Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6.
The father is the highest priest of the family. The souls of his wife and children, as God's property, should be to him of the highest value, and he should faithfully guide the formation of their characters. The care of his children from their infancy should be his first consideration; for it is for their present and eternal good that they develop right characters. He should carefully weigh his words and actions, considering their influence, and the results they may produce.
He who is engaged in the work of the gospel ministry must be faithful in his family life. It is as essential that as a father he should improve the talents God has given him for the purpose of making the home a symbol of the heavenly family, as that in the work of the ministry he should make use of his God-given powers to win souls for the church. As the priest in the home, and as the ambassador of Christ in the church, he should exemplify in his life the character of Christ. He must be faithful in watching for souls as one that must give an account.
In His service there must be seen no carelessness and inattentive work. God will not serve with the sins of men who have not a clear sense of the sacred responsibility involved in accepting a position as pastor of a church. He who fails to be a faithful, discerning shepherd in the home will surely fail of being a faithful shepherd to the flock of God in the church.—Manuscript 42, 1903.
Every family is a church, over which the parents preside. The first consideration of the parents should be to work for the salvation of their children. When the father and mother as priest and teacher of the family take their position fully on the side of Christ, a good influence will be exerted in the home. And this sanctified influence will be felt in the church and will be recognized by every believer. Because of the great lack of piety and sanctification in the home, the work of God is greatly hindered. No man can bring into the church an influence that he does not exert in his home life and in his business relations....
The angels of God, who minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation, will help you to make your family a model of the heavenly family. Let there be peace in the home, and there will be peace in the church. This precious experience brought into the church will be the means of creating a kindly affection one for another. Quarrels will cease. True Christian courtesy will be seen among church members. The world will take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus and have learned of Him. What an impression the church would make upon the world if all the members would live Christian lives!—Child Guidance, 549.
From Reflecting Christ - Page 179
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