Dear Shepherdess: Children will imitate parents.
Let the sunshine of love, cheerfulness and happy contentment enter your hearts.
The work of parents precedes that of the teacher.
Let us educate our children to be simple in manner without-being bold.
Do these thoughts have meaning? Do they sound familiar? They should. They are from the book Child Guidance.
The family was ordained of God, and we need His guidance in knowing how to better provide the joy, happiness, and satisfaction every homemaker wants for herself and her family. Today we use the term "continuing education" in connection with the various professions. Women who are fortunate enough to have families and responsibilities that allow them to stay at home need "continuing education" too.
I hope you bought some new books for yourself at camp meeting. I hope your conference has a lending library for its shepherdesses. The public libraries also have books that help one put one's priorities in order. I hope those of you who do not have the book By His Side will take advantage of the bargain price at which it is being offered. This book will soon be out of print. It is worth having.
I greatly appreciate the beautiful shepherdess bulletins that I receive from the various conferences. As I excitedly read through them I mean to write my thanks to the editors immediately but... how to find the time? Please accept this note as my very special thank you to those of you who devote your time, energy, and talents to helping us all "grow." I keep the bulletins on file and enjoy the recipes and refreshing ideas.
This month we are indebted to "The Shepherdess Voice" from the Mountain View Conference for this article by the late, beloved Prof. H. M. Tippett. —With love, Kay.
A BLIZZARD raged over the icy shelf of the Ross Barrier. The temperature plunged to 70 below zero, and the night was filled with the fury of the Antarctic storm. But inside the shack at Little America, buried beneath the ice for protection, the sounds of the storm came only faintly. The dampness and the bitter cold seeped in while Admiral Byrd, violently ill from carbon-monoxide poisoning, tried in vain to repair his faulty stove.
Finally, he fell exhausted on his cot as he realized the stove was losing the contest with the creeping frost. Facing death in his lonely outpost, the great explorer's mind turned to thoughts of home. Anxiety for his family should he die brought sharply into focus all the dear, sweet relationships that home meant to him. He recorded them in his diary.
His conclusion was that no success or achievement or fame could possibly be as important as happiness in the home circle. And happiness in that sense to him meant harmony. He extolled the homely, unpretentious virtues of love, courtesy, and mutual respect as the most precious values in life. Had he lacked this anchor in the home—the affection and understanding of his family—nothing else could have replaced it. With these thoughts struggling for expression, Admiral Byrd, in his weakened state, made another supreme effort to repair his stove, and he saved his life.
One pertinent thing Byrd wrote proves very stimulating. He suggested that the opportunities for achieving family harmony are infinite. That means that family peace and joy can be a creative challenge to which each member can make his or her unique contribution.
In other words, happiness in the family circle is not achieved by formula. One tender meaningful kiss a week may mean more to a wife than a dutiful morning and evening peck on the cheek as a husband goes and comes to his work. Family love and appreciation call warmth and fellowship of the family circle. Here is opportunity for individual planning of those little surprises that delight the heart. Homemade compliments are the most appreciated.
Discipline? Yes, pity the home with no restraint, or the couple whose differences of opinion lead to debate. The soft answer still turns away wrath. Let children defer to the wisdom of their elders, and parents be gently tolerant of the views of their children. Censoriousness in the home is unthinkable as a privilege and inexcusable under the pretense of duty. "Come now, and let us reason together" (Isa. 1:18) is the Bible way to resolve differences, not dispute and contention.
Courtesy, agreeableness, and home harmony are tender plants that need daily cultivation through prayer and practice. Our emphasis must be on duties cheerfully assumed, not on rights demanded. For, you see, home should be a place where all privileges are shared, and nothing has to be deserved.