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Title: Religious Education in the Family
Author: Cope, Henry Frederick, 1870-1923
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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General Secretary of the Religious Education Association

The University of Chicago Press
Chicago, Illinois
Copyright 1915 by
The University of Chicago
All Rights Reserved
Published April 1915
Second Impression September 1915
Third Impression March 1916
Fourth Impression June 1917
Fifth Impression August 1920
Sixth Impression July 1922
Seventh Impression September 1922
Composed and Printed By
The University of Chicago Press
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

The University of Chicago Press
Chicago, Illinois

The Baker and Taylor Company
New York

The Cambridge University Press

The Maruzen-Kabushiki-Kaisha
Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Sendai

The Mission Book Company


In the work of religious education, with which the present series of
books is concerned, the life of the family rightly occupies a central
place. The church has always realized its duty to exhort parents to
bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, but
very little has ever been done to enable parents to study systematically
and scientifically the problem of religious education in the family.
Today parents' classes are being formed in many churches; Christian
Associations, women's clubs, and institutes are studying the subject;
individual parents are becoming more and more interested in the rational
performance of their high duties. And there is a general desire for
guidance. As the full bibliography at the end of this volume and the
references in connection with each chapter indicate, there is available
a very large literature dealing with the various elements of the
problem. But a guidebook to organize all this material and to stimulate
independent thought and endeavor is desirable.

To afford this guidance the present volume has been prepared. It is
equally adapted for the thoughtful study of the father and mother who
are seeking help in the moral and religious development of their own
family, and for classes in churches, institutes, and neighborhoods,
where the important problems of the family are to be studied and
discussed. It would be well to begin the use of the book by reading the
suggestions for class work at the end of the volume.

With a confident hope that religion in the family is not to be a wistful
memory of the past but a most vital force in the making of the better
day that is coming, this volume is offered as a contribution and a

                                                  The Editors

New Year's Day, 1915


CHAPTER                                                      PAGE
      I. An Interpretation of the Family                        1

     II. The Present Status of Family Life                     10

    III. The Permanent Elements in Family Life                 27

     IV. The Religious Place of the Family                     37

      V. The Meaning Of Religious Education in the Family      46

     VI. The Child's Religious Ideas                           60

    VII. Directed Activity                                     75

   VIII. The Home as a School                                  87

     IX. The Child's Ideal Life                               101

      X. Stories and Reading                                  110

     XI. The Use of the Bible in the Home                     119

    XII. Family Worship                                       126

   XIII. Sunday in the Home                                   145

    XIV. The Ministry of the Table                            164

     XV. The Boy and Girl in the Family                       173

    XVI. The Needs of Youth                                   183

   XVII. The Family and the Church                            198

  XVIII. Children and the School                              212

    XIX. Dealing with Moral Crises                            218

     XX. Dealing with Moral Crises (_Continued_)              231

    XXI. Dealing with Moral Crises (_Continued_)              240

   XXII. Dealing with Moral Crises (_Concluded_)              249

  XXIII. The Personal Factors in Religious Education          259

   XXIV. Looking to the Future                                268

Suggestions for Class Work                                    281

A Book List                                                   290

Index                                                         297




The ills of the modern home are symptomatic. Divorce, childless
families, irreverent children, and the decadence of the old type of
separate home life are signs of forgotten ideals, lost motives, and
insufficient purposes. Where the home is only an opportunity for
self-indulgence, it easily becomes a cheap boarding-house, a
sleeping-shelf, an implement for social advantage. While it is true that
general economic developments have effected marked changes in domestic
economy, the happiness and efficiency of the family do not depend wholly
on the parlor, the kitchen, or the clothes closet. Rather, everything
depends on whether the home and family are considered in worthy and
adequate terms.

Homes are wrecked because families refuse to take home-living in
religious terms, in social terms of sacrifice and service. In such
homes, organized and conducted to satisfy personal desires rather than
to meet social responsibilities, these desires become ends rather than
agencies and opportunities.

They who marry for lust are divorced for further lust. Selfishness, even
in its form of self-preservation, is an unstable foundation for a home.
It costs too much to maintain a home if you measure it by the personal
advantages of parents. What hope is there for useful and happy family
life if the newly wedded youth have both been educated in selfishness,
habituated to frivolous pleasures, and guided by ideals of success in
terms of garish display? Yet what definite program for any other
training does society provide? Do the schools and colleges, Sunday
schools and churches teach youth a better way? How else shall they be
trained to take the home and family in terms that will make for
happiness and usefulness? It is high time to take seriously the task of
educating people to religious efficiency in the home.


The family needs a religious motive. More potent for happiness than
courses in domestic economy will be training in sufficient domestic
motives. It will take much more than modern conveniences, bigger
apartments, or even better kitchens to make the new home. Essentially
the problem is not one of mechanics but of persons. What we call the
home problem is more truly a _family_ problem. It centers in persons;
the solution awaits a race with new ideals, educated to live as more
than dust, for more than dirt, for personality rather than for
possessions. We need young people who establish homes, not simply
because they feel miserable when separated, nor because one needs a
place in which to board and the other needs a boarder, but because the
largest duty and joy of life is to enrich the world with other lives and
to give themselves in high love to making those other lives of the
greatest possible worth to the world.

The family must come to a recognition of social obligations. We all hope
for the coming ideal day. Everywhere men and women are answering to
higher ideals of life. But the new day waits for a new race. Modern
emphasis on the child is a part of present reaction from materialism.
New social ideals are personal. We seek a better world for the sake of a
higher race. The emphasis on child-welfare has a social rather than a
sentimental basis. The family is our great chance to determine childhood
and so to make the future. The child of today is basic to the social
welfare of tomorrow. He is our chance to pay to tomorrow all that we owe
to yesterday. The family as the child's life-school is thus central to
every social program and problem.


This age knows that man does not live by bread alone. Interest in
child-welfare is for the sake of the child himself, not for the sake of
his clothes or his physical condition. Concern about soap and
sanitation, hygiene and the conveniences of life grows because these all
go to make up the soil in which the person grows. There is danger that
our emphasis on child-welfare may be that of the tools instead of the
man; that we may become enmeshed in the mechanism of well-being and lose
sight of the being who should be well. To fail at the point of character
is to fail all along the line. And we fail altogether, no matter how
many bathtubs we give a child, how many playgrounds, medical
inspections, and inoculations, unless that child be in himself strong
and high-minded, loving truth, hating a lie, and habituated to live in
good-will with his fellows and with high ideals for the universe. Modern
interest in the material factors of life is on account of their potency
in making real selfhood; we acknowledge the importance of the physical
as the very soil in which life grows. But the fruits are more than the
soil, and a home exists for higher purposes than physical conveniences;
these are but its tools to its great end. Somehow for purposes of social
well-being we must raise our thinking of the family to the aim of the
development of efficient, rightly minded character. The family must be
seen as making spiritual persons.


Taking the home in religious terms will mean, then, conceiving it as an
institution with a religious purpose, namely, that of giving to the
world children who are adequately trained and sufficiently motived to
live the social life of good-will. The family exists to give society
developed, efficient children. It fails if it does not have a religious,
a spiritual product. It cannot succeed except by the willing
self-devotion of adult lives to this spiritual, personal purpose.

A family is the primary social organization for the elementary purpose
of breeding the species, nurturing and training the young. This is its
physiological basis. But its duties cannot be discharged on the
physiological plane alone. This elementary physiological function is
lifted to a spiritual level by the aim of character and the motive of
love. Families cannot be measured by their size; they must be measured
by the character of their products. If quality counts anywhere it counts
here, though it is well to remember that it takes some reasonable
quantity to make right quality in each.

The family needs a religious motive. It demands sacrifice. To follow
lower impulses is to invite disaster. The home breeds bitterness and
sorrow wherever men and women court for lust, marry for social standing,
and maintain an establishment only as a part of the game of social
competition. To sow the winds of passion, ease, idle luxury, pride, and
greed is to reap the whirlwind. Moreover, it is to miss the great
chance of life, the chance to find that short cut to happiness which
men call pain and suffering.

A family is humanity's great opportunity to walk the way of the cross.
Mothers know that; some fathers know it; some children grow up to learn
it. In homes where this is true, where all other aims are subordinated
to this one of making the home count for high character, to training
lives into right social adjustment and service, the primary emphasis is
not on times and seasons for religion; religion is the life of that
home, and in all its common living every child learns the way of the
great Life of all. In vain do we torture children with adult religious
penances, long prayers, and homilies, thinking thereby to give them
religious training. The good man comes out of the good home, the home
that is good in character, aim, and organization, not sporadically but
permanently, the home where the religious spirit, the spirit of
idealism, and the sense of the infinite and divine are diffused rather
than injected. The inhuman, antisocial vampires, who suck their
brothers' blood, whether they be called magnates or mob-leaders,
grafters or gutter thieves, often learned to take life in terms of graft
by the attitude and atmosphere of their homes.[1]


The modern family is worthy of our careful study. It demands painstaking
attention, both because of its immediate importance to human happiness
and because of its potentiality for the future of society. The kind of
home and the character of family life which will best serve the world
and fulfil the will of God cannot be determined by sentiment or
supposition. We are under the highest and sternest obligation to
discover the laws of the family, those social laws which are determined
by its nature and purpose, to find right standards for family life, to
discriminate between the things that are permanent and those that are
passing, between those we must conserve and those we must discard, to be
prepared to fit children for the finer and higher type of family life
that must come in the future.

