The title of our series this week, is Train Up A Child. And we are considering together principles of Christian parenting. We started out together by asking ourselves, what is the goal, what is the grand objective of child training? And we came to the conclusion that it was that God might be glorified in our children. That His character might be reflected in theirs, for to glorify God is to characterize God. Gods glory is His character, therefore to reflect that character is what it means to give glory to God.
Then we went on to consider yesterday, those factors that oppose the realization of that goal. Primarily they come under the heading of inheritance. All of our children, all of us have inherited from Adam, a love for folly, a bent towards evil, and a hatred for truth and holiness. This we must take into consideration. It is not a very humanistic or sentimental concept to grasp, and many would suggest that this is synonymous with hating a child to suggest that children are born with such a heritage. But oh no, we came to the conclusion that to truly love a child we must recognize their natural inheritance and then ask for supernatural power to help them to overcome it.
And then yesterday evening, we took a closer look at the inheritance factor. Not only have children received from Adam, certain disadvantages but, they tend to receive from us directly as their parents, certain disadvantages, or possibly, certain advantages. Those little mind gardens, that we are to cultivate and help to produce fruit, a character to the glory of God, come with seeds already in them don’t they? Weed seeds, the curse pronounced upon the ground, was an object lesson in the tangible natural realm, that helped us to understand the condition of our hearts, on account of sin. Our hearts have now naturally weed seeds. Is it hard to get a garden to grow weeds? No problem at all, just let it do it’s natural thing, and it will grow weeds. So it is with the little mind garden of our children, so it is with our minds.
In order to get a garden to grow beneficial things we have to carefully purchase seeds and place them in the soil, and cultivate them, and diligently weed all those noxious plants that would seek to strangle and destroy the good plants we put there. Now we considered, yesterday evening the tree sources of weed seeds. One is inherent, through the law of heredity at conception , the other were those that were implanted during the time of prenatal influences. Mothers that is your responsibility there in a special way. You have the opportunity to do much to influence what kind of crop will be manifest in the little mind garden of the child that you are carrying, by your own disposition during that period of time.
And the third source of weed seeds, are those that are planted along the way, as the child is born and is subject to influences about him. And Satan, of course, is very anxious to sow weed seeds, add to the natural crop, add to the prenatal crop, those that he can place in that little mind garden, during the child’s experience. And his favorite agents for planting weed seeds, are the child’s own associates. A child’s own associates. Also of course, the influences that the child is exposed to, such as television, we’ll address that later.
That is just a little review to catch us up. Now I would like to study with you today, our rolls as Christian parents. How we must work together, and compliment each other, to overcome the opposition factors and realize our goal for our children, to help them come to reflect the character of Jesus Christ. There are special God ordained rolls. And as we each accept those rolls, we can blend together, by the grace of God, to form a very efficient and effect team to accomplish God’s commission to us, to develop His character likeness in our children.
The title of this particular presentation, is Lead On Softly. “Lead On Softly.” And it is taken from a verse in scripture, that we will turn our attention to in a moment. But again before we open God’s word, what must we make sure that we do? Have the Spirit that inspired it bringing it home to our understanding. That our intellect and our affections, both intellect and affections, our character might embrace the truth as it is in Jesus, and be shaped by it. That is the knowledge of truth that we seek. And it is only the Spirit of Truth that can give us such a knowledge. So let’s kneel before our God, shall we?
Father God, we thank you for the quietness of this morning hour. We thank you for the peace and serenity of this natural setting. We rejoice in the privilege of coming together in this your special place. Most of all we celebrate the privilege of Your presence. We invite You to come upon us in a special way. Pour out Your Spirit upon us Father, we pray. We’ve come to feed ourselves from Your word. We freely confess to You however that naturally, we have no appetite for Spiritual things. The carnal mind is enmity against You. Nor do we naturally have the capacity to digest and assimilate spiritual food into our spiritual beings. So Father, before we open the bread of life, to feed ourselves, we ask for that supernatural capacity to have both a hungering and thirsting and a capacity to digest spiritual food. Jesus has told us, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in, and sup with him.” Father we are wanting now from your word. Please, we open the door, come in and sup with us. In the person of Your Spirit, that our time together might be nourishing to us spiritually. That we in turn might nourish our children, spiritually, is our prayer in Jesus’ name. AMEN.
