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Being a Loving Family
Ellen Gould White - Adventist Home
Avoiding Cancer
 
The Power of Love's Ministry.

Love's agencies have wonderful power, for they are divine. The soft answer that "turneth away wrath," the love that "suffereth long, and is kind," the charity that "covereth a multitude of sins"--would we learn the lesson, with what power for healing would our lives be gifted! How life would be transformed and the earth become a very likeness and foretaste of heaven!

These precious lessons may be so simply taught as to be understood even by little children. The heart of the child is tender and easily impressed; and when we who are older become "as little children," when we learn the simplicity and gentleness and tender love of the Saviour, we shall not find it difficult to touch the hearts of the little ones and teach them love's ministry of healing.

From a worldly point of view, money is power; but from the Christian standpoint, love is power. Intellectual and spiritual strength are involved in this principle. Pure love has special efficacy to do good, and can do nothing but good. It prevents discord and misery and brings the truest happiness. Wealth is often an influence to corrupt and destroy; force is strong to do hurt; but truth and goodness are the properties of pure love.

Love Is a Plant to Be Nourished.

Home is to be the center of the purest and most elevated affection. Peace, harmony, affection, and happiness should be perseveringly cherished every day, until these precious things abide in the hearts of those who compose the family. The plant of love must be carefully nourished, else it will die. Every good principle must be cherished if we would have it thrive in the soul. That which Satan plants in the heart --envy, jealousy, evil surmising, evil speaking, impatience, prejudice, selfishness, covetousness, and vanity-- must be uprooted. If these evil things are allowed to remain in the soul, they will bear fruit by which many shall be defiled. Oh, how many cultivate the poisonous plants that kill out the precious fruits of love and defile the soul!

Remember Your Own Childhood.

Do not treat your children only with sternness, forgetting your own childhood and forgetting that they are but children. Do not expect them to be perfect or try to make them men and women in their acts at once. By so doing, you will close the door of access which you might otherwise have to them and will drive them to open a door for injurious influences, for others to poison their young minds before you awake to their danger. . . . {AH 196.1}

Parents should not forget their childhood years, how much they yearned for sympathy and love, and how unhappy they felt when censured and fretfully chided. They should be young again in their feelings, and bring their minds down to understand the wants of their children.

They need gentle, encouraging words. How easy it is for mothers to speak words of kindness and affection which will send a sunbeam to the hearts of the little ones, causing them to forget their troubles! {AH 196.3}

Parents, give your children love: love in babyhood, love in childhood, love in youth. Do not give them frowns, but ever keep a sunshiny countenance.

Keep Children in a Sunny Atmosphere.

The little ones must be carefully soothed when in trouble. Children between babyhood and manhood and womanhood do not generally receive the attention that they should have. Mothers are needed who will so guide their children that they will regard themselves as a part of the family. Let the mother talk with her children regarding their hopes and their perplexities. Let parents remember that their children are to be cared for in preference to strangers. They are to be kept in a sunny atmosphere, under the mother's guidance.

Help your children to gain victories. . . . Surround them with an atmosphere of love. Thus you can subdue their stubborn dispositions.

When Children Need Love Rather Than Food.

Many mothers shamefully neglect their children that they may gain time to embroider the clothing or to put needless trimming upon the little garments of their children. When the children are tired and really need their care, they are neglected or given something to eat. They not only did not need the food but it was a positive injury to them. What they did need was the mother's soothing embrace. Every mother should have time to give her children these little endearments which are so essential during infancy and childhood. In this way the mother would bind up the children's hearts and happiness with her own. She is to them what God is to us.

Reasonable Desires to Be Gratified.

You should ever impress upon your children the fact that you love them; that you are laboring for their interest; that their happiness is dear to you; and that you design to do only that which is for their good. You should gratify their little wants whenever you can reasonably do so.

Never act from impulse in governing children. Let authority and affection be blended. Cherish and cultivate all that is good and lovely, and lead them to desire the higher good by revealing Christ to them. While you deny them those things that would be an injury to them, let them see that you love them and want to make them happy. The more unlovely they are, the greater pains you should take to reveal your love for them. When the child has confidence that you want to make him happy, love will break every barrier down. This is the principle of the Saviour's dealing with man; it is the principle that must be brought into the church.

Love Should Be Expressed.

In many families there is a great lack in expressing affection one for another. While there is no need of sentimentalism, there is need of expressing love and tenderness in a chaste, pure, dignified way. Many absolutely cultivate hardness of heart and in word and action reveal the satanic side of the character. Tender affection should ever be cherished between husband and wife, parents and children, brothers and sisters. Every hasty word should be checked, and there should not be even the appearance of the lack of love one for another. It is the duty of everyone in the family to be pleasant, to speak kindly.

Cultivate tenderness, affection, and love that have expression in little courtesies, in speech, in thoughtful attentions.

The best way to educate children to respect their father and mother is to give them the opportunity of seeing the father offering kindly attentions to the mother and the mother rendering respect and reverence to the father. It is by beholding love in their parents that children are led to obey the fifth commandment and to heed the injunction, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right."

The Love of Jesus to Be Mirrored in the Parents.

When the mother has gained the confidence of her children and taught them to love and obey her, she has given them the first lesson in the Christian life. They must love and trust and obey their Saviour as they love and trust and obey their parents. The love which in faithful care and right training the parent manifests for the child faintly mirrors the love of Jesus for His faithful people.

(Ellen Gould White, Adventist Home, p.195)

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