Methods of securing family efficiency will not be discovered by
accident. If it is worth while to study the minor details, such as
baking cakes and sweeping floors, surely it is even more important to
study the larger problems of organization and discipline. There is a
science of home-direction and an art of family living; both must be
learned with patient study.

It is a costly thing to keep a home where honor, the joy of love, and
high ideals dwell ever. It costs time, pleasures, and so-called social
advantages, as well as money and labor. It must cost thought, study,
and investigation. It demands and deserves sacrifice; it is too sacred
to be cheap. The building of a home is a work that endures to eternity,
and that kind of work never was done with ease or without pain and loss
and the investment of much time. Patient study of the problems of the
family is a part of the price which all may pay.

No nobler social work, no deeper religious work, no higher educational
work is done anywhere than that of the men and women, high or humble,
who set themselves to the fitting of their children for life's business,
equipping them with principles and habits upon which they may fall back
in trying hours, and making of home the sweetest, strongest, holiest,
happiest place on earth.

Heaven only knows the price that must be paid for that; heaven only
knows the worth of that work. But if we are wise we shall each take up
our work for our world where it lies nearest to us, in co-operation with
parents, in service and sacrifice as parents or kin, our work in the
shop where manhood is in the making, where it is being made fit to dwell
long in the land, in the family at home.

     I. References for Study

     Edward Lyttleton, _The Corner-Stone of Education_, chaps. i, vii.
     Putnam, $1.50.

     A. Gandier, "Religious Education in the Home," _Religious
     Education_, June, 1914, pp. 233-42.

     II. Further Reading

     _The Family a Religious Agency_

     C.F. and C.B. Thwing, _The Family_. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, $1.60.

     J.D. Folsom, _Religious Education in the Home_. Eaton & Mains,

     G.A. Coe, _Education in Religion and Morals_. Revell, $1.35.

     _The Place of the Family_

     A.J. Todd, _The Family as an Educational Agency_. Putnam, $2.00.

     W.F. Lofthouse, _Ethics and the Family_. Hodder & Stoughton, $2.50.

     J.B. Robins, _The Family a Necessity_. Revell, $1.25.

     III. Topics for Discussion

     1. Describe the changes within recent times in the conditions of
     the home, its work, housing, and supplies. How far have these
     changes affected the community of the family, the continuity of its
     personal relationships, and its religious service?

     2. What are the fundamental causes of family disasters? Admitting
     that there are sufficient grounds for divorce in numerous
     instances, what other causes enter into the high number of

     3. State in your own terms the ultimate reasons for the maintenance
     of a family.

     4. What are the motives which would make people willing to bear the
     high cost of founding and conducting a home?

     5. What points of emphasis does this study suggest in the matter of
     the education of public opinion?

     6. State your distinction between the family and the home; which is
     the more important and why?


[1] _The Corner-Stone of Education_, by Edward Lyttleton, headmaster of
Eton, is a striking argument on the determinative influence of parental
habits and attitudes of mind.




In a beautiful village, in one of the farther western states, two men
were discussing the possible future of the home and of family life.
Sitting in the brilliant moonlight, looking through the leafy shades,
watching the lights of a score of homes, each surrounded by lawn and
shade trees, each with its group on the front porch, where vines trailed
and flowers bloomed, listening to the hum of conversation and the
strains of music in one home and another, it seemed, to at least one of
these men, that this type of living could hardly pass away. The separate
home, each family a complete social integer, each with its own circle of
activities and interests, its own group, and its own table and fireside,
seemed too fine and beautiful, too fair and helpful, to perish under
economic pressure. Indeed, one felt that the village home furnished a
setting for life and a soil for character development far higher and
more efficient than could be afforded by any other domestic
arrangement--that it approached the ideal.

But two weeks later two men sat in an upper room, in the second largest
city in America, discussing again the future of the family. Instead of
the quiet music of the village, the clang of street cars filled the
ears, trains rushed by, children shouted from the paved highway,
families were seated by open windows in crowded apartments, seeking cool
air; the total impression was that of being placed in a pigeonhole in a
huge, heated, filing-case, where each separate space was occupied by a
family. One felt the pressure of heated, crowded kitchens, suffocating
little dining-rooms; one knew that the babies lay crying in their beds
at night, gasping their very lives away, and that the young folks were
wandering off to amusement parks and moving-picture shows. Here was an
entirely different picture. How long could family life persist under
these conditions where privacy was almost gone and comfort almost

In the village separate home integers appear ideal; in the city they are
possible only to the few. The many, at present, find them a crushing
burden. Desirable as privacy is, it can be purchased at too high a
price. It costs too much to maintain separate kitchens and dining-rooms
under city conditions.


Present conditions spell waste, inefficiency, discomfort. The woman
lives all day in stifling rooms, poorly lighted, with the nerve-racking
life of neighbors pouring itself through walls and windows. The men
come from crowded shops and the children from crowded schoolrooms to
crowd themselves into these rooms, to snatch a meal, or to sleep. How
can there be real family life? What joy can there be or what ideals
created in daily discomfort and distress? Little wonder that such homes
are sleeping-places only, that there is no sense of family intercourse
and unity. Little wonder that restaurant life has succeeded family life.

Many hold that we are ready for a movement into community living, that
just as the social life of the separate house porches in the villages
has become communized into the amusement parks in the cities, so all the
activities of the family will move in the same direction. How long could
the family as a unit continue under these conditions?

The village life will persist for a long time; it may be that, when we
apply scientific methods to the transportation of human beings in the
same measure as we have to the moving of pig iron, we can develop large
belts of real village life all around our industrial centers. But more
and more the village tends to become like the city; in other words,
highly organized communal life is the dominant trend today. Just as
business tends to do on a large scale all that can be more economically
done in larger units, so does the home. We must look for the increasing
prevalence of the city type of life for men and women and for families.


It is worth while to note, in some brief detail, just what changes are
involved in the tendency toward communal living. At the beginning of the
industrial revolution which ushered in the factory period, each family
was a fairly complete unit in itself. The village was little more than a
nucleus of farmhouses, with a few differing types of units, such as
workers in wood, in wearing apparel, and in tools. The home furnished
nearly all its own food, spun and made its clothes, trained its own
children, and knew scarcely any community endeavor or any syndication of
effort except in the church.

The industrial revolution took labor largely out of the home into the
factory. Except for farm life, the husband became an outside worker and
the older boys followed him to the distant shop or factory. Earning a
living ceased to be a family act and became a social act in a larger
sphere. But in this change it ceased to be a part of the family
educational process. Boys who, from childhood up, had gradually learned
their father's trade in the shop or workroom, which was part of the
house, where they played as children in the shavings, or watched the
glowing sparks in the smithy, now missed the process of a father's
discipline and guidance as their hands acquired facility for their
tasks. The home lost the male adults for from nine to twelve hours of
each day, more than two-thirds of the waking period, and thus it lost a
large share of disciplinary guidance. In the rise of the factory system,
to a large extent the family lost the father.

When the workshop left the home its most efficient school was taken from
it. The lessons may have been limited, crude, and deadly practical, but
the method approximated to the ideals which modern pedagogy seeks to
realize. Among the shavings children learned by doing; schooling was
perfectly natural; it involved all the powers; it had the incalculable
value of informality and reality. The father gone and the mother still
fully occupied with her tasks, the children lost that practical training
for life which home industry had afforded. On the one hand, the young
became the victims of idleness and, on the other, the prey of the
voracious factory system.

This condition gave rise to the public-school system. It appealed to
Robert Raikes and others. The school appeared and took over the child.
Of course schools had existed, here and there, long before this, but now
they had an enlarged responsibility; they must act almost in the place
of the parents for the formal training of children. Having lost the
father and older males for the greater portion of the day, the home now
loses the children of from seven to the "'teen" years for five or six
hours of the day. The mother is left at home with the babies. The
family, once living under one roof, now is found scattered; it has
reached out into factory and school. Its hours of unified life have been
markedly reduced.

But the factory system soon had a reflex influence on the home. That
which was made in the factory came back into the home, not only in the
form of the articles formerly made by the men, but in those made by the
women. Clothes, candles, butter, cheese, preserves, and meat--all
formerly home products for the use of the family producing them--now
were prepared in larger quantities, by mechanical processes, and were
brought back into the home. Woman's labor was lightened; the older girls
were liberated from the loom and they began to seek occupation,
education, and diversion according to their opportunities in life.

That last step made it possible for people to think of the communization
of home industry, to think of eating food cooked in other ovens than
their own, to think of one oven large enough for a whole village. Many
interesting experiments in co-operative living immediately sprang up.
But the next step came slowly and, even now, is only firmly established
in the cities, in the actual abandonment of the family kitchen for the
community kitchen in the form of the restaurant. In such families we
have unity only in the hours of sleep and recreation.