The title for this presentation is taken from a favorite verse of mine, Gen 33. Turn with me there in your Bibles, Gen 33:14. This is the story of Jacob and Esau. Jacob is addressing Esau and referring to him as his lord, as was the custom in those days. It’s an expression of recognition of authority. Verse 14 “Please let my lord go on ahead before his servant. I will lead on softly, at a pace which the livestock that go before me, and the children, are able to endure, until I come to my lord in Seir.”
Oh brothers and sisters, I would suggest to you that that should be the prayer, every parent ought to pray on a daily basis. Think of it in these terms, would you? Think of the “I”, not as Jacob but as yourself– as a father, or as a mother. And think of the “lord” referred to there, not as Esau, but as your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Listen now to the prayer. “Please, let my Lord go on ahead before his servant. I will lead on softly, at a pace which . . . the children are able to endure, until I come to my Lord. . .” Should not that be the parents prayer? Oh indeed, for we can lead our own children to our Lord only as we follow the lead of our Lord. And how are we to lead them to him?–“softly”, we are to “lead on softly”.
And dear brother, dear sister, I would suggest to you that the God ordained parental roles are especially designed to enable the father and the mother, to lead on, how? Softly. Lead on, the masculine aspect, softly, the feminine aspect. And it’s the beautiful combination of these two roles, that will enable us to lead on softly our children, to our Lord. We must learn to accept the roles however, before we can ever be blessed by them. These God ordained parental roles, are defined both by nature and by revelation. They’re defined biologically and Biblically.
Turn with me to the first reference in scripture, regarding parental roles. Where is it found? Gen 3. Often referred to as the curse. I’d like to consider with you, how this curse, this first Biblical injunction regarding parental roles fosters essential character traits. In both the husband and the wife, which in marriage, BEAUTIFULLY compliment and complete each other. Enabling Christian parents to “lead on softly.” And together, as husband and wife, model for their children, a balanced Christlike character. Oh it’s BEAUTIFUL to consider.
First of all, the curse pronounced upon the woman. What was it? Basically, pain in child birth, starting there at verse 16, and subject to the husband, “he shall rule over you.” Now these two aspects of the curse, which I would suggest is really a very profound blessing. God never curses unless it’s for our blessing. Now if you have a hard time getting around that, that’s just the God that we know. These two aspects were intended to foster and develop in the woman, a spirit of self-sacrifice and submission. Pain in child birth, self-sacrifice; subject to her husband, submission.
Self-sacrifice and submission are two very precious and beautiful Christlike character traits aren’t they? In fact they are, I would suggest, the most precious and beautiful. But, is to be submissive and self-sacrificing the only character trait, of a balanced Christian? No, I suggest that there is another side, a complementary aspect. The curse pronounced upon man. The ground, was cursed as you recall, thorns and thistles. It would resist his efforts to make it productive, he would have to do so by the sweat of his brow. This I would suggest, was ordained by God to promote in man, the more masculine virtues, courage, perseverance, endurance. Are these Christian virtues? Oh most definitely. Are they essential Christian virtues? Yes, most definitely.
But of themselves, are they balanced? Do you see how the two together are to blend and make a balanced Christian character. If we are only submissive and self-sacrificing, we tend to be just a little bit milk toast. If we are only courageous and persevering and have a spirit of endurance, we tend to be a little bit, what? Hard nosed, bullheaded. It’s the two together, that make us complete and beautiful. A beautiful complete representation of Jesus Christ. Jesus, you see is the perfect BALANCE isn’t He, of the masculine and the feminine virtues. Look at how TOTALLY self-sacrificing and submissive He was. And yet, look at how MAGNIFICANTLY courageous and persevering He was. And look at what He endured. He is the model for both the husband and the wife.
