Prepare Them For Eternity

Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV) 6 "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."

2 Peter 1:5-8 (NKJV) 5 "But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."


Ellen White took a gentle approach to the discipline of children and youth that is worthy of contemplation and application. The goal of that discipline was young adults who had made an unreserved surrender to God, who had strong wills that were trained and committed to doing right—NOT BROKEN WILLS!, who could be counted upon to lead exemplary lives in any situation and in any part of the world. If all parents were to adopt the approach she advocated far fewer children would be lost to the church.


Be Merciful

The following excerpts come from a sermon addressed to teachers on how to discipline students. Within the letter is timely counsel for parents. Be sure to read the article in full by clicking on the link:

"No teacher, I care not who he is, can have any influence over the students for good, no matter how well educated, how intellectual, or how refined he may be, unless he loves them. What shall we do? Put away the iron that is in your souls—these satanic attributes that bear such fruit—whatever it may cost you—even if it costs you your right arm, as Christ said when talking to His disciples. “At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus” to be converted—they were following Christ, learning of Christ. “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:1, 3). What is the matter? There are many who do not put themselves in the place of the child. They do not see that in bruising that child they are bruising their own soul more, because they are destroying his manhood. What God wants is that we should seek and save that which is lost." {9MR 57.7}

"No matter what sort of education you have had in your life, or however stern it may have been, you must become as a little child, and in mind and spirit you must put yourself on a level with that little child, that you may be a proper instructor. You must understand that its trials are greater to it than yours are to you. You must know that when God would have you correct a child, you must never lay hold of the child suddenly and shake him as a terrier does a rat. No. But take him alone and pray with him, and talk with him instead of forcing your will upon him. Show him the will of Christ. And, if you do not bind that child to your own heart before you get through, you will have an entirely different experience than I have had." {9MR 58.2}

"The objectionable characters are the very ones who are sick. They need your help, and for these very ones you should put forth extra effort. Do not cut the knot of difficulty by sending them where the devil wants them, but bind them with the cords of love—just where Christ did. Christ said in regard to Zacchaeus, that He came to save that which was lost—that which was hopeless in the eyes of others. The Pharisees found fault with Him, because He was so tender and merciful toward others, but here Christ has shown what He would do. What we want is to melt our hard hearts in pieces before God." {9MR 59.4}

"There are those who are the most precious laborers in the cause today, who, in their childhood, were not the easiest to manage.... They seemed to be full of mischief. And what can you do to help such? Let the Sun of Righteousness into your own soul and diffuse it among them. I never found that it converted a child to shake him or to strike him in passion. I never found that it had any right influence upon him. I would a great deal rather you would strike the body than the mind, but both are degrading in their tendencies." {9MR 62.3}

"What we want is to be Bible Christians. God has opened to me what stands in the way of the conversion of youth and children—their parents do not treat them aright. There is too much indulgence and too much passion. Now, when they come into the schools, shall they have the same kind of treatment by those who think that what they don’t know is not worth knowing? They know it all, when they have scarcely learned the first lessons in the alphabet of self-control, and how to deal with human minds. There is something to learn. God help us to come right to the cross, to see the royal Sufferer upon the cross, and why He suffers. It is to save souls, to bring sons and daughters to God. He gave Himself to save the world. He says, “Love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12). – {9MR 63.2} Read all of Be Merciful.