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The Sacred Duties of Home Life

Mrs. E. G. White

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” [Col. 3:12-16] “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.... [Eph. 4:23-24] Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice; and be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” [Eph. 5:29-32] {ST November 14, 1892, par. 1}

"If Christ indeed is formed within, the hope of glory, there will be union and love in the home. Christ abiding in the heart of the wife, will be at agreement with Christ abiding in the heart of the husband. They will be striving together for the mansions Christ has gone to prepare for those who love him."

Signs of the Times November 14, 1892, par. 2

If we are doers of the word, we shall daily bear the cross after Jesus, subdue self, and thus bring harmony into the home life. The sweetest type of heaven is a home where the Spirit of the Lord presides. If the will of God is fulfilled, the husband and wife will respect each other, and cultivate love and confidence. Anything that would mar the peace and unity of the family should be firmly repressed, and kindness and love should be cherished. He who manifests the spirit of tenderness, forbearance, and love, will find that the same spirit will be reflected upon him. Where the Spirit of God reigns, there will be no talk of unsuitability in the marriage relation. If Christ indeed is formed within, the hope of glory, there will be union and love in the home. Christ abiding in the heart of the wife, will be at agreement with Christ abiding in the heart of the husband. They will be striving together for the mansions Christ has gone to prepare for those who love him. {ST November 14, 1892, par. 2}

Those who are constantly at disagreement in the home life, who do not practice the words of the Lord, will not enter into the heavenly mansions, because they would find that which did not suit their taste even in heaven. Heaven is to be the home of those only who are sanctified, refined, and made meet for the society of the saints in light. If we manifest the character of Christ here, keeping all the commandments of God, we shall be cheered and blessed with glimpses of the pleasant home in the mansions Jesus has gone to prepare. Those who, through the grace given us, represent, not their own crude ideas, their own peculiar, hereditary, and cultivated objectionable traits of character, but the character of Christ, will be fit inhabitants for the heavenly city. Our ways, our will, are to be under subjection to God’s will, to be disciplined by his Holy Spirit. If we are courteous and gentle at home, we shall carry the savor of a pleasant disposition when away from home. If we manifest forbearance, patience, meekness, and fortitude in the home, we shall be able to be a light to the world. All murmuring, all complaining, will be put aside by the true Christian. {ST November 14, 1892, par. 3}

"The plant of love must be carefully nourished, else it will die."

Signs of the Times, November 14, 1892, par. 4

We are children of the Heavenly King, members of the royal family, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. The mansions Jesus has gone to prepare are to receive only those who are true, who are pure, who love and obey his words. In the mansions above we shall meet to part no more. We shall know each other in our heavenly home. But if we would enjoy eternal bliss, we must cultivate religion in the home; for the 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! Some of these who cherish evil, think they have a burden for souls. They make public profession of their love to God, and yet see no necessity for weeding the garden of the heart, for uprooting every unsightly, unholy weed, for letting the beams of the Sun of Righteousness shine into the soul temple. They do not know Jesus. They have no knowledge of what it is to be a practical Christian, that is, to be Christlike. {ST November 14, 1892, par. 4}

There is need of prayer, of genuine faith, of patient, untiring effort to war against every evil disposition, so that even our thoughts may be brought into subjection to Christ. That which will make the character lovely in the home is that which will make it lovely in the heavenly mansions. The measure of your Christianity is gauged by the character of your home life. The grace of Christ enables its possessors to make the home a happy place full of peace and rest. Unless you have the Spirit of Christ, you are none of his, and will never see the redeemed saints in his kingdomf, who are to be one with him in the heaven of bliss. God desires you to consecrate yourself wholly to him, and represent his character in the home circle. {ST November 14, 1892, par. 5}

"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."

Signs of the Times, November 14, 1892, par. 7

When religion is manifested in the home, its influence will be felt in the church and in the neighborhood. But some who profess to be Christians, talk with their neighbors concerning their home difficulties. They relate their grievances in such a way as to call forth sympathy for themselves; but it is a great mistake to pour our trouble into the ears of others, especially when many of our grievances are manufactured, and exist because of our irreligious life and defective character. Those who go forth to lay their private grievances before others might better remain at home to pray, to surrender their perverse will to God, to fall on the Rock and be broken, to die to self that Jesus may make them vessels unto honor. When self is crucified, and Christ lives in the soul, they will cherish sincere and noble affections, such as will give fragrance to the character, and be revealed to the world in consistent words and actions. Let us all heed the words of the Lord,—“Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance; but as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” [1 Pet. 1:13-16] {ST November 14, 1892, par. 6}

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. Children are to respect and reverence their parents, and parents are to manifest patience, kindness, and affection for their children. Each one should seek in every possible way to please and make happy the members of the family circle. {ST November 14, 1892, par. 7}

Our words and actions in the home bear testimony to our true character, and they are recorded in the books of heaven. The daily acts of life tell the measure and mould of our disposition and character. Where there is a lack of home religion, a profession of faith is valueless. Then let no unkind words fall from the lips of those who compose the home circle. Make the atmosphere fragrant with tender thoughtfulness of others. Only those will enter heaven who in probationary time have formed a character that breathes a heavenly influence. The saint in heaven must first be a saint upon earth. The habits of speech, the character of our actions, put a mould upon us; and that which we cultivate in our association with others in this life, goes down into the grave with us, and will be unchanged when we come up from the grave. Many are deceiving themselves by thinking that the character will be transformed at the coming of Christ; but there will be no conversion of heart at his appearing. Our defects of character must here be repented of, and through the grace of Christ we must overcome them while probation shall last. This is the place for fitting up for the family above. {ST November 14, 1892, par. 8}

Then, fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, do not educate yourselves in the line of vulgarity of action, word, or thought. Coarse sayings, low jests, lack of politeness and true courtesy in the home life, will become as second nature to you, and will unfit you for the society of those who are becoming sanctified through the truth. The home is too sacred a place to be polluted by vulgarity, sensuality, recrimination, and scandal. Silence the evil word, put away the unholy thought; for the True Witness weighs every word, sets a value on every action, and declares, “I know thy works.” Then let love, truth, kindness, and forbearance be the precious plants that you shall cultivate in the garden of the heart. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in welldoing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” [Gal. 6:7-10] {ST November 14, 1892, par. 9}

Signs of the Times, November 14, 1892