Along with abandonment of the separate kitchen there has proceeded
the abandonment of the parlor in the homes of the middle classes.
To lose the old, mournful front room may be no subject for tears,
but the loss of the evening family group, about the fireside or
the reading-lamp, is a real and sad loss. The commercialized amusements
have offered greater attractions to vigorous youth. The theater and
its lesser satellites, amusements, entertainments, lectures, the
lyceum, and recreation-by-proxy in ball games and matches have taken
the place of united family recreation. Of course this has been a
natural development of the older village play-life and has been by
no means an unmixed ill.

Now, behold, what has become of the old-time home life! The family that
spent nearly twenty-four hours together now spends a scarce seven or
eight, and these are occupied in sleeping! Little wonder that the next
step is taken--the abandonment of this remainder, the sleep period,
under a domestic roof, as the family moves into a hotel!

Along with the tendency toward communal working and eating we see the
tendency to communal living by the development of the apartment
building. Since roof-trees are so expensive, and since in a practical
age, few of us can afford to pay for sentiment, why not put a dozen
families under one roof-tree? True we sacrifice lawns, gardens, natural
places for children to play; we lose birds and flowers and the charm of
evening hours on porches, or galleries, but think of what we gain in
bricks and mortar, in labor saved from splitting wood and shoveling
coal, in janitor service! The transition is now complete; the home is
simply that item in the economic machinery which will best furnish us
storage for our sleeping bodies and our clothes!

We are undoubtedly in a period of great changes in family life, and no
family can count on escaping the influence of the change. The one single
outstanding and most potent change, so far as the character of family
life is concerned, is, in the United States, the rapid polarization of
population in the cities. The United States Census Bureau counts all
residents in cities of over 8,000 population as "urban." In 1800 the
"urban" population was 4 per cent of the total population; in 1850 it
was 12.5 per cent; in 1870, 20.9 per cent; in 1890, 29.2 per cent; in
1900, 33.1 per cent; in 1910 it was estimated at 40 per cent.[2] Here
is a trend so clearly marked that we cannot deny its reality, while its
significance is familiar to everyone today.

However, the village type remains; there are still many homes where a
measure of family unity persists, where at least in one meal daily and,
for purposes of sleeping and, occasionally, for the evening hours of
recreation, there is a consciousness of home life. Yet the most remote
village feels the pressure of change. The few homes conforming to the
older ideals are recognized as exceptional. The city draws the village
and rural family to itself, and the contagion of its customs and ideals
spreads through the villages and affects the forms of living there.
Youths become city dwellers and do not cease to scoff at the village
unless later years give them wisdom to appreciate its higher values. The
standard of domestic organization is established by the city; that type
of living is the ideal toward which nearly all are striving.

The important question for all persons is whether the changes now taking
place in family life are good or ill. It is impossible to say whether
the whole trend is for the better; the many elements are too diverse and
often apparently conflicting. Faith in the orderly development of
society gives ground for belief that these changes ultimately work for a
higher type of family life. The city may be regarded as only a
transition stage in social evolution--the compacting of masses of
persons together that out of the new fusing and welding may arise new
methods of social living. The larger numbers point to more highly
developed forms of social organization. When these larger units discover
their greater purposes, above factory and mill and store, and realize
them in personal values, the city life will be a more highly developed
mechanism for the higher life of man. The home life will develop along
with that city life.


At present the home is suffering, just as the city is suffering, from a
lack of that purposeful organization which will order the parts aright
and subject the processes to the most important and ultimate purposes.
The city is simply an aggregation of persons, scarcely having any
conscious organization, thrown together for purposes of industry. It
will before very long organize itself for purposes of personal welfare
and education. The family is usually a group bound in ties of struggle
for shelter, food, and pleasure. Such consciousness as it possesses is
that of being helplessly at the mercy of conflicting economic forces.
The adjustment of those forces, their subjection to man's higher
interests, must come in the future and will help the family to freedom
to discover its true purpose.

It is easy to insist on the responsibility of parents for the
character-training of their children, but it is difficult to see how
that responsibility can be properly discharged under industrial
conditions that take both father and mother out of the home the whole
day and leave them too weary to stay awake in the evening, too poor to
furnish decent conditions of living, and too apathetic under the dull
monotony of labor to care for life's finer interests. The welfare of the
family is tied up with the welfare of the race; if progress can be
secured in one part progress in the whole ensues.

There are those who raise the question whether family life is a
permanent form of social organization for which we may wisely contend,
or is but a phase from which the race is now emerging. Some see signs
that the ties of marriage will be but temporary, that children will be
born, not into families but into the life of the state, bearing only
their mothers' names and knowing no brothers and sisters save in the
brotherhood of the state. Whether the permanent elements in family life
furnish a sufficiently worthy basis for its preservation is a subject
for careful consideration.


The family is more important than the home, just as the man is more than
his clothing. The form of the home changes; the life of the family
continues unchanged in its essential characteristics. The family causes
the home to be. Professor Arthur J. Todd insists that the family is the
basis of marriage, rather than marriage the cause of the family.[3]
Small groups for protection and social living would precede formal
arrangements of monogamy. Westermarck concludes that it was "for the
benefit of the young that male and female continued to live
together."[4] The importance of this consideration for us lies in the
thought of the overshadowing importance of this social group which we
now call the family. The family is the primary cell of society, the
first unit in social organization. Our thought must balance itself
between the importance of this social group, to be preserved in its
integrity, and the value of the home, with its varied forms of activity
and ministry, as a means of preserving and developing this group, the

One hears today many pessimistic utterances regarding the modern home.
Some even tell us that it is doomed to become extinct. Without doubt
great economic changes in society are producing profound changes in the
organization and character of the home. But the home has always been
subject to such changes; the factor which we need to watch with greater
care is the family; the former is but the shell of the latter.

The character of each home will depend largely on the economic condition
of those who dwell in it. The homes of every age will reflect the social
conditions of that age. The picture in historical romances of the home
of the mediaeval period, where the factory, or shop, joined the
dining-room, where the apprentices ate and roomed in the home, where one
might be compelled to furnish and provision his home literally as his
castle for defense, presents a marked difference to the home of this
century tending to syndicate all its labors with all the other homes of
the community. Since the home is simply the organization and mechanism
of the family life, it is most susceptible to material and social
changes. It varies as do the fashions of men.

Much that we assume to be detrimental to the life of the home is simply
due to the fact that in the evolution of society the family, as it were,
puts on a new suit of clothes, adopts new forms of organization to meet
the changing external conditions.


The home is of importance only as a tool, a means to the final ends of
the family life; the test of its efficiency is not whether it maintains
traditional forms but whether it best serves the highest aims of family
life. We may abandon all the older customs; our regret for them, as we
look back on the days of home cooking, cannot be any greater than the
regrets of our parents or grandparents looking back on the
spinning-wheel and the hand loom that cumbered the kitchen of their
childhood. Surely no one contends that family life has deteriorated,
that human character is one whit the poorer, because we have discarded
the family spinning-wheel. Through the changes of a developing
civilization, as man has moved from the time when each one built his own
house, worked with his own tools to make all his supplies, to these days
of specialized service in community living, the home has changed with
each step of industrial progress, but the family has remained
practically unchanged.

The family stands a practically unchanging factor of personal qualities
at the center of our civilization; the family rather than the home
determines the character of the coming days. In its social relationships
are rooted the things that are best in all our lives. In its social
training lie the solutions of more problems in social adjustment and
development than we are willing to admit. The family is the soil of
society, central to all its problems and possibilities.

Before church or school the family stands potent for character. We are
what we are, not by the ideals held before us for thirty minutes a week
or once a month in a church, nor by the instructions given in the
classroom; we are what parents, kin, and all the circumstances that have
touched us daily and hourly for years have determined we should be.

The sweetest memories of our lives cluster about the scenes of family
life. The rose-embowered cottage of the poet is not the only spot that
claims affectionate gratitude; many look back to a city house wedged
into its monotonous row. But, wherever it might be, if it sheltered love
and held a shrine where the altar fires of family sacrifice burned,
earth has no fairer or more sacred spot. The people rather than the
place made it potent.

Stronger even than the memories that remain are the marks of habits,
tendencies, tastes, and dispositions there acquired. Many a man who has
left no fortune worth recording to his sons has left them something
better, the aptitude for things good and honorable, the memory of a good
name, and the heritage of a life that was worthy of honor. The personal
life has been always the enduring thing. Our concern for the future
should be not whether we can pass on intact the forms of home
organization, but whether we can give to the next day the force of ideal
family life. Perhaps like Mary we would do well to turn our eyes from
the much serving, the mechanisms of the home, to set our minds on the
better part, the personal values in the association of lives in the

     I. References for Study

     W.F. Lofthouse, _Ethics and the Family_, chaps. ii, xi, xii. Hodder
     & Stoughton, $2.50.

     Charles R. Henderson, _Social Duties from the Christian Point of
     View_, chaps. ii, iii. The University of Chicago Press, $1.25.