MH 391, the father here is being referred to, and he’s being exhorted to model the sterner masculine virtues, listen, “The father should enforce in his family the sterner virtues—energy, integrity, honesty, patience, courage, diligence, and practical usefulness. And what he requires of his children he himself should practice, illustrating these virtues in his own manly bearing.” Masculine side, you see that don’t you? But is it balanced? Such a model would be imbalanced without the softer feminine virtues.
This is God’s purpose in marriage. AH 99 “All who enter into matrimonial relations with a holy purpose—the husband to obtain the pure affections of a woman’s heart, the wife to SOFTEN and IMPROVE her husband’s character and give it COMPLETENESS—fulfill God’s purpose for them.” Do you see, dear sisters, for what God has joined you together with man in the marriage union? To soften and improve his character and to give it completeness. As men, we need the influence of a women to soften, and complete our characters, so that we together can “lead on”, but how? “softly”. Softly. The masculine virtues blended with the feminine virtues, allow us to fulfill our God ordained roles, and to lead our children to our Lord in a way that is both firm and gentle, “at a pace”, yes, but “at a pace they can endure.”
AH 102 “In the marriage relation there is a very important step taken–the blending of two lives into one. It is in accord with the will of God that man and wife should be linked together in His work, to carry it forward in a wholeness and a holiness. They can do this.” But, how can they do this? I submit that they can do this in wholeness, only as each willingly accepts their God ordained roles.
Oh dear sisters, may I address you please. We as husbands, desperately need you, to minister to us those beautiful feminine virtues. We NEED that. A spirit of self-sacrifice and submission does not come naturally to anyone, but it seems particularly difficult for us men to develop these virtues. But you can model these for us, and minister them to us. But you can do so only if you willingly, rather even gladly and eagerly, accept your God ordained role, and allow that role to foster within you those beautiful character traits. So many today, reject that God ordained role. This is the whole emphasis of the women’s liberation movement, the feminist movement. It is the rejection of the God ordained role for the woman, in the marriage relationship. And because of that rejection, there is a terrible imbalance, and parents are not able to lead on softly, anymore.
Oh dear sister, please do not reject your God ordained roles. Accept it, allow it to foster within you, those beautiful feminine virtues. And then minister those to your husband. As you do, he will be softened, and his character will be completed. As you model to him a spirit of submission, as you relate to him, you will help him learn how to submit to his Lord. And as he learns to do that, he will exercise his God ordained authority, more carefully and more lovingly, as he relates to you. And then you together, can help your children to appreciate the full beauty and balance of the character of Jesus Christ.
In the book PK 236, note the masculine emphasis here, as far as parental roles are concerned. This is something that we as men, can really identify with. “Authority must be maintained by a firm severity, or it will be received by many with mockery and contempt. The so-called tenderness, the coaxing and indulgence, used toward youth by parents and guardians, is one of the worst evils which can come upon them. In every family, firmness, decision, positive requirements, are essential.” Doesn’t that come home to us men? That makes us stand up straight and get ready to go to work, to “lead on”. Watch out though. How? “Softly”.
Listen to the other aspect– the more feminine approach– the “softly” method. 3T 532 “Children have sensitive loving natures.” Sisters you can identify with this one, in a special way. “They are easily pleased and easily made unhappy. By gentle discipline in loving words and acts, mothers may bind their children to their hearts. To manifest severity and to be exacting with children are great mistakes.” And now note the blend here. “Uniform firmness and unimpassioned control are necessary to the discipline of every family. Say what you mean calmly, move with consideration, and carry out what you say without deviation.” In other words, “Lead on”, but how? “Softly”.
