In forming a relationship with Christ, the renewed man is but coming back to his appointed relationship with God…. His first duty is to his children and his nearest relatives. Nothing can excuse him from neglecting the inner circle for the larger circle outside. In the day of final reckoning fathers and mothers … will be asked what they did and said to secure the salvation of the souls they took upon themselves the responsibility of bringing into the world. Did they neglect their lambs, leaving them to the care of strangers? … A great good done for others will not cancel the debt you owe to God to care for your children. The spiritual welfare of your family comes first.

In rightly training and molding the minds of her children, mothers are entrusted with the greatest mission ever given to mortals.

Whenever you take up the duty that lies nearest you, then God will bless you, and hear your prayers. There are too many doing outside missionary work, while their own households are left destitute of any such efforts, – going to ruin through neglect…. The first missionary work is to see that love, light, and joy come into the home circle. Let us not be looking for some great temperance or missionary work to do until we have first done the duties at home. Every morning we should think, What kind act can I do today? What tender word can I speak? Kind words at home are blessed sunshine. The husband needs them, the wife needs them, the children need them…. It ought to be the desire of every heart to make as much heaven below as possible.

A soul saved in your own family circle or in your own neighborhood, by your patient, painstaking labor, will bring as much honor to the name of Christ, and will shine as brightly in your crown as if you had found that soul in China or India. SD 252

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