     C.W. Votaw, _Progress of Moral and Religious Education in the
     American Home_. Religious Education Association, $0.25.

     II. Further Reading

     Jacob A. Riis, _Peril and Preservation of the Home_. Jacobs,
     Philadelphia, Pa., $1.00.

     Charles R. Henderson, _Social Elements_. Scribner, $1.50.

     Charles F. Thwing, _The Recovery of the Home_. American Baptist
     Publication Society, $0.15.

     III. Topics for Discussion

     1. The tendency toward community life illustrated in the schools,
     amusement parks, and hotel life. Remembering the ultimate purpose
     of the family, how far is communal life desirable?

     2. Does the apartment or tenement building furnish a suitable
     condition for the higher purposes of the family?

     3. Is it possible to restore to the home some of the benefits lost
     by present factory consolidation of industry?

     4. What can take the place of the old household arts and of those
     which are now passing?

     5. What steps should be taken to secure to the family a larger
     measure of the time in terms of occupation of the parents?

     6. What are the important things to contend for in this
     institution? Why should we expect change in the form of the home
     and what are the features which should not be changed?


[2] Figures taken from C.W. Votaw, _Progress of Moral and Religious
Education in the American Home_, 1911.

[3] A.J. Todd, _Primitive Family and Education_, p. 21. A most valuable
and suggestive book.

[4] Cited by Todd, p. 21.




The chief end of society is to improve the race, to develop the higher
and steadily improving type of human beings. We can test the life of the
family and determine the values of its elements by asking whether and in
what degree they minister to this end, the growth of better persons.
This is more than a theoretical aim or one conceived in a search for
ideals. It is written plain in our passions and strongest inclinations.
That which parents supremely desire for their children is that they may
become strong in body, capable and alert in mind, and animated by worthy
principles and ideals. The parent desires a good man, fit to take his
place, do his work, make his contribution to the social well-being, able
to live to the fulness of his powers, to take life in all its reaches of
meaning and heights of vision and beauty. In true parenthood all hopes
of success, of riches, fame, and ease, are seen but as avenues to this
end, as means of making the finer character, of growing the ideal
person. If we were compelled to choose for our children we should elect
poverty, pain, disgrace, toil, and suffering if we knew this was the
only highway to full manhood and womanhood, to completeness of
character. Indeed, we do constantly so choose, knowing that they must
endure hardness, bear the yoke in their youth, and learn that

    Love and joy are torches lit
    At altar fires of sacrifice.

With this dominating purpose clearly in mind we are prepared to ask,
What are the elements of family life which among the changes of today we
need most carefully to preserve in order to maintain efficiency in
character development? In days when the outer shell of domestic
arrangements changes, when readjustments are being made in the
organization of the family, what is there too precious to lose, so
worthy and essential that we waste no time when seeking to maintain it?


The first great element to be preserved in all family life is that of
the power of the small group for purposes of character development. The
infant's earliest world is the mother's arms. In order to grow into a
man fitted for the wider world of social living, he must learn to live
in a world within his comprehension. A child's life moves through the
widening circles of mother-care, family group, neighborhood, school,
city, state, and nation into world-living. He must take the first steps
before he is able to take the next ones. He must learn to live with the
few as preparation for living with the many. In earliest infancy he
takes his first unconscious lessons in the fine art of living with other
folks as he relates himself to parents and to brothers and sisters.

Secondly, the family life affords the best agency for social training.
The family is the ideal democracy into which the child-life is born.
Here habits are formed, ideals are pictured, and life itself is
interpreted. It is an ideal democracy, first, because it is a social
organization existing for the sake of persons. The family comes nearer
to fulfilling the true ideal of a democratic social order than does any
other institution. It is founded to bring lives into this world; it is
maintained for the sake of those lives; all its life, its methods, and
standards are determined, ideally, by the needs of persons. It is an
ideal democracy, secondly, because its guiding principle is that the
greater lives must be devoted to the good of the lesser, the parent for
the little child, the older members for the younger, in an attempt to
extend to the very least the greatest good enjoyed by all. Thirdly,
ideally it is a true democracy in that it gives to each member a share
in its own affairs and develops the power to bear responsibilities and
to carry each his own load in life. Thus the family group is the best
possible training for the life and work of the larger group, the state,
and for world-living.[5] The maintenance of the ideals of the state, as
a democracy, depends on the continuance of this institution with its
peculiar power to train life in infancy and childhood for the life of
manhood in the state. Such training can be given only in the smaller
group that is governed by the motives peculiar to home and family life.
The power to impress these principles depends on the size of the group.
The small social organization, the family circle of from three members
to even a dozen, bound by ties of affection, is the one great, efficient
school, training youth to live in social terms.

Thirdly, the family sets spiritual values first. Our age especially
needs men and women who think in terms of spiritual values, who rise
above the measures of pounds and dollars and weigh life by personal
qualities and worth. That is precisely what the home does. It prizes
most highly the helpless, economically worthless infant; it measures
every member by his personal character, his affectional worth. Its
riches do not depend on that which money can buy, but on the personal
qualities of love, goodness, kindness; on memories, associations,
affection. The true home gives to every child-life the power to choose
the things of the world on the basis of their worth in personality. Only
the mistaken judgments of later years, the short-minded wisdom of the
world, make youth gradually lose the habit of preferring the home's
spiritual benefits to the material rewards of the world of business. No
life can be furnished for the strain of our modern materialism that
lacks the basis of idealism furnished in the true family.


Fourthly, the power of family living to develop love as loyalty is to be
noted. In this small group is laid the foundation of the moral life.
"The family is the primer in the moral education of the race."[6] Here
the new-born life begins to relate itself to other lives. Here it begins
life in an atmosphere saturated by love, the central principle of all
virtue, eventually loyalty to ideals in persons and devotion to them,
"the greatest of these," because it is the parent of all virtue. The
moral life, that life which is adjusted, capable, and adequately motived
for helpful, efficient, enriching living with all other lives, is not a
matter of rules, regulations, and restrictions. Neither is it a matter
of separate habits as to this or the other kind of behavior, though this
comes nearer to it than do rules and prescriptions. The character-life
which parents desire for their children is not that which will do the
right thing when it has discovered that right thing in some book of
rules, nor that life which will do the right thing because society
points that way, nor even that life which automatically does the right
thing, but it is the life which, constantly moved by some high inner
compulsion, some imperative of vision and ideal, moves to the highest
possible plane of action in every situation. This is the life of
loyalty. It begins with loyalty to persons, with that devotion which
begins with affection. In no other place is this so well developed as in
the relations of the family. This is the child's first and most
potential school. Here the lessons are wholly unconscious; here they are
strengthened by the pleasurable emotions. It is a joy to be loyal to
those we love. Indeed, who can tell which comes first, the joy, the
loyalty, or the love?

The power of this small social group of the family to develop the
fundamental principle of loyalty, the root of all virtues, gives a
position of great importance to the affections in the family. We do well
to contend for the maintenance of conditions of family living which will
strengthen the ties of affection. If children could be thrust into the
care of the state, in large groups, separated from parental care and
oversight, it is difficult to see what emotional stimulus toward
affection would remain. The personal devotion to intimate adults would
in only the smallest degree compensate for the loss of father and
mother. We know nothing of such devotion arising to any large degree in
orphan asylums, still less in institutions under the cold and impersonal
care of the state. It has been urged that the affections of parents
stand in the way of a scientific regimen and education for small
children. The cold, passionless, automatic parent, then, would be the
ideal--a Mr. Dombey or a Mr. Feverel. Parents make many mistakes, but
these mistakes are not due to too much affection, but to untrained minds
and uneducated affections. It were better to save the values of their
affections and on them to build a wise discipline for childhood by
providing adequate training of parents for their duties.

Fifthly, there are some elements of the cost of family life, even its
apparently unnecessary sacrifice and pain, that we do well to seek to
keep. Character grows in paying the high price of maintaining a family.
It is the most expensive form of living for adults. Marriages are now
delayed because of the fear of the actual monetary cost; but far more
serious is the cost in care, in nerves, in patience, in all the great
elements of self-denial. No child ever knows what he has cost until he
has children of his own. But this discipline of self-denial is that
which saves us from selfishness. It is necessary to have some personal
objects for which to give our lives if they are to be saved from
centrifugation, from death through ingrowing affection. True, many
bachelors and spinsters have learned the way of self-denying,
fellow-serving love. But how can a true parent escape that lesson? Nor
does it stop with parents; as children grow up together they, too, must
learn mutual forbearance, conciliation, and, soon, the joy of service.
One sees selfishness in the little child gradually fading in the
practice of family service, helpfulness, consideration for others. The
single child in a family misses something more important than playmates;
he misses all the education of play and service. But who cannot remember
many families that have grown to beauty of character under the
discipline of home life, and especially when this has involved real
sacrifices? The stories in the Pepper books illustrate the spirit that
blossoms under the trials and hardships of the struggle of a family for
a livelihood and for the maintenance of a home.