As the husband and wife blend and unite, their different strengths and temperaments in child training, they can do that. I read from AH 312, 313, 314 “Unitedly and prayerfully the father and mother should bear the grave responsibility of guiding their children aright….The father and mother should unite in disciplining their children, each should bear a share of the responsibility, acknowledging themselves under solemn obligations to God to train up their offspring in such a way as to secure to them, as far as possible, good physical health and well-developed characters……The family firm must…consider their responsibilities, and with a clear comprehension undertake their task. There is to be no variance. The father and mother should never in the presence of their children criticize each other’s plans and judgment……If parents do not agree, let them absent themselves from the presence of their children until an understanding can be arrived at.”
Oh, dear parents, please take those words of council to heart. It is so important to us, to have a united front with our children, and if there are differences, which will inevitably arise, we must discuss them and work them out, when they are not present. We will terribly damage our capacity to lead on softly, if we manifest differences in their presence.
What is the key to union, to harmony, between us as father and mother, as husband and wife? We must, if we are to work in harmony with each other, accept a higher authority than ourselves. And what is that higher authority? It’s the principles of God’s word. Not personal opinion, not feelings, not previous experience, but principles. This must be the authority that brings us into harmony. You see we have significantly varying opinions between us as parents, don’t we? We have significantly different past experiences, and opinions. That is why we must not look to ourselves, we must look above, to the authority of God’s word to find that harmony that we need to find.
ST May 14, 1894 “Let Christian parents take heed how they deal with the younger members of the Lord’s family. The father and mother should always be at agreement, not working counter to each other, in order that right impressions may be made on the minds of their children. Let parents seek wisdom of God; for he has said, ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not.'” There is the source of harmony, the wisdom of God, the principles of His word.
But even after that, even after a father and mother have gone to God’s word and sought wisdom, sometimes there will remain a difference of opinion. What do we do at that point? How can harmony be maintained, if differences remain? The key to harmony under those conditions, is found in Col 3. And this is a very delicate issue, I recognize, but please consider God’s word with me. Col 3:18,19; when differences still remain, here’s the key to harmony, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.”
You see, for the husband to truly love the wife, he must himself be submitted to the Lordship of Him who is love. Then it is safe for his wife to submit to him, isn’t it? But please note the qualifier to this submission. What is the qualifier? “as is fitting in the Lord”. Reading from AH 115. “The question is often asked, shall a wife have no will of her own? The Bible plainly states that the husband is the head of the family, ‘wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands’. If this injunction ended here, we might say that the position of the wife is not an enviable one. But we will read the conclusion of the same injunction, which is ‘as is fit in the Lord’. There is one who stands higher than husband to the wife. It is her redeemer, and her submission to her husband, is to be rendered as God has directed, ‘as is fit in the Lord.'”
In other words sisters, if your submission to your husbands would require you to violate your conscience, you cannot submit to him. You have a higher authority, your divine Houseband, Jesus Christ. You can only submit to your human husband, when and if it would not cause you to violate your conscience. Please note as well, that submission is not equal to inferiority. Oh dear sisters, that which I would suggest is the great impetus behind the feminist movement, that is causing them to reject this position of submission is the misconception that submission is synonymous with inferiority. It is NOT. MOST EMPHATICALLY it is NOT. Man and woman are totally equal by creation and redemption.
Submission has nothing to do with inferiority. Where’s our proof for that? Who was TOTALLY submitted to His Father? Jesus Christ. “Not My will, but Thine be done” (Luke 22:42), was His constant testimony. Was He anyway inferior? He was perfectly equal.
