Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"The Family" Book Review & Quotes

I finally finished reading The Family by J. R. Miller! It was excellent, and one I will probably read several times throughout my life. With poetic sensitivities, the author writes on the roles of husbands, wives, parents, children, brothers and sisters, and additionally touches on the wedded life, the home-life, religion in the home, and home memories. Here are just a few quotes--the whole book is almost equally as worthy. Though some of it is possibly seen through rosy-tinted glasses, should not his ideals be sought after, if not entirely attainable? I may not agree with his every point, but in the majority I do.

From The Mother's Part
'Let it be remembered that Christ's work in the home is the first that he gives to every wife, and that no amount of consecrated activities in other spheres will atone in this world or the next for neglect or failure there.'

'A woman whose heart is not touched by the sickness of sorrow and whose hands do not go out in relief where it is in her power to help, lacks one of the elements which make the glory of womanhood.'

From The Parents' Part:
'No father can afford to let his children grow up without weaving himself into the memories of their golden youth.'

'Oh that God would give every mother a vision of the glory and splendor of the work that is given to her when a babe is placed in her bosom to be nursed and trained! Could she have but one glimpse into the future of that life as it reaches on into eternity; could she look into its soul to see its possibilities; could she be made to understand her own personal responsibility for the training of this child, for the development of its life, and for its destiny,--she would see that in all God's world there is no other work so noble and so worthy of her best powers, and she would commit to no other hands the sacred and holy trust given to her.'

'The parent's life flows into the child's life. We impress ourselves upon our children less by what we teach them than by what we are. Your child is a sensitive plate; you are sitting before the camera; if you do not like the picture the fault is with yourself.'

From The Children's Part
'If he then strews thorns for their feet, what does it avail that he brings flowers for their burial? If he dishonors them by disobedience, by unkindness, by unworthy conduct, by sin, what does it avail that he sets up the costly monuments over their graves, cutting in the white marble his praises of their virtues and their faithfulness?'

'Did his [Jesus'] subjection break his power, repress the glorious aspiration of his soul, stunt and hinder the development of his life and make his career into a failure in the end?'

'No one is fitted for ruling others who has not first learned in his place to obey.'

'We have only to remember again who Jesus was. Was there ever any human parent in this world who was really worthy or capable, in this sense, to be his teacher, to guide and control his life? Was there ever, in any home on earth, such a distance between parents and child as there was in that home at Nazareth? Yet this Son of God, with all his wisdom, his knowledge, his grandeur of character, did not hesitate to submit himself to the training of that peasant mother and that peasant father. Shall any other child, in view of this model child-life at home, assert that he is too far advanced, too much superior in knowledge and culture, too wise and intelligent, to submit to the parents God has given him? If Christ could be taught and trained by his lowly parents for his glorious mission, where is the true parent who is not worthy to be his own child's guide and teacher?'

From Brothers and Sisters:
'There is not so much happiness in the world that we can afford to leave our homes desert spots when they might be blossoming gardens. Certainly it is worth-while to think of the matter, for each of us honestly to inquire whether in our home there are not seeds of beautiful things that are yielding no beauty; whether there are not treasures hidden in our fleeting life which we have never yet discovered; whether we are not blindly passing by Heaven's richest gifts to us of friendship and tender affection lying within our own doors while we press out, quest into other fields and vainly seek for satisfaction.'

From The Home-Life
'One single fact clearly presented and firmly impressed is better than whole chapters of information poured out in a confused jargon on minds that cannot remember any part of it.'

'Human lives will never grow into their best in gloom. Pour the sunshine about them in youth; let them be happy; encourage all innocent joy; provide pleasant games for them; romp and play with them; be a child again among them. Then God's blessing will come upon your home, and your children will grow up sunny-hearted, gentle, affectionate, joyous themselves and joy-bearers to the world.'

From Religion in the Home:
'"My mind was ruled with small cares to-day,
And I said pettish words, and did not keep
Long-suffering patience well; and now how deep
My trouble for this sin! In vain I weep
For foolish words I never can unsay.

"Yet not in vain, oh surely not in vain!
This sorrow must compel me to take heed:
And surely I shall learn how much I need
Thy constant strength my own to supersede,
And all my thoughts to patience to constrain.

"Yes, I shall learn at last though I neglect
Day after day to seek my help from thee.
Oh, aid me, that I may always recollect
This gentle-heartedness and oh, correct
Whatever else of sin thou seest in me."'

'Another pleads timidity. He cannot make a prayer in his family. He would break down. But is timidity a sufficient plea to excuse one from a duty so solemn, on which such vital interests of time and eternity depend? We had better test all our actions as we go on through life by inquiring how they will look at the judgment-day or from amid their own consequences at the end.'

From Home Memories:
'No other work that God gives any of us to do is so important, so sacred, so far-reaching in its influence, so delicate and easily marred as our home-making. This is the work of all our life that is most divine. The carpenter works in wood, the mason works in stone, the smith works in iron, the artist works on canvas, but the home-maker works on immortal lives. The wood or the stone or the iron or the canvas may be marred, and it will not matter greatly in fifty years; but let a tender human soul be marred in its early training, and ages hence the effects will still be seen.'

1 comment:

Lacie Verret said...

'The Family' is one of my favorite books! It contains such a wealth of wisdom...

You picked excellent quotes from the book. The one that says that we cannot be a leader until we learn to follow in obedience is very potent. Thank you for sharing these quotes with us!

Blessings ~ Lacie