Courtesy Should Reign in the Home
Let love be without dissimulation.... Be kindly affectioned one to another ...; in honour preferring one another. Romans 12:9, 10.
The principle inculcated by the injunction, “Be kindly affectioned one to another,” lies at the very foundation of domestic happiness. Christian courtesy should reign in every household.... The wife and mother may bind the hearts of her husband and children to her own by the strong cords of love, if in her intercourse with them she will manifest unvarying love in gentle words and courteous deportment.
Marked diversities of disposition and character frequently exist in the same family; for it is in the order of God that persons of varied temperaments should associate together. When this is the case, each member of the household should sacredly regard the feelings and respect the rights of the others. By this means mutual consideration and forbearance will be cultivated, prejudices will be softened, and rough points of character smoothed. Harmony may be secured, and the blending of the varied temperaments may be a benefit to each....
[The true wife and mother] will perform her duties with dignity and cheerfulness, not considering it degrading to do with her own hands whatever it is necessary to do in a well-ordered household.
In order to be a good wife, it is not necessary that woman’s nature should be utterly merged in that of her husband. Every individual has a life distinct from all others, an experience differing essentially from theirs. It is not the design of our Creator that our individuality should be lost in another’s; He would have us possess our own characters, softened and sanctified by His sweet grace. He would hear our words fresh from our own hearts. He would have our yearning desires and earnest cries ascend to Him marked by our own individuality. All do not have the same exercises of mind, and God calls for no secondhand experience. Our compassionate Redeemer reaches His helping hand to us just where we are.
If woman looks to God for strength and comfort, and in His fear seeks to perform her daily duties, she will win the respect and confidence of her husband, and see her children coming to maturity honorable men and women, having moral stamina to do right....
When the mother has gained the confidence of her children, and taught them to love and obey her, she has given them the first lesson in the Christian life. They must love and trust and obey their Saviour, as they love and trust and obey their parents. The love which in faithful care and right training the parents manifest for the child faintly mirrors the love of Jesus for His faithful people.—The Signs of the Times, September 9, 1886.
From Reflecting Christ - Page 191