Parents are the custodians of their children’s lives. If they would meet their responsibility and be able to look God and their children in the face at the judgment, they must make their homes as nearly “gardens of Eden” as possible.
The way to save your children from the temptations of the streets — is to make your home so bright, so sweet, so beautiful, so happy, so full of love, joy and prayer — that the streets will have no attractiveness for them — no power to win them away. “Do not be overcome by evil — but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
The place of the home-life among the influences which mold and shape character, is supreme in its importance. Our children are given to us in tender infancy — to teach them and train them for holy, worthy, beautiful living.
It is not enough to have an opulent house to live in. It is not enough to have fine foods, and luxurious furniture, and expensive entertainments. Most of the world’s worthiest men and women, those who have blessed the world the most — were brought up in plain homes, without any luxury.
It is the tone of the home-life, that is important. We should make it pure, elevating, refining, inspiring. The books we bring in, the papers and magazines, the guests we have at our tables and admit to our firesides, the home conversation, the pictures we hang on our walls — all these are educational. As in everything, LOVE is the great master-secret of home happiness.
The religious influences are also vitally important. In that first ‘garden home’, the Lord came and went as a familiar friend. Christ must be our guest — if our home is to be a fit place either for our children or for ourselves. If there is no sincere prayer in it, it is not a true home at all — it is only a heathen lodging-place!
How can we make ‘new Edens’ of our homes? What are some of the secrets of home happiness? I might gather them all into one word and say — CHRIST. If we have Christ as our guest — our home will be happy. He must be welcomed into all our life. He must be in each heart. He must sit at our tables and mingle with us in all our family interaction. Christ can bless our home, only through the lives of those who make the home circle.
Make your home so sweet, so heavenly, with love and prayer and song and holy living — that all through it, there shall be the fragrance of the heart of Christ.
J.R. Miller was a pastor and former editorial superintendent of the Presbyterian Board of Publication from 1880 to 1911. His works are now in the public domain.