses in every branch of the work through the neglect of home training. It was this that impressed upon our minds the need of schools where a religious influence should predominate. If anything can be done to counteract the great evil, in the strength of Jesus we will do it.1Manuscript 119, 1899.CG 303.1

    Facing a Momentous Issue—Parents, guardians, place your children in training schools where the influences are similar to those of a rightly conducted home school; schools in which the teachers will carry them forward from point to point, and in which the spiritual atmosphere is a savor of life unto life.... Whether or not our youth who have received wise instruction and training from godly parents will continue to be sanctified through the truth depends largely upon the influence that, after leaving their homes, they meet among those to whom they look for Christian instruction.2Testimonies For The Church 8:225, 226.CG 303.2

    Which Class of Educators?—There are two classes of educators in the world. One class is those whom God makes channels of light, and the other class is those whom Satan uses as his agents, who are wise to do evil. One class contemplates the character of God and increases in the knowledge of Jesus, whom God hath sent into the world. This class becomes wholly given up to those things which bring heavenly enlightenment, heavenly wisdom, to the uplifting of the soul. Every capability of their nature is submitted to God, and their thoughts are brought into captivity to Christ. The other class is in league with the prince of darkness, who is ever on the alert that he may find an opportunity to teach others the knowledge of evil.3Fundamentals of Christian Education, 174.CG 303.3

    Choose the School Where God Is the Foundation—In planning for the education of their children outside the home, parents should realize that it is no longer safe to send them to the public school, and should endeavor to send them to schools where they will obtain an education based on a Scriptural foundation. Upon every Christian parent there rests the solemn obligation of giving to his children an education that will lead them to gain a knowledge of the Lord and to become partakers of the divine nature through obedience to God's will and way.4Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 205.CG 304.1

    Consider God's Counsel to Israel—While the judgments of God were falling upon the land of Egypt, the Lord directed the Israelites not only to keep their children within their houses, but to bring in even their cattle from the fields....CG 304.2

    As the Israelites kept their children within their houses during the time when the judgments of God were in the land of Egypt, so in this time of peril we are to keep our children separate and distinct from the world. We are to teach them that the commandments of God mean much more than we realize. Those who keep them will not imitate the practices of the transgressors of God's law.CG 304.3

    Parents must regard God's Word with respect, obeying its teachings. To the parents in this day, as well as to the Israelites, God declares: “These words ... shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”CG 304.4

    Notwithstanding this plain instruction, some of God's people permit their children to attend the public schools, where they mingle with those who are corrupt in morals. In these schools their children can neither study the Bible nor learn its principles. Christian parents, you must make provision for your children to be educated in Bible principles.5Manuscript 100, 1902.CG 305.1

    Bible Truth Neutralized; the Child Confused—Do our children receive from the teachers in the public schools ideas that are in harmony with the Word of God? Is sin presented as an offense against God? Is obedience to all the commandments of God taught as the beginning of all wisdom? We send our children to the Sabbath school that they may be instructed in regard to the truth, and then as they go to the day school, lessons containing falsehood are given them to learn. These things confuse the mind, and should not be; for if the young receive ideas that pervert the truth, how will the influence of this education be counteracted?CG 305.2

    Can we wonder that under such circumstances some of the youth among us do not appreciate religious advantages? Can we wonder that they drift into temptation? Can we wonder that, neglected as they have been, their energies are devoted to amusements which do them no good, that their religious aspirations are weakened, and their spiritual life darkened? The mind will be of the same character as that upon which it feeds, the harvest of the same nature as the seed sown. Do not these facts sufficiently show the necessity of guarding from the earliest years the education of the youth? Would it not be better for the youth to grow up in a degree of ignorance as to what is commonly accepted as education than for them to become careless in regard to the truth of God?6Testimonies For The Church 6:193, 194.CG 305.3

    Schools in All Our Churches—In all our churches there should be schools, and teachers in these schools who are missionaries. It is essential that teachers be trained to act well their part in the important work of educating the children of Sabbathkeepers, not only in the sciences, but in the Scriptures. These schools, established in different localities and conducted by God-fearing men or women, as the case demands, should be built on the same principles as were the schools of the prophets.7Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 168.CG 306.1

    Church Schools in the Cities—It is of the greatest importance that church schools shall be established, to which the children may be sent and still be under the watch care of their mothers and have opportunity to practice the lessons of helpfulness that it is God's design they shall learn in the home....CG 306.2

    Much more can be done to save and educate the children of those who at present cannot get away from the cities. This is a matter worthy of our best efforts. Church schools are to be established for the children in the cities, and in connection with these schools provision is to be made for the teaching of higher studies, where these are called for.8The Review and Herald, December 17, 1903.CG 306.3

    Provide Schools for Small Churches—Many families, who, for the purpose of educating their children, move to places where our large schools are established, would do better service for the Master by remaining where they are. They should encourage the church of which they are members to establish a church school where the children within their borders could receive an all-round, practical Christian education. It would be vastly better for their children, for themselves, and for the cause of God, if they would remain in the smaller churches, where their help is needed, instead of going to the larger churches, where, because they are not needed, there is a constant temptation to fall into spiritual inactivity.CG 307.1

