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Child Guidance

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    Chapter 5—The Bible as a Textbook

    The Child's First Textbook—The Bible should be the child's first textbook. From this book, parents are to give wise instruction. The Word of God is to be made the rule of the life. From it the children are to learn that God is their father, and from the beautiful lessons of His Word they are to gain a knowledge of His character. Through the inculcation of its principles, they are to learn to do justice and judgment.1Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 108, 109.CG 41.1

    A Book of Promises, Blessings, and Reproofs—The mother must keep her mind refreshed and stored with the promises and blessings of God's Word, and also the forbidden things, that when her children do wrong she may present as a reproof the words of God, and show them how they are grieving the Spirit of God. Teach them that the approbation and smiles of Jesus are of greater value than the praise or flattery or approval of the most wealthy, the most exalted, the most learned of the earth. Lead them to Jesus Christ day by day, lovingly, tenderly, earnestly. You must not allow anything to come between you and this great work.2The Review and Herald, April 14, 1885.CG 41.2

    Its Study Builds Character—The lessons of the Bible have a moral and religious influence on the character, as they are brought into the practical life. Timothy learned and practiced these lessons. The great apostle often drew him out and questioned him in regard to Scripture history. He showed him the necessity of shunning every evil way and told him that blessing would surely attend all who are faithful and true, giving them a faithful, noble manhood. A noble, all-round manhood does not come by chance. It is the result of the molding process of character building in the early years of youth, and a practice of the law of God in the home. God will bless the faithful efforts of all who teach their children as He has directed.3Letter 33, 1897.CG 41.3

    It Presents God's Love as a Pleasant Theme—The children in every family are to be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Evil propensities are to be controlled, evil tempers subdued; and the children are to be instructed that they are the Lord's property, bought with His own precious blood, and that they cannot live a life of pleasure and vanity, have their own will and carry out their own ideas, and yet be numbered among the children of God. The children are to be instructed with kindness and patience.... Let the parents teach them of the love of God in such a way that it will be a pleasant theme in the family circle, and let the church take upon them the responsibility of feeding the lambs as well as the sheep of the flock.4The Review and Herald, October 25, 1892.CG 42.1

    Its Stories Bring Assurance to the Timid Child—Only the sense of God's presence can banish the fear that, for the timid child, would make life a burden. Let him fix in his memory the promise, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” Psalm 34:7. Let him read that wonderful story of Elisha in the mountain city, and, between him and the hosts of armed foemen, a mighty encircling band of heavenly angels. Let him read how to Peter, in prison and condemned to death, God's angel appeared; how, past the armed guards, the massive doors and great iron gateway with their bolts and bars, the angel led God's servant forth in safety. Let him read of that scene on the sea, when to the tempest-tossed soldiers and seamen, worn with labor and watching and long fasting, Paul the prisoner, on his way to trial and execution, spoke those grand words of courage and hope: “Be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you.... For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.” In the faith of this promise Paul assured his companions, “There shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you.” So it came to pass. Because there was in that ship one man through whom God could work, the whole shipload of heathen soldiers and sailors was preserved. “They escaped all safe to land.” Acts 27:22-24, 34, 44.CG 42.2

    These things were not written merely that we might read and wonder, but that the same faith which wrought in God's servants of old might work in us. In no less marked a manner than He wrought then will He work now wherever there are hearts of faith to be channels of His power.5Education, 255, 256.CG 43.1

    Be strong in faith, and teach your children that we are all dependent upon God. Read to them the story of the four Hebrew children, and impress their minds with a realization of the influence for good that was exerted in Daniel's time because of strict adherence to principle.6Manuscript 33, 1909.CG 43.2

    Make the Bible Lessons Simple—The parents are to teach their children lessons from the Bible, making them so simple that they can readily be understood.7Letter 189, 1903.CG 43.3

    Teach your children that the commandments of God must become the rule of their life. Circumstances may occur to separate them from the parents and from their homes, but the lessons of instruction given in childhood and youth will be a blessing to them throughout their lifetime.8Manuscript 57, 1897.CG 43.4

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