You see what our problem is, is that we have a perverted gentile concept of superiority. We have the pyramid structure that has worked its way into our thinking. And we think that the person up here on the top, who has authority over all those below him, must be the greatest. But Jesus denounces that as a heathen concept, and He says that it must not be such with you. “He who is greatest of all is servant of all” (Matt 20:26). If anyone is greatest in the home, it’s the wife, it’s the mother, on that basis. Submission has nothing to do with inferiority, please recognize that dear sisters. And don’t think that submitting to your husband is a confession that you are inferior to him. In fact, if you think you are inferior, there is no virtue in your submission Submission is only virtuous when you recognize that you are an equal and choose to submit for a greater good than your own. Do you understand that? That’s the beauty and the virtue in Jesus’ submission, knowing that he was perfectly equal with the Father, He gets down on His hands and knees, and washes the smelly feet of His disciples (John 13:3-5). And dear sisters we need that virtue modelled to us, as your husbands. We desperately need that virtue modelled to us.
At this point I’d like to take a closer look at our individual roles as father and mother. Let’s first consider the mother, she’s the most important in child training, and in character development. She is the one that exercises a position of preeminence in raising her children to the glory of God.
For our outline of these thoughts, turn with me to Prov. 31:26. I would suggest that this is the description of the model mother. The ideal homemaker. (My wife likes the expression “homemaker”, better than “housewife”. So she’s got me using that.) Here’s the description of the ideal homemaker.
Verse 26, 1) “she opens her mouth with wisdom”, and
2) “on her tongue is the law of kindness”.
Verse 27 3) “she watches over the ways of her household”, and
4) “does not eat the bread of idleness.”
Her reward follows “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her, many daughters have done well, but you excel them all. Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.”
Oh what a precious reward. But dear sister, there are conditions. Lets consider those four job descriptions of the model mother.
Job description #1 “she opens her mouth with wisdom.” In other words, she is her children’s teacher, and educator.
ST Nov 29, 1877 “The FIRST and MOST URGENT duty which the mother owes to the Creator is to train the children which He has given her for the Saviour.” That is top on the list, dear mother, of your job description. It is the first and most urgent duty which you owe to your Creator. It’s to train your children, which He has given you, for the Saviour.
Ed 275 “The child’s first teacher is the mother. During the period of greatest susceptibility and most rapid development his education is to a great degree in her hands. To her first, is given opportunity to mold the character FOR GOOD OR FOR EVIL. She should UNDERSTAND the value of her opportunity and, ABOVE EVERY OTHER TEACHER, should be QUALIFIED to use it to the best account. YET, there is no other to whose training SO LITTLE THOUGHT IS GIVEN. The one whose influence in education is most potent and far-reaching is the one for whose assistance there is the LEAST systematic effort.” And that is a CRIME.
Oh dear mothers, the hand that rocks the cradle does what? Rules the world. And yet there is so little done to educate that hand, and to teach it how to rock the cradle right, so the world will be ruled right. It’s a crime, but in spite of the fact that the world hasn’t considered your role important enough to give you that special help and training, recognize that God does and He has given you special help and training through the testimony of Jesus, and through scripture. There is a wealth of material dear mothers, I challenge you to recognize the vital importance of training and educating yourself to fulfill this absolutely pre-eminent and most important work.
CG 24 “The mother must ever stand pre-eminent in this work of training the children; while grave and important duties rest upon the father, the mother, by almost constant association with her children, especially during their tender years, must always be their special instructor and companion.” Who “must always be their special instructor and companion”, the baby-sitter? The day-care supervisor? No, who? “The MOTHER”. “The mother by almost constant association with her children”, she’s the one, that is pre-eminent in the work of training those children.
She stands pre-eminent because of the time? Yes, that she spends with them, but I would suggest that she stands pre-eminent because of special God-given abilities, that are reflected in the natural realm again. Who is it that feeds the infant? It is the mother. The mother has been given, in the physical realm, the capacity to take strong food and to turn it into milk. And there is a direct parallel between that capacity in the physical realm and her capacity in the mental and spiritual realm as well. You women have a special God-given ability to take the meat of the Gospel and turn it into milk for your children. That’s why at their earliest years, you are pre-eminent in the work of educating them.
