Greetings MOL Family!
Welcome back to our homeheading study. Last week, we were looking at the Haskell household, and how these principles were applied there. Today, we will look at other institutions that must also apply the principles of the home…
Our Primary Responsibility
This time, we will look at the restaurant work. At the turn of the twentieth century our people were conducting quite a number of restaurants in different places. New York City had a restaurant; later, the South had one. Most of the cities in the south had either restaurants, or treatment rooms, or both. Nashville, Louisville, Memphis, Asheville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Birmingham, Atlanta; all of these at one time had either treatment rooms, or restaurants, or both. You look around for them now and there’re not…
But do you know what happened? Why those things did not continue? Two reasons: One is they tended to become big, and the bigger a thing is, the greater the financial risk. Second, the bigger they got the less evangelistic fruit they produced. The time of the workers and managers was largely taken up with merely serving the food and trying to meet the bills.
Now, notice the counsel that the Lord has given, and we are reading it because it gives us some further insights in this matter of homes, training homes:
The managers of our restaurants are to work for the salvation of the employees. They must not overwork, because by so doing they will place themselves where they will have neither strength nor inclination to help the workers spiritually. They are to devote their best powers to instructing their employees in spiritual lines, explaining the Scriptures to them and praying with them and for them. – Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 7, pg. 118
Notice this next sentence. See how it shines out in the light of the principles we’ve been studying from the Old and New Testament, and the work of Sister White and Elder Haskell. Now watch as all that is focused on this restaurant work:
They [the managers] are to guard the religious interest of the helpers as carefully as parents are to guard the religious interests of their children. – Ibid
Isn’t that something? Now this is not what we can learn from the world. General Motors and Standard Oil, or General Foods, or Nabisco; none of them will teach us this. And I’m sorry to say there are some things even that bear the Christian label that will never teach us this, this relationship.
They are to guard the religious interest of the helpers as carefully as parents are to guard the religious interests of their children. Patiently and tenderly they are to watch over them, doing all in their power to help them in the perfection of Christian characters. – Ibid
So, do we have something as managers, we’re talking about restaurants right now, but this applies all the way across the board in the sanitarium, in our schools, in everything that we manage, do we have something to do beside watching the finances? Our primary responsibility is spiritual. Leaders are to guard the spiritual interests of the helpers as parents watch for helping their children spiritually.
Unless our restaurants are conducted in this way, it will be necessary to warn our people against sending their children to them as workers. – Ibid
Well, why? They could lose their souls there. Sister White had to write many testimonies warning our people around the turn of the twentieth century not to send their children to Battle Creek, and yet Battle Creek was the headquarters for our work. Why? Well, our institutions had not only grown large in size, but the managers were so intent on solving the material problems that they had little time and thought to devote to the spiritual interest of the students and the employees. So, God said, “Don’t send your children to Battle Creek.”
Wouldn’t it be too bad if God should have to say to parents, “Don’t send your children to _______?” Well, it could happen, unless we follow this counsel. This is what will have to happen.
Unless our restaurants are conducted in this way [The way she has described, a parent and child relationship]…it will be necessary to warn our people against sending their children to them as workers. The managers of our restaurants must do more to save the young people in their employ. They must put forth greater efforts to keep them alive spiritually, so that their young minds will not be swayed by the worldly spirit with which they are constantly brought in contact. The girls and the young women in our restaurants need a shepherd. Every one of them needs to be sheltered by home influences. There is danger that the youth, entering our institutions as believers, and desiring to help in the cause of God, will become weary and disheartened, losing their zeal and courage, and growing cold and indifferent. We cannot crowd these youth into small, dark rooms and deprive them of the privileges of home life and then expect them to have a wholesome religious experience. – Ibid
You see administratively, it’s easier to run a restaurant, or sanitarium, or anything else, and just run that business, and the workers go out and find homes whereever they can, find rooms. They worry about where they are going to eat, and if they have worship, and with whom, and so forth. That’s easier administratively, but it doesn’t solve the spiritual problems.
It is important that wise plans be laid for the care of the helpers in all our institutions and especially for those employed in our restaurants. …
They are not to be left to the mercy of haphazard circumstances, with no regular time for prayer and no time at all for Bible study. – Ibid
As I say, I am reading this to apply across the board in all our activities. “You mean if we are running a restaurant, we are responsible for helping our students to see that they have time for prayer and Bible study?” That’s right. That’s part of it. Now notice this next sentence:
With every restaurant there should be connected a man and his wife who can act as guardians of the helpers, a man and woman who love the Saviour and the souls for whom He died, and who keep the way of the Lord. The young women should be under the care of a wise, judicious matron, a woman who is thoroughly converted, who will carefully guard the workers, especially the younger ones. The workers are to feel that they have a home. They are God’s helping hand, and they are to be treated as carefully and tenderly as Christ declared that the little child whom He set in the midst of His disciples was to be treated. – Ibid
Now, I’ve just selected a few sentences. There’s a whole chapter on this in Vol. 7.
