The Family a Symbol, January 19
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. Ephesians 3:14, 15.
In the church, officers are appointed as co-workers with God for the edification of the body of Christ. Mothers and fathers who are doers of the Word of God are a part of the body of Christ. They nurture and admonish their children in accordance with God's Word, raising up a little army to stand under Christ's banner. They are God's witnesses, showing to the world that they are under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Christ is their pattern and they educate their children to know God.
In the prayer Christ offered in behalf of His disciples just before His betrayal and crucifixion, He said, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). Should not every family on earth be a symbol of the family in heaven? In each household should there not be heard songs of praise and thanksgiving?
The family whose members love God and one another, who do not get provoked, who are longsuffering, forbearing, kind, is a symbol of the family above. The members realize that they are a part of the great firm of heaven. They are taught by the laws of mutual dependence to rely upon the great Head of the church. If one of the members of such a family suffer, all the rest suffer. The suffering of one entails suffering on the other. This should teach the youth to take care of their bodies, and to pray to be preserved in health, because when they suffer from disease, the whole family partakes of their suffering.
Those men and women who have determined to serve God will seek to govern their families so that they may correctly represent the religion of Christ. The children will be taught to be tidy and useful, to share the burdens of the home, not allowing the parents to bear any [burden] which they can carry. Thus the lot of mother and father is made much easier. The whole family shares the blessing of the helpfulness of its members.
Why do not parents come to Jesus just as they are, asking for His forgiving grace and healing power? Why do they not plead to be endowed with capabilities that will enable them to rule their households aright? …
God is robbed when men and women do not connect with Him in such a way that mind, soul, and strength may be controlled by the Holy Spirit. The family of God here below should cooperate in the most perfect harmony with God's appointed agencies in the work of molding the human character after the divine similitude.—Manuscript 1, January 19, 1899, “Unity, Courtesy, Love.”