A clear function becomes evident for this social group called the
family. It is that of dealing with young lives, in groups bound by ties
of blood and similarity, for purposes of the development of personal
character. The family has an essentially educational function. Bearing
in mind that "educational" means the orderly development of the powers
of the life, we can think of our families as existing for this purpose
and to be tested by their ability to do this work, especially by their
ability to develop persons, young lives, that have the power, the
vision, the acquired habits and experience to live as more than animals.
The family is an educational institution dealing with child-life for its
full growth and its self-realization, especially on character levels.
The educational function suggests the features of family life which we
do well to seek to preserve. Many incidental forms may pass, but the
essential human relations and experiences that go to develop life and
character must be maintained at any cost.

     I. References for Study

     C.F. and C.B. Thwing, _The Family_, chap. vii. Lothrop, Lee &
     Shepard, $1.60.

     W.F. Lofthouse, _Ethics and the Family_, chaps. iv, v. Hodder &
     Stoughton, $2.50.

     II. Further Reading

     "The Improvement of Religious Education," _Proceedings of the
     Religious Education Association_, I, 119-23. $0.50.

     _Religious Education_, April, 1911, VI, 1-48.

     S.P. Breckinridge and E. Abbott, _The Delinquent Child and the
     Home_. Russell Sage Foundation, $2.00.

     III. Topics for Discussion

     1. What is the chief end of all forms of social organization?

     2. What is in the last analysis the aim of every parent?

     3. What advantage has the family over the school and larger groups
     for educational purposes?

     4. In what sense is the family an ideal democracy?

     5. Show how the family sets spiritual values first.

     6. What in your judgment are the first evidences of character
     development? In what way do these come to the surface in the
     family? What is the factor of love in the development of character?

     7. Is that an ideal family in which none of the members bear pain
     or are called upon for self-denial? Can you see any especial
     advantage to character in the very difficulties and apparent
     disadvantages in the life of the family?


[5] See "Democracy in the Home," _American Journal of Sociology_,
January, 1912.

[6] Francis G. Peabody, _The Approach to the Social Question_, p. 94.




The family is the most important religious institution in the life of
today. It ranks in influence before the church. It has always held this
place. Even among primitive peoples, where family life was an uncertain
quantity, the relations of parents, or of one of the parents, to the
children afforded the opportunity most frequently used for their
instruction in tribal religious ideals and customs. We cannot generalize
as to the practices of savage man in regard to family life, for those
practices range from common promiscuous relationships, without apparent
care for offspring, to a family unity and purity approaching the best we
know; but this much is certain, that there was a common sense of
responsibility for the training of young children in moral and religious
ideas and customs, and that, in the degree that the family approached to
separateness and unity, it accepted the primary responsibility for this
task. The higher the type of family life the more fully does it
discharge its function in the education of the child.[7]

It might be safe to say that among primitive peoples there were three
stages, or types, of relationship based on the breeding of children, or
three stages of development toward family life. The first is a loose and
indefinite relationship existing principally between the adults, or the
males and females, under which children born when not desired are
neglected or strangled and, when acceptable, may be in the care of
either parent, or of neither. Since the group, associated through
infancy with at least one parent, is as yet undeveloped, any instruction
will be individual and usually incidental.

The second form is that of a kind of family unity, either about the
mother or the father, or both, or about a group of parents, in which the
children live together and are sheltered and nurtured for their earlier
years. Here, however, the real relationship of the child is to the
tribe, the family is but his temporary guardian, and, at least by the
age of puberty, he will be initiated into the tribal secrets. If he is a
boy, he will cease to be a member of the family group and will go to
live in the "men's house," becoming a part of the larger life of the
tribe.[8] Such moral and religious instruction as he may acquire will
come from the songs, traditions, and conversation which he hears as a

The third type approaches the modern ideal, with a greater or less
degree of permanent unity between the two parents and with permanence in
the group of the offspring. The parental responsibility continues for a
greater length of time and, since the tribe makes smaller claims, and
the parents live in the common domestic group, much more instruction is
possible and is given. The tribal ideals, the traditions, observances,
and religious rites are imparted to children gradually in their homes.

The last type brings us to the Hebrew conception of family life. It
developed toward the Christian ideal. At first, polygamy was permitted;
woman was the chattel of man and excluded from any part in the religious
rites. But it included the ideal of monogamy in its tradition of the
origin of the world, it denounced and punished adultery (Deut. 22: 22),
and it gave especial attention to the training of the offspring. "And
these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart; and
thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of
them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way,
and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up ... and thou shalt
write them upon the door-posts of thy house and upon thy gates" (Deut.
6: 6, 7, 9).

Much later, the messianic hope, the belief that in some Jewish family
there should be born one divinely commissioned and endowed to liberate
Israel and to give the Jews world-sovereignty, operated to elevate the
conception of motherhood and, through that, of the family. It made
marriage desirable and children a blessing; it rendered motherhood
sacred. It tended to center national hopes and religious ideals about
the family.[9]

There are a few glimpses of ideal family life in the Old Testament. They
are all summed up in the eloquent tribute to motherhood in the words of
King Lemuel in the last chapter of the Book of Proverbs. It must be
remembered, however, that such ideals did not belong to the Jews alone,
that Plutarch shows many pictures of maternal fidelity and wifely
devotion, that Greek and Roman history have their Cornelia, Iphigenia,
and Mallonia.[10]

The Jews are an excellent example of the power of the family life to
maintain distinct characteristics and to secure marked development.
Practically throughout all the Christian era they have been a people
without a land, a constitution, or a government, and yet never without
race consciousness, national unity, and separateness. Their unity has
continued in spite of dispersion, persecution, and losses; they have
remained a race in the face of political storms that have swept other
peoples away. Their unity has continued about two great centers, the
customs of religion and the life of the family.

     The results of Jewish respect for family life can also be seen in
     the health of their own children. In 1910, for instance, among poor
     Jews in Manchester the mortality of infants under one year of age
     was found to be 118 per thousand; among poor Gentiles, 300 per
     thousand; and comparisons made some six years ago between Jewish
     and Gentile children in schools in the poorer parts of Manchester
     and Leeds (England) have shown that the Jewish children are
     uniformly taller, they weigh more, and their bones and teeth are


The Christian family is a type peculiar to itself, not as a new
institution, for it has developed out of earlier race experience, but as
controlled by a new interpretation, the spirit and conception of the
home and family given in the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth. He did not
give formal rules for the regulation of homes; rather he made a
spiritual ideal of family life the basic thought of all his teaching. He
said more about the family than concerning any other human institution,
yet he established no family life of his own. He is called the founder
of the church, yet he scarcely mentions that institution, while he
frequently teaches concerning home duties and family relations. He
glorifies the relations of the family by making them the figure by which
men may understand the highest relations of life. He speaks more of
fatherhood and sonship than of any other relations. He gives direction
for living, using the family terms of brotherhood. He points forward to
ideal living in a home beyond this life. He teaches men when they think
of God and when they address him to take the family attitude and call
him Father.

If we sum up all the teachings of Jesus and separate them from our
preconceptions of their theological content, we cannot but be impressed
with the facts that he seized upon the family life as the best
expression of the highest relationships; that he pointed to a purified
family life, in which spiritual aims would dominate, as the best
expression of ideal relationships among his followers; and that he
glorified marriage and really made the family the great, divine,
sacramental institution of human society.

We can hardly overestimate the importance of such teaching to the
character of the family. The early Christians not only accepted Jesus as
their teacher and savior; they took their family life as the opportunity
to show what the Kingdom of God, the ideal society, was like. Family
life was consecrated. Men and women belonged to the new order with
their whole households. Religion became largely a family matter. The
worship that had been confined to the temple now made an altar in every
home and a holy of holies in the midst of every family. The scriptures
that belonged to the synagogue now belonged in the home. Above all, this
family existed for the purposes taught by Jesus, that men might grow in
brotherhood toward the likeness of the divine Fatherhood. It was an
institution, not for economic purpose of food and shelter, not for
personal ends of passion or pride, but for spiritual purpose, for the
growth of persons, especially the young in the home, in character, into
"the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."

Christianity is essentially a religion of ideal family life. It
conceives of human society, not in terms of a monarchy with a king and
subjects, but in terms of a family with a great all-Father and his
children, who live in brotherhood, who take life as their opportunity
for those family joys of service and sacrifice. It hopes to solve the
world's ills, not by external regulations, but by bringing all men into
a new family life, a birth into this new family life with God, so
securing a new personal environment, a new personality as the center and
root of all social betterment. He who would come into this new social
order must come into the divine family, must humble himself and become
as a little child, must know his Father and love his brothers.

Christianity, then, not only seeks an ideal family; it makes the family
the ideal social institution and order. It makes family life holy,
sacramental, religious in its very nature. This fact gives added
importance to the preservation and development of the ideals of family
life for the sake of their religious significance and influence. It not
only makes religion a part of the life of the home but makes a religious
purpose the very reason for the existence of the Christian type of home.
It makes our homes essentially religious institutions, to be judged by
religious products.