There are three essentials, actually four, in order for you to fulfill your role, mother, as educator. Listen to three in this statement, and then one other following. ST Aug 30, 1877 “In the education of her children, the mother needs (#1) the wisdom which God alone can give her. (#2) She also needs health and its accompaniment of calm nerves, clear judgment, and sound reasoning powers. She will then have decision as well as gentleness, firmness as well as love, (lead on, how? softly), and will be able to hold the reins of guidance with a firm yet patient hand. (#3) She should cultivate that quiet dignity and independence of character which is necessary to her sacred life-work, and the proper conducting of her household.”
The fourth essential prerequisite to fulfilling your job mothers, as educator. Found in ST May 14, 1894 “The mother is to teach the children through their earlier years, and in order to fulfill her great responsibility, SHE needs to be moulded and fashioned after the similitude of the character of CHRIST.” You see children learn far more rapidly by example than they do by precept.
And dear mothers, fathers as well, if we are to teach our children, the principles of a Christlike character, we must MODEL that Christlike character to them, that they may imitate us and grow into the likeness of our Lord.
Here is a beautiful statement mothers, that speaks very clearly to the crucial importance of your ministry in the home. It’s found in MH 377, 378 “There is a God above, and the light and glory from His throne rests upon the faithful mother as she tries to educate her children to resist the influence of evil.” Listen. “NO OTHER WORK CAN EQUAL HERS IN IMPORTANCE.” JUST a housewife? JUST a homemaker? Did you hear what we just read? “NO OTHER WORK CAN EQUAL HERS IN IMPORTANCE.”
Do you see how warped and perverted the concept is in the world today, what constitutes real importance? It’s such a Gentile, a heathen concept. “NO OTHER WORK CAN EQUAL HERS IN IMPORTANCE.” I read on, “She has not, like the artist, to paint a form of beauty upon canvas, nor, like the sculptor, to chisel it from marble. She has not, like the author, to embody a noble thought in words of power, nor, like the musician, to express a beautiful sentiment in melody. It is hers, with the help of God, to DEVELOP IN A HUMAN SOUL THE LIKENESS OF THE DIVINE.” Dear mother, no other work equals yours in importance. NO other work.
3T 483 the same concept. “There is a work for women that is even MORE important and elevating than the duties of the king upon his throne. They may mold the minds of their children and shape their characters so that they may be useful in this world and that they may become SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD.” Oh dismiss that “just a housewife” concept please.
Job description #2, “and on her tongue is the law of kindness”. Oh dear mothers, dear fathers these principles apply to us as well.
In Manuscript 75, 1909, “Let there be no impatience, no fretfulness. You will meet things that are provoking, but do not be provoked. When the heart is stirred up by a spirit, not of God, at such times, silence is eloquence. Your very silence will have a convincing power.” Dear sisters, we cannot avoid provoking circumstances in the family can we? Working with the children, they will invariably will arise, but be not provoked by them. If you cannot manage a soft answer, that turns away wrath, please for you own sake and for the sake of your children incarcerate your tongue. Eloquence is silence. The eloquence of silence has a tremendously powerful influence under such circumstances.
AH 242 “The perception of children is quick, and they discern patient, loving tones from the impatient, passionate command, which dries up the moisture of love and affection in the hearts of children.”
There is one other point that I would like in this context, to just alert you to, and that is what I like to call the law of reciprocal influence mothers. What is the law of reciprocal influence? It’s best stated in these words, found in MH 251, “It is a law of nature that our thoughts and feelings are encouraged and strengthened as we give them utterance.” Did you hear that? “It is a LAW OF NATURE that our THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS are ENCOURAGED and STRENGTHENED, AS WE GIVE THEM UTTERANCE.”
