A Few Thoughts From Ellen G. White
he Lord provided much instruction through Ellen G. White regarding the rearing of our children in ways that teach them about Jesus, to think for themselves, to resist temptation, to care for others, and to stay close to the Lord—among many other lessons. Here are just a few gems of wisdom found in her writings:
• Education, pp. 17, 18
—“It is the work of true education . . . to train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men’s thought. Instead of confining their study to that which men have said or written, let students be directed to the sources of truth, to the vast fields opened for research in nature and revelation. Let them contemplate the great facts of duty and destiny, and the mind will expand and strengthen.
“Instead of educated weaklings, institutions of learning may send forth men strong to think and to act, men who are masters and not slaves of circumstances, men who possess breadth of mind, clearness of thought, and the courage of their convictions.”
• Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, pp. 74, 75
—“A child may be so trained as to have . . . no will of his own. Even his individuality may be merged in the one who superintends his training; his will, to all intents and purposes, is subject to the will of the teacher. Children who are thus educated will ever be deficient in moral energy and individual responsibility. They have not been taught to move from reason and principle; their wills have been controlled by another, and the mind has not been called out, that it might expand and strengthen by exercise. . . .
“There are many families of children who appear to be well trained while under the training discipline; but when the system which has held them to set rules is broken up, they seem to be incapable of thinking, acting, or deciding for themselves. These children have been so long under iron rule, not allowed to think and act for themselves in those things in which it was highly proper that they should, that they have no confidence in themselves to move out upon their own judgment, having an opinion of their own. And when they go out from their parents to act for themselves, they are easily led by others’ judgment in the wrong direction. They have not stability of character.
. . . Their minds have not been properly developed and strengthened. . . .
“On the other hand, the young should not be left to think and act independently of the judgment of their parents and teachers. Children should be taught to respect experienced judgment.”
• Child Guidance, p. 21
—“Parents should remember that their children must encounter . . . temptations. Even before the birth of the child, the preparation should begin that will enable it to fight successfully the battle against evil.
“More than human wisdom is needed by parents at every step, that they may understand how best to educate their children for a useful, happy life here, and for higher service and greater joy hereafter.”
• Sons and Daughters of God, p. 371
—“Remember [parents] that in your work the Creator of the universe will give you help. In His strength, and through His name, you can lead your children to be overcomers. Teach them to look to God for strength. Tell them that He hears their prayers. Teach them to overcome evil with good. Teach them to exert an influence that is elevating and ennobling. Lead them to unite with God, and then they will have strength to resist the strongest temptation.”