     I. References for Study

     G.A. Coe, _Education in Religion and Morals_, chap. xvi. Revell,

     Article on "The Family," in Hastings, _Encyclopaedia of Religion
     and Ethics_.

     II. Further Reading

     On the educational function of the family: A.J. Todd, _The
     Primitive Family as an Educational Agency_. Putnam, $2.00.

     On the religious place of the family: C.F. and C.B. Thwing, _The
     Family_. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, $1.60.

     I.J. Peritz, "Biblical Ideal of the Home," _Religious Education_,
     VI, 322.

     H. Hanson, _The Function of the Family_. American Baptist
     Publication Society, $0.15.

     W. Becker, _Christian Education, or the Duties of Parents_. Herder,
     $1.00. A striking presentation of the Roman Catholic view; could be
     read to advantage by all parents.

     III. Topics for Discussion

     1. What place did religion hold in the primitive family? What
     reference or allusion do we find in the Old Testament to the place
     of religion in the family (Deut. 6:7-9, 20-25)? What in the New

     2. What has been the effect of purity of family life on the Jewish

     3. What place did the family hold in the teachings of Jesus?

     4. What shall we think of the relations of the church and family as
     to their comparative rights and our duty to them?

     5. Do you agree that the family is the most important religious


[7] For a brief statement see Brinton, _Religions of Primitive Peoples_,
Lecture 4, § 7; also Todd, _The Family as an Educational Agency_.

[8] See Webster, _Primitive Secret Societies_, chaps. i, ii.

[9] On the place of the family in different religious systems see the
fine article under "Family" in Hastings, _Encyclopaedia of Religion and

[10] See Lecky, _History of European Morals_, chap. ii.

[11] Quoted by Lofthouse in _Ethics and the Family_, p. 8, from W. Hall,
in _Progress_ (London), April, 1907.




With the brief statement of the history of the family and of its
function in society which has already been given we are prepared to put
together the two conclusions: first, that the family has an educational
function, in that it exists as a social institution for the protection,
nurture, development, and training of young lives, and, secondly, that
it is a religious institution, the most influential and important of all
religious institutions, whenever it realizes in any adequate degree its
possibilities, because it is rooted in love and loyalty. It exists for
personal and spiritual ideals and, in Christianity, it is inseparably
connected with the teachings and the ideals of Jesus. It is educational
in function and religious in character, so that it is essentially an
institution for religious education. Religious education is not an
occasional incident in its life; it is the very aim and dominating
purpose of a high-minded family.


To make this the more clear we may need to clarify our minds as to
certain popular conceptions of education. Education means much more
than instruction; religious education means much more than instruction
in religion. Many habitually think of an educational institution as
necessarily a place where pupils sit at desks and teachers preside over
classes, the teachers imparting information which is to be memorized by
the pupils, so that, from this point of view, a Sunday school would be
almost the only institution for the religious education of children in
existence, because it is the only one exclusively devoted to imparting
instruction to children in specifically religious subjects. Such a view
would limit religious education in the home to the formal teaching of
the Bible and religious dogma by parents. The memorizing of scriptural
passages and of the different catechisms once constituted a regular duty
in almost all well-ordered homes. Today it is rarely attempted. Does
that mean that religious education has ceased in the home?

But education means much more than instruction. Education is the whole
process, of which instruction is only a part. Education is the orderly
development of lives, according to scientific principles, into the
fulness of their powers, the realization of all their possibilities, the
joy of their world, the utmost rendering in efficiency of their service.
It includes the training of powers of thought, feeling, willing, and
doing; it includes the development of abilities to discern,
discriminate, choose, determine, feel, and do. It prepares the life for
living with other lives; it prepares the whole of the life, developing
the higher nature, the life of the spirit, for living in a spiritual

Religious education, then, means much more than instruction in the
literature, history, and philosophy of religion. It means the kind of
directed development which regards the one who is developing as a
religious person, which seeks to develop that one to fulness of
religious powers and personality, and which uses, as means to that end,
material of religious inspiration and significance and, indeed, regards
all material in that light. Religious education seeks to direct a
religious process of growth with a religious purpose for religious
persons. Religious education is the spirit which characterizes the work
of every educator who looks on the child as a spiritual nature, a
religious person; it is the work of every educator who sees his aim as
that of training this spiritual person to fulness of living in a society
essentially spiritual.

In simplest possible terms, religious education means the training of
persons to live the religious life and to do their work in the world as
religious persons. It must mean, then, the development of character; it
includes the aim, in the parents' minds, to bring their children up to
the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. It is evident that
this is a much greater task, and yet more natural and beautiful, than
mere instruction in formal ideas or words in the Bible or in a
catechism; that it is not and cannot be accomplished in some single
period, some set hour, but is continuous, through all the days; that it
pervades not only the spoken words, but the actions, organization, and
the very atmosphere of the home.


Normal persons never stop growing. Just as children grow all the time in
their bodies, so do adults and all others grow all the time in mind and
will and powers of the higher life whenever they live normally. We grow
spiritually, not only in church and under the stimulus of song and
prayer, but we grow when the beauty of the woods appeals to us, when the
face lightens at the face of a friend, when we meet and master a
temptation, when we brace up under a load, when we do faithfully the
dreary, daily task, when we adjust our thoughts in sympathy to others,
when we move in the crowd, when we think by ourselves. The educational
process is continuous. The children in the home are being moved,
stimulated, every instant, and they are being changed in minute but
nevertheless real and important degrees by each impression. There is
never a moment in which their character is not being developed either
for good or for ill. Religious education--that is, the development of
their lives as religious persons--goes on all the time in the home, and
it is either for good or for ill.

Next to the idea of the continuous and all-pervasive character of this
process of religious development the most important thought for us is
that religious education in the home may be determined by ourselves.
This continuous, fateful process is not a blind, resistless one. It is
our duty to direct it. It is possible for wise parents to determine the
characters of their children. We must not forget this. It cannot be too
strongly insisted on. The development of life is under law. This is an
orderly world. Things do not just happen in it. We believe in a law that
determines the type of a cabbage, the character of a weed. Do we believe
that this universe is so ordered that there is a law for weeds and none
for the higher life of man? Do we hold that cabbages grow by law but
character comes by chance? If there is a law we may find it and must
obey it. If we may know how to develop character, with as great
certainty as we know how to do our daily work, will not this be our
highest task, our greatest joy, the supreme thing to do in life?


This is the first great obligation of parents and of those who are
willing to accept the joys and responsibilities of parenthood. We have
no right to bring into this world lives with all the possibilities that
a religious nature involves unless we know how to develop those lives
for the best and from the worst. When we picture what a little child may
become, from the vile, depraved, despoiling beast or the despicable,
sneaking hypocrite on one extreme, to the upright, God-loving,
man-serving man or woman with the love of purity, honor, truth, and
goodness speaking through the life, we may well pause, realizing we need
more than a sentimental desire that the child may reach the heights of
goodness: we must know the way there and the methods of leading the life
in that way. True devotion to God and to childhood will mean more than
petitions for the salvation of children; it will mean the prayer that is
labor and the labor that is prayer to know how they may attain fulness
of spiritual life; it will mean reverent searching into the divine ways
of growth in grace. The study of the means and methods of religious
education, especially of children, in the home and family, is one of the
most evident and important religious duties resting on parents and all
who contemplate marriage and family life.


In discussing the development of character in children one hears often
the question, "Which is the earliest virtue to appear in a child?"
People will debate whether it is truthfulness, reverence, kindness, or
some other virtue. All this implies a picture of the child as a tree
that sends forth shoots of separate virtues one after another. But the
character desired is not a series of branches, it is rather like a
symmetrical tree; it is not certain parts, but it is the whole of a
personality. The development of religious character is not a matter of
consciously separable virtues, but is the determination of the trend and
quality of the whole life. Moral training is not a matter of cultivating
honesty today, purity tomorrow, and kindness the day after. Virtues have
no separate value. Character cannot be disintegrated into a list of
independent qualities. We seek a life that, as a whole life, loves and
follows truth, goodness, and service.


But it is wise to inquire as to those manifestations of a pure and
spiritual life which will earliest appear. One does not need to look far
for the answer. Children are always affectionate; they manifest the
possibilities of love. True, this affection is rooted in physiological
experience, based on relations to the mother and on daily propinquity to
the rest of the family, but it is that which may be colored by devotion,
elevated by unselfish service, and may become the first great, ideal
loyalty of the child's life. Little boys will fight and girls will
quarrel more readily over the question of the merits of their respective
parents than over any other issue. Almost as soon as a child can talk he
boasts of the valor of his father, the beauty of his mother. Here is
loyalty at work. He stands for them; he resents the least doubt as to
their superiority, not because they give him food and shelter, but
because they are his, because to him they are worthy; in all things they
have the worth, the highest good; they are, in person, the virtue of
life. Therefore in fighting for the reputation of his parents he is
practicing loyalty to an ideal.

The principle of loyalty is the life-force of virtue; it is like the
power that sends the tree toward the heavens, the upthrust of life. It
may be cultivated in a thousand ways. Provided there is the outreach and
upreach of loyalty within and that there is furnished without the worthy
object, ideal, and aim, the life will grow upward and increase in
character, beauty, and strength.