You see the avenue called “Influence” that runs from the brain to the tongue, from the thoughts to the words, is a two way street. All of us readily recognize the flow of traffic from the brain to the tongue, don’t we? “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh” (Matt 12:34). But many of us don’t recognize that the return traffic is just as heavy. While thoughts express words, words also directly influence our thoughts. This is why it is so vitally important, to have the law of kindness, controlling your tongue. If you will speak words of kindness, even though you don’t feel very kindly, those words will powerfully influence your feelings, and you can actually strengthen and encourage thoughts and feelings of kindness by giving utterance to words of kindness. By law–the law of reciprocal influence this will happen. The law of the tongue has tremendous power, use it, don’t abuse it. Because just as great as it is its potential to be a positive influence, is it’s potential to be a negative influence, both upon you and your children.
ST MAY 14, 1894 “Let children hear from the lips of their mother words of gentleness, purity, and truth.” And if they hear such, that will not only foster in them those virtues, but it will encourage and strengthen them in yourself, by the law of reciprocal influence. You will make yourself more gentle, more pure, and more Christlike.
Job description #3, “she watches over the ways of her household”, in other words she presides. She too, has a leadership role.
Note the blend here though between the leadership and the softly, the lead on and the softly. ST MAY 14, 1894 “Let children hear from the lips of their mother words of gentleness, purity, and truth. Let her maintain her authority, permitting no disobedience on the part of her children. COMMAND your children and your household after you (as did Abraham) to keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.” Command them, yes, but how? With “gentleness, purity, and truth” on your lips. Beautiful blend there.
We must realize however that in order for mothers to rightly preside, to rightly exercise their authority over their children, they must rightly relate to the authority of God. She is to preside over her household, I read, CT 111 “The mother is the queen of the home, and the children are her subjects. She is to rule her household wisely, in the dignity of her motherhood. Her influence in the home is to be paramount; her word LAW. If she is a Christian, under God’s control, she will command the respect of her children.” How will she command the respect of her children, under what conditions? “If she is a Christian, under God’s control.”
Dear mothers, can we reasonably require our children to be under our control, if we manifest by our behavior that we are not under Christ’s control? Is that reasonable? Especially when you recognize that children learn much more by example, than by precepts?
Job description #4 “and does not eat the bread of idleness” Oh here we go. She a queen yes, presides, yes, but there’s some very mundane unglamorous responsibilities in being the queen of the household, aren’t there dear mother? That includes doing dishes, washing dirty diapers, and getting down on your hands and knees and scrubbing the kitchen floor. What’s a queen doing there?
But you see, there again is our heathen, gentile concept. We think that to be a servant is not compatible or mutually exclusive of being queen. But brothers and sisters, the KING of Kings, and LORD of Lords, washed feet. Those are not mutually exclusive concepts. Please don’t buy into that false philosophy. In fact in Jesus’ words, “He who is greatest of all is servant of all”.
Also mothers, I would like to challenge you to train the prince’s and the princess’s in your household to join you in those mundane tasks. Also inspire the king of the household, to get involved too. Please note the word, inspire. Inspire the king of the household to get involved too. And there are very special feminine ways that you can do that, that make it a joy for us to help you.
AH 110, 111 “Married life is not all romance it has its real difficulties and its homely details.” Ellen White was so practical and down to earth, wasn’t she? I read on, “The wife must not consider herself a doll, to be tended, but a woman; one to put her shoulder under real, not imaginary, burdens, and live an understanding, thoughtful life, considering that there are other things to be thought of than herself.” Though there are lots of mundane duties dear mothers, that come with being the queen of the household. Listen to this important council please.
AH 110 “Instead of sinking into a mere household drudge, let the wife and mother, (note these 7 things on the list, this is an awesome list) (1) take time to read, to keep herself well informed, (2) to be a companion to her husband, (can you say AMEN to that men), (3) and to keep in touch with the developing minds of her children. (4) Let her use wisely the opportunities now hers to influence her dear ones for the higher life. (5) Let her take time to make the dear Saviour a daily Companion and familiar Friend. (6) Let her take time for the study of His word, (7) take time to go with the children into the fields and learn of God through the beauty of His works.”
