1. IMPORTANT PRINCIPLES
a. What is the basic principle of true home religion? Psalm 111:10; Job 28:28.
“Fathers and mothers who make God first in their households, who teach their children that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, glorify God before angels and before men by presenting to the world a well-ordered, well-disciplined family, a family that love and obey God instead of rebelling against Him. . . . Such families can claim the promise: ‘Them that honour Me I will honour’ (1 Samuel 2:30).”—Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 424.
b. What attitude, if associated with the fear of the Lord, will make the religion of Christ attractive in the home? Proverbs 15:13 (first part).
“Let home be a place where cheerfulness, courtesy, and love exist. This will make it attractive to the children. . . . Self-control on the part of all the members of the family will make home almost a paradise. Make your rooms as cheerful as possible. Let the children find home the most attractive place on earth.”—Counsels on Health, p. 100.
2. HOME RELIGION
a. How did Abraham rule his own house? Genesis 18:18, 19. What lessons can we learn from his example?
“When we have good home religion, we will have excellent meeting religion. Hold the fort at home. Consecrate your family to God, and then speak and act at home as a Christian. Be kind and forbearing and patient at home, knowing that you are teachers.”—The Adventist Home, p. 319.
“Show in your life that Jesus is everything to you, and that His love makes you patient, kind, forbearing, and yet firm in commanding your children after you, as did Abraham.”—Ibid., p.317.
b. How does the apostle Paul confirm the effect home influences have on church life? 1 Timothy 3:4, 5; 1 Thessalonians 2:10–13.
“In the home the foundation is laid for the prosperity of the church. The influences that rule in the home life are carried into the church life; therefore church duties should first begin in the home.”—Ibid., p.318.
c. What theme should occupy a central place in the training of our children? 1 Corinthians 2:2; Romans 16:25, 26.
“Tell the children of the great missionary field and talk to them of the love of Christ; of the great sacrifice made because He loved us and wanted us to have a home with Him in His kingdom. He came to our world to bless it with His divine presence, to bring peace, and light, and joy; but the world would not receive Him and put the Prince of Life to death. His death was to bring the treasures of heaven within the reach of all who should believe in Jesus. Make this glorious theme plain to your children; and as their young hearts expand with love to God, let them present their little offerings, that they may act their part in sending the precious light of truth to others.”—The Review and Herald, December 11, 1888.
3. TEACHING HOME RELIGION
a. What great responsibility do we have for our children, and how will God bless our efforts? Proverbs 4:1–8.
“The father and the mother are responsible for the maintenance of religion in the home.”—The Adventist Home, p. 321.
“Those who hold positions of trust in the cause of God are to perfect the life after the divine similitude. In the home, in the church, before the world, [teachers, ministers, and physicians] are to reveal the power of Christian principle to transform the life.”—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 397.
“God will do great things for those who will open the heart to His word, and let it take possession of the soul temple.”—Ibid., p.396.
b. What will religious instruction in the home accomplish for our children? Proverbs 4:10–13. Explain how important it is that parents teach their children how to approach Jesus.
“When parents are diligent and vigilant in their instruction and train their children with an eye single to the glory of God, they cooperate with God, and God cooperates with them in the saving of the souls of the children for whom Christ has died.
“Religious instruction means much more than ordinary instruction. It means that you are to pray with your children, teaching them how to approach Jesus and tell Him all their wants. It means that you are to show in your life that Jesus is everything to you, and that His love makes you patient, kind, forbearing, and yet firm in commanding your children after you, as did Abraham.
“Just as you conduct yourself in your home life, you are registered in the books of heaven. He who would become a saint in heaven must first become a saint in his own family. . . . Parents, let not your religion be simply a profession, but let it become a reality.”—The Adventist Home, p. 317.
“Without the vital principles of true religion, without the knowledge of how to serve and glorify the Redeemer, education is more harmful than beneficial.”—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 412.
4. KNOWLEDGE OF THE SCRIPTURES ESSENTIAL
a. How early are we to bring the light of God’s knowledge to our children? 2 Timothy 3:15.
“As soon as the little ones are intelligent to understand, parents should tell them the story of Jesus that they may drink in the precious truth concerning the Babe of Bethlehem. Impress upon the children’s minds sentiments of simple piety that are adapted to their years and ability.”—The Adventist Home, p. 320.
b. How diligent must we be as parents in teaching the Holy Scriptures to our children? Isaiah 34:16 (first part); Deuteronomy 6:6–9.
c. In what does family religion consist? Proverbs 22:6.
“Family religion consists in bringing up the children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Everyone in the family is to be nourished by the lessons of Christ, and the interest of each soul is to be strictly guarded.”—Ibid., p.317.
”Family religion is a wonderful power. The conduct of the husband toward the wife and of the wife toward the husband may be such that it will make the home life a preparation for entrance to the family above.
“Hearts that are filled with the love of Christ can never get very far apart. Religion is love, and a Christian home is one where love reigns and finds expression in words and acts of thoughtful kindness and gentle courtesy.”—Ibid., p.94.
“The effort to make the home what it should be—a symbol of the home in heaven—prepares us for work in a larger sphere. The education received by showing a tender regard for each other enables us to know how to reach hearts that need to be taught the principles of true religion. The church needs all the cultivated spiritual force which can be obtained, that all, and especially the younger members of the Lord's family, may be carefully guarded. The truth lived at home makes itself felt in disinterested labor abroad. He who lives Christianity in the home will be a bright and shining light everywhere.”—Ibid., pp.38, 39.
5. A CAUSE-AND-EFFECT RELATIONSHIP
a. As far as child training is concerned, mention an example of cooperation between husband and wife. Judges 13:8–12. What should parents be sure of before they are qualified to train their children? Deuteronomy 4:9.
“The father of the family should not leave to the mother all the care of imparting spiritual instruction. A large work is to be done by fathers and mothers, and both should act their individual part in preparing their children for the grand review of the judgment.”—The Adventist Home, p. 321.
b. What influence will true home religion exert upon society? Deuteronomy 4:5–8.
“If religion is to influence society, it must first influence the home circle. If children were trained to love and fear God at home, when they go forth into the world, they would be prepared to train their own families for God, and thus the principles of truth would become implanted in society and would exert a telling influence in the world. Religion should not be divorced from home education.”—Ibid., p.318.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Why should cheerfulness be combined with the fear of the Lord in the home school?
2. When we have good home religion, what will we have in the church?
3. What will God do for parents who open their hearts to His word when training their children?
4. We are to bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. What does that mean?
5. What principles should parents instill into their children?