Next to the affectionate idealization of parents and home-folk one of
the earliest manifestations of the spirit of loyalty in the child is
his desire to have a share in the activities of the home. He would not
only look like those he admires; he would do what they do. This is more
than mere imitation; it is loyalty at work again. The direction of this
tendency is one of the largest opportunities before parents and can make
the most important contribution to character.

The religious life of the child is essentially a matter of loyalty. His
faith, affections, aspirations, and endeavors turn toward persons,
institutions, and concepts which are to him ideal. He does not analyze,
he cannot describe, or even narrate, his religious experiences, but he
affectionately moves, with a sense of pleasure, toward those things
which seem to him ideal, toward parents, customs of the home or school,
the church, his class, his teacher, toward characters in story-books. He
is likely to think of Jesus in just that way, as the one person whom he
would most of all like to know and be with. The life of virtue and the
religious life then will be weak or strong in the measure that the child
has the stimulating ideals which call forth his loyalty and in the
measure that he has opportunity to express that loyalty. His religious
life will consist, not so much in external forms perhaps, still less in
intellectual statements about theology or even about his own
experiences, as in a growing realization of the great ideals, an
increasing sense of their meaning and reality within, and, on the
objective side, a steady moving of his life toward them in action and
habits and therefore in character and quality.


It is worth while to insist upon two important considerations. Parents
who stand as gardeners watching the growth of the tender plant of
child-character may be looking for developments that never ought to come
and will be disappointed because they were looking for the wrong thing.
First, in watching for the beginnings of the religious life of the child
in the family we are not expecting some new addition to the life, but
rather the development of this whole life as a unity in a definite
direction which we call religious. It is the first and most important
consideration that religious education is not something added to the
life as an extra subject of interest, but the development of the whole
life into religious character and usefulness. Secondly, this growth of
religious character is going on all the time. It is not separable into
pious periods; it is a part of the very life of the family. Perhaps this
increases the difficulty of our task, for it removes it from the realm
of the mechanical, from that which is easily apprehended and estimated.
It takes the task of the religious education of children out of the
statistical into the vital, and reminds us that we are growing life
every second, that there is never a moment when religious education is
not in operation. This demands a consideration, not alone of lessons, of
periods of worship and instruction, but of every influence, activity,
and agency in all the family life that in any way affects the thinking,
feeling, and action of the child. We are thinking of something more
important than organizing instruction and exercises in religion in the
home; we are thinking of organizing the family life for religious
purposes, for the purpose of growing lives into their spiritual fulness.

Perhaps the capital mistake in the religious education of the family is
that we overemphasize this or the other method and mechanism instead of
bending every effort to secure a real religious atmosphere and soil in
which young souls can really grow while we leave the process of growth
more largely to the great husbandman. And the second great mistake is
that we are looking for mechanical evidence of a religious life instead
of for the development of a whole person. We must reinterpret the family
to ourselves and see it as the one great opportunity life affords us to
grow other lives and to bring them to spiritual fulness by providing a
social atmosphere of the spirit and a constant, normal presentation of
social living in spiritual terms.


When parents conceive the family in these terms and so organize the life
of the home, the child becomes conscious of the fact, and at once the
life of the family furnishes him with his first, his nearest, and most
satisfactory appeal to loyalty. He feels that which he cannot analyze or
express, the spiritual beauty and loyalty of family life. That life
furnishes a soil and atmosphere for his soul. It is an atmosphere made
of many elements: the primary and dominating purpose of parents and
older persons, the habitual life of service and love, the consciousness
of the reality of the Divine Presence, the fragrance of chastened
character and experience, the customs of worship and affections. These
things are not easily created, they cannot be readily defined, nor can
directions be given in a facile manner for their cultivation. They are
the elements most difficult to describe, hardest of all to secure when
lacking, least easily labeled, not to be purchased ready-made, and yet
without them religious education is wholly impossible in the family.
Without this immediate appeal to loyalty the loyalties of the child
toward higher and divine aims do not develop early; they are retarded
and often remain dormant. For us all scarcely any more important
question can be presented than this: What appeals to spiritual idealism
and loyalty does our family life present to the child? What quickening
of love for goodness and purity, truth and service, is there in the home
and its conduct?

     I. References for Study

     G.A. Coe, _Education in Religion and Morals_, chaps. i, ii, xii,
     xiii. Revell, $1.35.

     George Hodges, _Training of Children in Religion_, chaps. i, ii.
     Appleton, $1.50.

     J.T. McFarland, _Preservation versus Resurrection_. Eaton & Mains,

     II. Further Reading

     C.W. Votaw, _Progress of Moral and Religious Education in the
     American Home_. Religious Education Association, $0.25.

     George Hodges, _Training of Children_, chaps. i, ii, xv. Appleton,

     G.A. Coe, _Education in Religion and Morals_, chaps. i, iv, xvi.
     Revell, $1.35.

     E.C. Wilm, _Culture of Religion_, chaps. i, ii. Pilgrim Press,

     C.W. Rischell, _The Child as God's Child_. Methodist Book Concern,

     E.E. Read Mumford, _The Dawn of Character_. Longmans, Green & Co.,
     $1.20. See especially chap. xii on "The Dawn of Religion."

     III. Topics for Discussion

     1. How would you define education?

     2. What is the difference between education and religious

     3. What makes the home especially effective in education?

     4. Is it true that it is possible to discover the laws of growth
     and so determine the development of character?

     5. Recall any very early manifestations of religious character in
     small children. What would you regard as the best kind of

     6. What is the essential principle of the right life? How may we
     develop this in childhood?

     7. What are the things which most of all impress children?

     8. Would you think it wise to bring a child under the influence of
     a religious revival?



How shall I begin to talk with my child about religion? Even the most
religious parents feel hesitancy here. It may not be at all due to the
unfamiliarity of the subject, though that is often the case; hesitation
is due principally to a conscious artificiality in the action. It seems
unnatural to say, "My child, I want to talk with you about your
religious life." And so it is. There is something wrong when that
appears to be the only way. That situation indicates a lack of freedom
of thought and intercourse with the child and a lack of naturalness in


The instinct is correct that tells us that we should be trespassing on a
child's rights, or breaking down his proper reticence, in abruptly and
formally questioning him about his religious life. The reserve of
children in this matter must be respected. The inner life of aspiration,
of conscious relationship to the divine, is too sacred for display, even
to those who are near to us. He violates the child's reverence who tears
away his reticence. Even though the child may not consciously object,
the process leads him toward the irreverent, facile self-exposure of
the soul that characterizes some prayer meetings. But we may, also, as
easily err in the other direction and, by failing to invite the
confidences of our children, lead them to suppose we have no interest in
their higher life.


First, we must be content to wait for the child to open his heart. We
must not force the door. But we can invite him to open, and the one form
of invitation that scarcely ever fails is for you to give him your
confidence. Talk honestly, simply to him of the aspects of your
religious life that he can understand. If he knows that you confide in
him, he will confide in you. Here beware of sentimentality. Religion to
the child will find expression in everyday experiences. Your philosophy
of religion he cannot comprehend, and with your mature emotions he has
no point of contact. Perhaps the best method of approach is to relate
your memories of those experiences which you _now see_ to have had
religious significance to you. At the time they may have had no such
special meaning. You did not then analyze them. Your child will not and
must not analyze them, either; he must simply feel them.

Secondly, rid your mind of the "times and seasons" notion. There is no
more reason why you should talk religion on Sunday than on Monday,
unless the day's interests have quickened the child's questioning. There
can be no set period; no times when you say, "This is the forty-five
minutes of spiritual instruction and conversation." The time available
may be very short, only a sentence may be possible, or it may be
lengthened; everything will depend on the interest. It must be natural,
a real part of the everyday thought and talk, lifted by its character
and subject to its own level. Its value depends on its natural reality.


Thirdly, avoid the mistake of confounding conversation on "religion"
with religious conversation, of thinking that the desired end has been
attained when you have discussed the terminology of theology. To
illustrate, in the family one hardly ever hears the word hygiene, but
well-trained children learn much about the care of their bodies in
health, and the family economy is directed consciously to that end. A
good, nourishing meal always contributes more to health than many
lectures on dietetics. Yet back, hidden away in the manager's mind, is
the science of dietetics. So is it with quickening the child's power and
thought in the spiritual life. We must avoid the abstract, the
intellectually analytical. Religion should present itself concretely,
practically, and as an atmosphere and ideal in the family. We parents
must not look for theological interest in the child. A Timothy Dwight at
ten or twelve, though once found in Sunday-school library books, is a
monstrosity. The child's aspiration, his religious devotion, his love
for God will find expression in almost every other way before it will be
formulated into questions of a serious theological character. Nor ought
we to force upon him the phrases of religion to which we are accustomed.
He will live in another day and must speak its tongue. His faith must
find itself in consciousness and then be permitted to clothe itself in
appropriate garments of words. Those garments must be woven out of the
realities of actual experiences in the child's life. We cannot prepare
or make them for him. The expression of religion will be consonant with
the stage of development. If his faith is to be real he must never be
allowed or tempted to imagine that if only he can use the words, the
verbal symbol, he has the fact, the life-experience. Try then to use
words which are simple and meaningful to him and be content to wait for
life to lead him to formulate vital verbal forms for himself.