Did you hear that list? How are you going to be able to do that and take care of all the dishes and the diapers, and the dirty floors at the same time? Oh dear mothers, please recognize that to be a successful queen of the household is more than a full time job. Do you hear what I’m saying? It is MORE than a full time job, it requires total commitment of you dear mother. Please realize that you cannot possibly fulfill adequately your God ordained role as wife and mother, if you are employed outside of the home. I submit that it is impossible to accomplish all of the things that are your divine privilege and responsibility to accomplish, if the bulk of your time is spent outside of the home.
Some of might be saying at this point, well we can’t make ends meet. Is that really the case? Or is it possibly that we can’t maintain the living standard we desire? We can’t keep up appearances if we don’t have that second income. Oh dear brothers, dear sisters, “what profit is it to us, parents, if we manage to live in a better neighborhood, and keep up with the Joneses, but lose the souls of our own children” (paraphrasing Matt 16:26). I feel STRONGLY on this, the mothers role is in the home. This is Biblical. Titus 2:4-5 “that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, HOMEMAKERS (the NAS says, “workers AT HOME”, the KJV says “keepers AT HOME”, the NIV says “to be busy AT HOME”, where? “AT HOME”.), good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”
Oh dear mothers, your priorities are in the home, when you have children there. Don’t settle for an office outside, when your best and most sacred one is within the walls of your own home. Beware of falling into that deceptive trap that the first wife fell into. I read from PP 59 “Eve had been perfectly happy by her husband’s side in her Eden home; but like restless modern Eves, she was flattered with the hope of entering a higher sphere than that which God had assigned her. In attempting to rise above her original position, she fell far below it. A similar result will be reached by all who are unwilling to take up cheerfully their life duties in accordance with God’s plan. In their efforts to reach positions for which He has not fitted them, many are leaving vacant the place where they might be a blessing. In their desire for a higher sphere, many have sacrificed true womanly dignity and nobility of character, and have left undone the very work that Heaven appointed them.”
Dear mothers, I challenge you, recognize the all importance of your ministry and do not forsake it for any other office. Your rewards will be great. What are they? “Your children will rise up and call you blessed, and your husband also”. Verse 31 of our Prov 31 chapter, “Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.” “let her own works praise her in the gates”.
Brothers and sisters, I submit that if we choose to accept our God ordained roles, make the sacrifices necessary, those sacrifices will be infinitely repaid within the gates of the New Jerusalem. Infinitely repaid.
MH 42 “Let mothers come to Jesus with their perplexities. They will find grace sufficient to aid them in the care of their children. The gates are open for every mother who would lay her burdens at the Saviour’s feet. He who said, ‘Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not’ (Mark 10:14), still invites mothers to bring their little ones to be blessed by Him.” Mothers, “lead on softly”, and bring your children to the Lord, within the gates.
MH 376 “In the children committed to her care, every mother has a sacred charge from God. ‘Take this son, this daughter,’ He says; ‘train it for Me; give it a character polished after the similitude of a palace, that it may shine in the courts of the Lord forever.”
“Lead on softly, to your Lord within the gates”.
Do you know what I believe, dear mothers, with ALL OF MY HEART? I believe that there will be many there, within the gates, who will lift up their crown, and point to it and say, I’m here, I wear this crown because of my MOTHER. Lead on softly, all the way. Shall we pray?
Father God, I thank you for the sacred and blessed role that You have called mothers to. And I pray a blessing upon my sisters here who are in that position. May they recognize its high and holy calling. And may they receive from you, the grace which is sufficient, always to enable them to train up their children, to be like You. Father may we blend together as parents, to lead on softly, till we come to our Lord within the gates. This is our prayer, in Jesus’ name. AMEN.