    Wherever there are a few Sabbathkeepers, the parents should unite in providing a place for a day school where their children and youth can be instructed. They should employ a Christian teacher, who, as a consecrated missionary, shall educate the children in such a way as to lead them to become missionaries. Let teachers be employed who will give a thorough education in the common branches, the Bible being made the foundation and the life of all study.9Testimonies For The Church 6:198.CG 307.2

    In localities where believers are few, let two or three churches unite in erecting a humble building for a church school.10Testimonies For The Church 6:109.CG 307.3

    If parents will realize the importance of these small educating centers, co-operating to do the work that the Lord desires to be done at this time, the plans of the enemy for our children will be frustrated.11Manuscript 33, 1908.CG 307.4

    Home Church Schools—As far as possible, all our children should have the privilege of a Christian education. To provide this we must sometimes establish home church schools. It would be well if several families in a neighborhood would unite to employ a humble, God-fearing teacher to give to the parents that help that is needed in educating their children. This will be a great blessing to many isolated groups of Sabbathkeepers, and a plan more pleasing to the Lord than that which has been sometimes followed, of sending young children away from their homes to attend one of our larger schools.CG 307.5

    Our small companies of Sabbathkeepers are needed to hold up the light before their neighbors; and the children are needed in their homes, where they may be a help to their parents when the hours of study are ended. The well-ordered Christian home, where young children can have parental discipline that is after the Lord's order, is the best place for them.12Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 158.CG 308.1

    A Problem for Isolated Members—Some families of Sabbathkeepers live alone or far separated from others of like faith. These have sometimes sent their children to our boarding schools, where they have received help and have returned to be a blessing in their own home. But some cannot send their children away from home to be educated. In such cases parents should endeavor to employ an exemplary religious teacher, who will feel it a pleasure to work for the Master in any capacity and be willing to cultivate any part of the Lord's vineyard. Fathers and mothers should co-operate with the teacher, laboring earnestly for the conversion of their children.13Testimonies For The Church 6:198, 199.CG 308.2

    Work as for Life to Save Children—In some countries parents are compelled by law to send their children to school. In these countries, in localities where there is a church, schools should be established, if there are no more than six children to attend. Work as if you were working for your life to save the children from being drowned in the polluting, corrupting influences of the world.CG 308.3

    We are far behind our duty in this important matter. In many places schools should have been in operation years ago. Many localities would thus have had representatives of the truth who would have given character to the work of the Lord. Instead of centering so many large buildings in a few places, schools should have been established in many localities.CG 309.1

    Let these schools now be started under wise direction, that the children and youth may be educated in their own churches. It is a grievous offense to God that there has been so great neglect in this line, when Providence has so abundantly supplied us with facilities with which to work.14Testimonies For The Church 6:199, 200.CG 309.2

    An Established School Not to Be Abandoned—The schoolwork in a place where a church school has been established should never be given up unless God plainly directs that this should be done. Adverse influences may seem to conspire against the school, but with God's help the teacher can do a grand, saving work in changing the order of things.15Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 157.CG 309.3

    To Uplift Disobedient, Unruly Children—Sometimes there is in the school a disorderly element that makes the work very hard. Children who have not received a right education make much trouble, and by their perversity make the heart of the teacher sad. But let him not become discouraged. Test and trial bring experience. If the children are disobedient and unruly, there is all the more need of strenuous effort. The fact that there are children with such characters is one of the reasons why church schools should be established. The children whom parents have neglected to educate and discipline must be saved if possible.16Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 153.CG 309.4

    To Convert Worldly Youth—Years ago school buildings should have been erected in other places besides -----, not large buildings, but buildings suitable for church schools, in which the children and youth could receive a true education. The lesson books used should be of a character to bring the law of God to the attention. The Bible should be made the foundation of education. In this work the light and strength and power of the truth will be magnified. Youth from the world, whose minds have not been depraved by habits of sensuality, will connect with these schools and will there be converted.... This kind of missionary work, I am instructed, will have a most telling influence in extending the light and knowledge of truth.17Manuscript 150, 1899.CG 310.1

    To Maintain the Highest Standards—The character of the work done in our church schools should be of the very highest order. Jesus Christ, the Restorer, is the only remedy for a wrong education; and the lessons taught in His Word should ever be kept before the youth in the most attractive form. The school discipline should supplement the home training, and both at home and at school simplicity and godliness should be maintained.18Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 174.CG 310.2

    To Prepare for the Higher Grade Above—To parents He sends the warning cry, Gather your children into your own houses; gather them away from those who are disregarding the commandments of God, who are teaching and practicing evil. Get out of the large cities as fast as possible. Establish church schools. Give your children the Word of God as the foundation of all their education. This is full of beautiful lessons, and if pupils make it their study in the primary grade below, they will be prepared for the higher grade above.19Testimonies For The Church 6:195.CG 310.3

    God Has Made Provision—Our schools are the Lord's special instrumentality to fit the children and youth for missionary work. Parents should understand their responsibility and help their children to appreciate the great privileges and blessings that God has provided for them in educational advantages.20Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 149.CG 311.1

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