Isn’t it a wonderful blueprint? What a responsibility it lays upon us. To the extent we follow it, we’ll be blessed. To the extent we forget it, ignore it, or set it aside because we think we can’t do it, we miss the blessing.
A Home Atmosphere
Let’s take another facet of it. This time, it’s schools. We have read it as it applies to city evangelistic work, next to restaurant work, now schools:
Our school homes have been established that our youth might not be left to drift hither and thither, and be exposed to the evil influences which everywhere abound; but that, as far as possible, a home atmosphere may be provided that they may be preserved from temptations to immorality and be led to Jesus. – Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 6, pg. 168
Notice that little phrase, “as far as possible.” Our school homes, even our larger schools with our larger homes, should preserve, as far as possible, the home atmosphere.
The family of heaven represents that which the family on earth should be; and our school homes, where are gathered youth who are seeking a preparation for the service of God, should approach as nearly as possible to the divine model. – Ibid
What’s the divine model for a school home? — The family of Heaven. That’s right. The school home should approach as nearly as possible to the family of Heaven. The next sentence:
Teachers who are placed in charge of these homes bare grave responsibilities… – Ibid
And whether your assignment is one student or a hundred like some of these large school homes, there is a responsibility there. And how much is one soul worth? — More than all the material universe.
Teachers who are placed in charge of these homes bare grave responsibilities; for they are to act as fathers and mothers, showing an interest in the students, one and all, such as parents show in their children. – Ibid
It goes on and tells about domestic duties in the school, in the home. It is wonderful instruction. That’s all we’ll read from that.
What was the first example we had in part 1 of this lesson? — City mission home; second? –The restaurant workers; third? — Schools.
Our sanitariums are to be homelike institutions. – Counsels on Health, pg. 211
Do you know what a Seventh-day Adventist sanitarium is? It’s just a Seventh-day Adventist home expanded to take in certain types of people that need some special medical or surgical attention. But it’s first of all a home. In fact, in the first vision that was given Sister White concerning the establishment of Seventh-day Adventist health institutions, she called it a home. Isn’t the word “home” a beautiful word? Ah yes.
A Man & His Wife
Now, I want to introduce something I’ll spend more time on in a future lesson. But I want to introduce something which is so important. In fact, if you’ll allow me to say it, what I’m about to share with you is one of the most important things, and to some people it will be the most important thing in all our whole series of classes on this subject.
I want to study with you for a few minutes, why this expression is used in these different references that I’ve read, one after the other, “a man and his wife.” A man and his wife are to be in charge of that city mission home. A man and his wife are to be in charge of that restaurant home. And we could read other statements like this. Why is that?
Well, some reasons are very obvious. And let me say this doesn’t mean that, that can never be done any other way. We read about Elder and Sister Haskell conducting that home. We read about Elder and Sister White conducting it. But did Sister White quit when her husband died? No. She went ahead and conducted this kind of work for 30 years after her husband died.
Again, we have read of Jesus’ work as an example. Was Jesus married? No, but did He say, “Well, I can’t run a training home because I’m not married?” No, He didn’t do that. I don’t know if Elijah and Elisha were. I don’t know that they were or weren’t. No record is given of their being married, but they carried on this kind of work. John the Baptist had a group of disciples with him. He wasn’t married.
But whenever you have mixed groups, and most of the Lord’s work is done by mixed groups, men and women working together in city evangelistic work, in restaurant work, in school work, in sanitarium work, you need the guardianship, the guidance in most cases of a married couple, at least one; both of whom are devoted to the work and to the principles.
As I say, we are not just running a boarding house, we’re working for souls. And without this, there is likely to be either too much of men working for women and girls or women working for men and boys, or else such a lack of anybody caring for people that souls go unhelped and unblessed.
In any group where there are both men and women working together, at any time, a problem can develop which needs the consultation of a husband with his wife, or a wife with her husband in dealing with the problem.
Now, that leads me to the next point. Unless the husband and wife have a close heart union, it will be impossible for them to give the leadership in that home, whether it’s a school home, a city mission home, or any other kind of home. A strong nucleus must be in every home. And frankly, dear friends, if the husband and wife are not united it would be much better if they didn’t take anybody into their home.
