Counsel to Children
Children to Be Partners in the Home Firm—Children as well as parents have important duties in the home. They should be taught that they are a part of the home firm. They are fed and clothed and loved and cared for; and they should respond to these many mercies by bearing their share of the home burdens and bringing all the happiness possible into the family of which they are members.
Let every mother teach her children that they are members of the family firm and must bear their share of the responsibilities of this firm. Every member of the family should bear these responsibilities as faithfully as church members bear the responsibilities of church relationships.
Let the children know that they are helping father and mother by doing little errands. Give them some work to do for you, and tell them that afterward they can have a time to play.
Children have active minds, and they need to be employed in lifting the burdens of practical life.... They should never be left to pick up their own employment. Parents should control this matter themselves.
Parents are not to be slaves to their children, doing all the sacrificing, while the children are permitted to grow up careless and unconcerned, letting all the burdens rest upon their parents.
If your children have been unaccustomed to labor, they will soon become weary. They will complain of side ache, pain in the shoulders, and tired limbs; and you will be in danger, through sympathy, of doing the work yourselves rather than have them suffer a little. Let the burden upon the children be very light at first, and then increase it a little every day, until they can do a proper amount of labor without becoming so weary.
Perils of Idleness—I have been shown that much sin has resulted from idleness. Active hands and minds do not find time to heed every temptation which the enemy suggests, but idle hands and brains are all ready for Satan to control. The mind, when not properly occupied, dwells upon improper things. Parents should teach their children that idleness is sin.
There is nothing which more surely leads to evil than to lift all burdens from children, leaving them to an idle, aimless life, to do nothing, or to occupy themselves as they please. The minds of children are active, and if not occupied with that which is good and useful, they will inevitably turn to what is bad. While it is right and necessary for them to have recreation, they should be taught to work, to have regular hours for physical labor and also for reading and study. See that they have employment suited to their years and are supplied with useful and interesting books.
It is a sin to let children grow up in idleness. Let them exercise their limbs and muscles, even if it wearies them. If they are not overworked, how can weariness harm them more than it harms you? There is quite a difference between weariness and exhaustion. Children need more frequent change of employment and intervals of rest than grown persons do; but even when quite young, they may begin learning to work, and they will be happy in the thought that they are making themselves useful. Their sleep will be sweet after healthful labor, and they will be refreshed for the next day's work.
Do Not Say, “My Children Bother Me.”—“Oh,” say some mothers, “my children bother me when they try to help me.” So did mine, but do you think I let them know it? Praise your children. Teach them, line upon line, precept upon precept. This is better than reading novels, better than making calls, better than following the fashions of the world.
Counsel to children —If you are truly converted, if you are children of Jesus, you will honor your parents; you will not only do what they tell you but will watch for opportunities to help them. In doing this you are working for Jesus. He considers all these care-taking, thoughtful deeds as done to Himself. This is the most important kind of missionary work; and those who are faithful in these little everyday duties are gaining a valuable experience.
Watch and pray, and obtain a personal experience in the things of God. Your parents may teach you, they may try to guide your feet into safe paths; but it is impossible for them to change your heart. You must give your heart to Jesus and walk in the precious light of truth that He has given you. Faithfully take up your duties in the home life, and, through the grace of God, you may grow up unto the full stature of what Christ would have a child grow to be in Him.
Jesus knows the needs of children, and He loves to listen to their prayers. Let the children shut out the world and everything that would attract the thoughts from God; and let them feel that they are alone with God, that His eye looks into the inmost heart and reads the desire of the soul, and that they may talk with God....
Then, children, ask God to do for you those things that you cannot do for yourselves. Tell Jesus everything. Lay open before Him the secrets of your heart; for His eye searches the inmost recesses of the soul, and He reads your thoughts as an open book. When you have asked for the things that are necessary for your soul's good, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.
The youth are now deciding their own eternal destiny, and I would appeal to you to consider the commandment to which God has annexed such a promise, “That thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Children, do you desire eternal life? Then respect and honor your parents. Do not wound and grieve their hearts and cause them to spend sleepless nights in anxiety and distress over your case. If you have sinned in not rendering love and obedience to them, begin now to redeem the past. You cannot afford to take any other course; for it means to you the loss of eternal life.
(Source: Adventist Home)