I picked this lovely little book up from Sugar & Sweetie’s give away book pile over Christmas. (Yes, Joel’s grandparents have the most fun names–Sugar & Sweetie! There are literally streets in Collierville, TN named after these two!) It was published in 1932!
I have always admired the way they (AND Mr. Jack & Mrs. Anita AND my amazing parents!!) continually strive to pass on a legacy of godliness and fun to their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren! In fact, over Christmas, we put together a little family tree to help them see the way they have left their fingerprints of love and joy all over our lives.
Anyway, I think that some of the truths of the charming book have been “keys” to the beauty of their legacy…
Here are my highlights:
“Home is the place where love makes labor count and labor makes love more sweet.
It is with the leaders in the home that we have to deal. On them rest the most magnificent work that can be offered in the world today. Other fields are larger in their scope but here at home is a little world itself with the beginning and the end of human life. Make it a little sphere that will lay hold so firmly on the power of God that its influence will be felt around the world and touch for good the other nations of the earth.
An immaculate house, a well-ordered management, a perfect conformity with the social requirements of the day are not things to be discredited or carelessly omitted but Martha’s “many things” must quietly step down our of the throne room of our hearts and a complete allegiance be given to the “one thing needful” before the Christian attitude can be claimed.
Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees takes off his shoes.” Elisabeth Barret Browning
Parents who are fascinated with the worlds of God can bring the wonder of his worship into much that enters into family life. Religion will discard the bad and choose the best. Religion establishes taste for what is good.
It is to be a partnership of three God first, then you and me.
Christ is the head of this house the unseen guest at every meal the silent listener to every conversation.
“If I do not punish you,” said a mother to her little son, “God will not be pleased, for he has trusted you to me to make a real man out of you and mother must teach you or fail to obey the Lord herself.” This is the true basis for home authority, the command from God that parents teach their children to obey and honor Him.
It is often true that the one who cares the most feels the greatest inefficiency in himself for this work.
There is hardly anything that we have ever learned that does not in some way come into use when we have begun the fine art of parenthood.
1 Thess 2:7-12
Search the conditions of a child’s misconduct and see if it is not due many times to attention we have failed to give. Confusion, rush, ill temper from the parent lead many times to discontent, anxiety, despair on the part of the child; the things we have failed to provide for body or for mind have spoiled the sweetness of his heart as it might have been.
When debt of love we owe to our children is kept in mind we will be finding ways to give in time, strength, wisdom, foresight, and affection that will weave about them a fabric of protection against many of the temptation to sin.
Explanation vs. Argument: Peter, “but if you say so…”
A child can be made to understand that even the hurt of discipline is not through anger but through love. …the punishment itself will do good rather than harm. Love makes clear to the child the cause of punishment and teaches that it is the necessary consequence of a definite wrong doing. Love of this kind brings the child back to his parent foster than it went away. The deepest pain of punishment to a little child is the feeling of lost fellowship with the parent on whose affection he depends. That is why so sweetest fellowship is restored.
Family worship should be the heritage of every child who grows up in a home professing Christ. It takes preparation, participation, “now Daddy is going to read the Scripture and when he gets through he wants everybody around the table to be able to tell him something he has read…” and regularity-to keep alert the keen sense of interest and anticipation.
Guard carefully the sincerity of worship so that the child may never become self-conscious in his acts of prayer.”
Heavenly Father, bless this food, to thy glory and our good.
At night after each child has talked over his individual problems with his mother, he takes them to God in prayer at his mother’s knee.
We concluded this, that the problems of this day are greater than those of any age our world has faced; therefore, it is going to take greater men to solve those problems; therefore, we are determined before God to try to be some of those greater men.” The task before Christian fathers and mothers in our day is to build of the children in their homes those greater men and women that the future needs. In the midst of men and women that the future needs. In the midst of these strategic changes devoted parents desire to get hold these strategic changed devoted parents desire to get hold of permanent realities with which they can charge and fortify their children for coming years.
Read a part of the Bible every day whether you read anything else in the world or not!
“I shall retire from the world and reappear again in the lives of my children.” When those very children were gorwn each became outstanding in his chosen profession and community service. They were able then to lift by numbers and in personality more than the mother could have done alone.
We romp and play and read and learn. When time comes to go to bed we all go along together. At 4 in the morning I have schooled myself to rise and go to work. It is really easer to do in the freshness of the day what I had been putting into the evening hours.
Choose a verse, challenge the kids to work on it all day and see progress that evening.
Children’s questions, those heralds that announce that the flood gates of the mind are open, serve as an invaluable opportunity for giving Bible teachings.
“He…shall bring to your remembrance” is a promise for the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart but he can never bring to our remembrance what we have never learned (well he can…)
Then again on Sunday the waking hour should be an hour of worship, praise, gentleness, and glad expectation.” “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go unto the house of Jehovah” (Psalm 122:1)
But even the youth of our best homes are looking for a place to play…Make it a party that is alive, above suggestiveness, and truly social in its democratic fun.
The world’s work is waiting to be done by the graduates of our homes. “The great purpose of every Christian home, is to raise up ‘laborers’.” Rev. James McClure
Parents are to pray that God will ‘thrust out’ those dear to them into the harvest field. They are to pray that God will send such an irresistible conviction into their hearts as will compel them to do the labor of the harvest. ‘May my child have no rest until he is thy laborer.’ So may we, so should we pray.”
The meaning of life is to glorify the Lord, and unless our children can catch this high ideal and finally step out on their own initiative with this purpose in their tread they cannot satisfy the heart desire of consecrated Christian homes.
As parents we are to place our values where we would have our youth place theirs. If the life outside is to be a life that ministers to human need the earlier this alertness and response to human need is learned the better.
If the attitude is right and its responses to this attitude true, youth can come through these simple contacts of the everyday life finally to view the world as a great family of friends. Give them many opportunities to express their friendly attitude while young. When you minister to others let the children have a part of the pleasure with you. Its youth must learn they represent a Savior who has nothing short of a world compassion for all men.
Family rules: courage, inventiveness, co-operation, tact, courtesy, sacrifice, personal cleanliness, integrity, worship, all, etc. make a program for your home. Have definite ambitions with a time set for the accomplishment of each. Furnish opportunities for repeated exercise of these. Re-check your thinking and review your goals at frequent intervals. Know that God in his own way can make of your child a polished stone of beauty in his temple’s building. He can give to your children a radiance that is sincere and good. It is the intrinsic privilege of your home to help him. It is the will of heave to illumine your labors.
The home loves on.
There is never a time for parents to quit loving and giving. There is never a time for the home to release its obligation to its youth. When all other means of helpfulness are past there is still the necessity for continued prayer. Parents are a part of God’s everlasting scheme of things and no one is useless as long as he can love.