The home circle should be regarded as a sacred place, a symbol of heaven, a mirror in which to reflect ourselves. Friends and acquaintances we may have, but in the home life they are not to meddle. A strong sense of proprietorship should be felt giving a sense of ease, restfulness, trust. – Adventist Home, pg. 177
A training home is not the place for distrust of each other on the part of the husband and the wife. And if that exists, they had better get their personal problems adjusted before they try to take on other people and their problems.
And may I say to you, dear friends. This kind of thing is something that is difficult to hide. It ought to be hidden, and if it exists it ought to be kept covered under a dozen blankets of charity and loyalty. But let me tell you something, if a husband and wife are like this, at cross purposes, instead of like this, together, it’s difficult for some of that not to show up at times. Whether you have a training home or not, you ought to keep all that hidden, if you have it. We’re going to read something about it here. I’ll tell you how to do it:
There is a sacred circle around every family which should be preserved. No other one has any right in that sacred circle. The husband and wife should be all to each other. The wife should have no secrets to keep from her husband and let others know, and the husband should have no secrets to keep from his wife to relate to others. – Ibid
Now comes the sentence that tells you what to do:
The heart of his wife should be the grave for the faults of the husband, and the heart of the husband the grave for his wife’s faults. – Ibid
Do you know what you do when you put something in a grave? You bury it. You don’t go out there and dig it up tomorrow, or next week, or next month. Now, what is the grave for the faults of the husband? — The heart of his wife. And where should be the grave for the faults of the wife? — The heart of the husband. Do you get the picture? — Covered up.
Oh, my dear friends, it’s a wonderful thing for either husband or wife when they know, not just hope or wish, but when they know that the other party will never say anything critical, faultfinding in sport or seriously; never say one thing which would betray or lessen respect.
Few couples achieve that experience. This is the blueprint. This is the goal. And may I say, my dear friends, it’s a terrible thing for a student who is placed in your home to somewhere along the line, come across that grave and find that it’s open and look down at a decaying corpse or skeleton that’s not even in the closet. It’s all open. Do you see what I mean? Oh, I want to lay this on your hearts. Some of you will need it today. Some of you will need it six months from now, that don’t know that you need it today. Put it in the deep freeze to be pulled out when you need it.
I’m reading inspired instruction, friends. I’m not giving you my ideas. Am I? The reason I read these things from the inspired pages is that I want you to be inspired. Not merely instructed, but illuminated, impelled to do that which you read.
Well, somebody says, “But, you don’t know the person I have to live with.” No, I don’t. God hasn’t laid that burden on me to know that. In fact, it’s better if I don’t know. But Jesus knows it. And in 9 cases out of 10, if you’re having a hard problem in living with somebody, they’re having a hard problem living with you. That’s right.
Now, let me give the Bible text which is the prescription for this situation. Matthew 18:19:
Again I say unto you [What?] if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. – Matthew 18:19
If there are any two people on earth that ought to be able to claim that promise, it’s the husband and wife. I was talking with a husband and wife one day who were having problems. I brought this text to them and made an appeal to them along this line. One of them said, “We never pray with each other. We can’t pray with each other.”
Now, they could hold family worship, you understand. But to get down to business, alone with God and each other, and pray over their problems, no, they couldn’t do it. Oh friends, what a pity.
Now, I know enough about life to know that unless [those who are going through this study are] far above the law of averages, there’s somebody that needs, desperately needs, what I’m giving you right now. If the arrow of the Lord’s quiver reaches your heart, and in your deepest soul you know, “Yes, this is my problem. This is our problem. We’re not able to communicate with each other. We’re not able to relate to each other.” Those are modern terms you know, communicate and relate to, as if finding new words was particularly helpful.
What people need, friends, is to be converted. And what they need is to be willing to get down and humble their hearts before each other and pray together. Sometimes I have to tell people, “Don’t discuss your problem. You’re only making it worse by discussing it. Get down and pray together and say to the Lord, ‘Lord, we don’t know how to communicate with each other, but at least help us to communicate with you. And Lord, teach us how to find the answer to our problem.’”
If people will pray earnestly and desperately a prayer of that kind, they will eventually get some help, won’t they? Is God in the business of answering that prayer? Sure. Oh dear ones, take what has been said to heart.
Next week, we will be continuing on with our class rotation. Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then… Maranatha!
Did the arrow of God’s quiver reach your heart? Does your home and marriage represent the family of love, in Heaven? It is meant to and it can be, by God’s grace. >> Learn More
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*This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.