Fourthly, we must have faith in God's laws of growth. If we be but
faithful, furnishing the soil, the seed, the nurture, we must wait for
the increase. Many factors which we cannot control will determine
whether it shall be early or late and what form it shall take. We must
wait. It is high folly that pulls up the sprouting grain to see whether
it is growing properly.

Fifthly, manifestations of the religious life will vary in children and
in families. The commonest error is to expect some one popular form
alone, to imagine that all children must pass through some standardized
experiences. Mrs. Brown's Willy may rise in prayer meeting. Do not be
downhearted. Willy is only doing that which he has seen his parents do,
and, usually, only because they do it. Your boy, or girl, is seeking
health of life, of thought, of action; is growing in character. Let them
grow, help them to grow. You know they love you even when they say
little about it; you do not expect them to climb to the housetop and
declare their affection. A flower does not sing about the sun, it grows
toward it. That is the test of the child's religion: Is he growing
Godward in life, action, character?


Sixthly, deal most carefully with the child's consciousness of God. The
truth is that the child in the average home has a consciousness of God.
It grows out of formal references in social rites and customs, informal
allusions in conversation, and direct statements and instruction. But
frequently the resultant mental picture is a misleading one, sometimes
even vicious in its moral effect. Where superstitious servants take more
interest in the child's religious ideas than do his parents, we have the
child whose life is darkened by the fear of an omnipotent ogre.
Nursemaids will slothfully scare small children into silence by threats
of the awful presence of a bogey god. The life of the spirit cannot be
trusted to the hireling. Parents must be sure of the character as well
as the superficial competency of those who come closest to childhood. A
child's ideas are formed before he goes to school. The family cannot
delegate the formation of dominant ideas to persons trained only for
nursery tasks.

But frequently the mother is a misleading teacher. To her the child goes
with all the big questions outside the immediate world of things. Is she
prepared to answer the questions? Few dilemmas of our life today are
more pathetic than this: the mother has outgrown the theology of her
childhood; she remembers keenly the suffering and superstition, the
struggle that followed the darkened pictures she received as a little
one, but she has nothing better to offer the child. No one has taught
her how to put the later, more spiritual concepts into language for the
child of our day. Weakly she falls back on the forms of words she once

There are certainly two approaches of reality for the child-mind to the
idea of God. Two immediate experiences are rich in meaning; they are the
life of the family and the wonder of the everyday world, the life and
variety of nature and human activities. The first is a very simple and
rich approach. By every possible means help children in the family to
think of God as the great and good Father of us all. Do this in the
phrasing of prayers and graces, in the answers to their questions, in
the casual word. Why should we assume that the Fatherhood of God is for
the adult alone? And why should it be that this rich concept dawns on us
like a new day of freedom in truth in later years instead of becoming
ours in childhood and so determining the habit and attitude of our
lives? The finest, the ideal person is, to the child, the father. God in
terms of fatherhood is the sum and source of all that is ideal in

The child's keen interest in the world of nature is our opportunity to
lead him to love the gracious source of all beauty and goodness. How
keen is the child's enjoyment of the beauty of the world! Can we forever
fix the general concept of all this beauty as the thought of God in the
words of flower and leaf, mountain and stream? And might we not also
connect the idea of God with the affairs of daily life? That depends on
the parent's attitude of mind; if we think of the universal life that is
behind all battles and business and affairs, there will be a difference
in our answers to the thousand curious inquiries that rise in the
child's mind.

Nor must we leave the child to think of God as a separate, far-off
person, on a throne somewhere in the skies. The child is finding his way
into a universe. The God who is a minute fraction of that universe makes
possible the religion that is no more than a negligible fraction of
life. The child asks concerning clouds, the sea, the trees, the birds,
and all the world about him; he tends to interpret it causally and
ideally. Childhood affords the great opportunity for giving the color,
the beauty and glory, the life of the divine to all this universe, to
instil the feeling that God is everywhere, in all and through all, and
that in him we live and move and have our being. The child's joy in this
world can thus be given a religious meaning. He sings

    My God, I thank thee thou hast made
    This earth so bright....,

and so beauty and joy become part of his religion. His faith becomes a
gladsome thing; he knows that the trees of the forest clap their hands,
the mountains and the hills sing, and the morning stars chant together
in the gladness of the divine life.

Such a view of the world comes not by prearranged and indoor interviews.
One must walk out into the good outdoor world for the opportunity and
the inspiration. The garden plot, the park, and, best of all, the open
fields and woods speak to a child and furnish us an open book from which
we may teach him to read. Recalling religious impressions, the writer
would testify to feeling nothing deeper, as a result of church
attendance in childhood, than the shapes of seats and the colors of
walls; but there remain deep impressions of wonder, beauty, and the
meaning of God from Sunday mornings spent with his father under the
great beeches in Epping Forest, listening to the reading and singing of
the old hymns, or joining in conversation on the woods and the flowers,
and even on the legends of Robin Hood in the forest.


Seventhly, natural conversation affords the best opportunity for direct
instruction. A child is a peripatetic interrogation. His questions cover
the universe; there are no doors which you desire to see opened that he
will not approach at some time. There is great advantage when the
religious question rises normally; when the child begins it and when the
interest continues with the same naturalness as in conversation on any
other subject. Then questions usually take one of three forms: mere
childish, curious questions, questions on conduct, and questions on
religion in its organized form.

The child's curiosity is the basis of even those questions which have
usually been credited to preternatural piety. The tiny youngster who
asks strange questions about God asks equally startling ones about
fairies or about his grandmother. But his questions give us the chance
to direct him to right thoughts of God. Here we need to be sure of our
own thoughts and to keep in mind our principal purpose, to quicken in
this child loyalty to the highest and best. He must be shown a God whom
he can love and, at the same time, one who will call for his growing
loyalty, his courage, and devotion. Everything for the child's future
depends on the pictures he now forms. We all carry to a large degree our
childhood's view of God.

Some of the child's questions probe deep; how shall we answer them? When
you know the truth tell him the truth, being sure that it is told in
language that really conveys truth to his mind. The danger is that
parents will attempt to tell more than they know, to answer questions
that cannot be answered, or that they will, in sloth or cowardice or
ignorance, tell children untrue things. If a child asks, "Did God make
the world?" the answer that will be true to the child may be a simple
affirmative. If the child asks or his query implies, "Did God make the
leaves, or the birds, with his fingers?" we had better take time to
show the difference between man's making of things and the working of
the divine energy through all the process of the development of the
world. When the child asks, "Mother, if God made all things, why did he
make the devil?" it would surely be wise and opportune to correct the
child's mental picture of a personal anti-God and to take from him his
bogey of a "devil." But the question of the relation of God to the
existence of evil would remain, and the best a parent could do would be
to illustrate the necessities of freedom of choice and will in life by
similar freedom in the family.

It must be remembered that children's curious questions are only their
attempt to discover their world, that they have no peculiar religious
significance, but that they afford the parent a vital opportunity for
direct religious instruction. These questions must be treated seriously;
something is missing in parental consciousness when the child's
questions furnish only material for jesting relation to the family


_Questions on conduct_: Scores of times in the day the children come in
from play or from school and tell of what has happened. Their more or
less breathless recitals very often include vigorous accounts of
"cheating," "naughtiness," unfair play, unkind words, discourtesies,
all dependent as to their character on the age of the children and all
opening doors for free conversation on duties and conduct. Here lies one
of the large opportunities for moral instruction. There is no need to
attempt to make formal occasions for this; so long as children play and
live with others they are under the experience of learning the art of
living with one another; this is the simple essence of morality. The
parent's answers to their questions on conduct, the comments on their
criticisms, and the conversation that may easily be directed on these
subjects count tremendously with the child in establishing his ideals
and modes of conduct. Returning to his play, there is no mightier
authority he can quote than to say, "My mother says--," or "My father

Let no one say that instruction in moral living is not religious, for
there can be no adequate guidance in morals without religion, nor can
the religious quality of the life find expression adequately except
through conduct in social living. Children need more than the rules for
living; they must feel motives and see ideals. They do not live by rules
any more than we do. Besides the rule that is known there must be a
reason for following it and a strong desire to do so. All ethical
teaching needs this imperative and motivation of religion, the
quickening of loyalty to high ideals, the doing of the right for
reasons of love as well as of duty and profit.

The father's opportunity comes especially with the boys. They are sure
to bring to him their ethical questions on games and sport; he knows
more about boys' fights and struggles than does the mother. When the
boys begin to discuss their games the father cannot afford to lack
interest. Trivial as the question may seem to be, it is the most
important one of the day to the boy and, for the interests of his
character, it may be the most important for many a day to the father. If
he answers with sympathy and interest this question on a "foul ball" or
on marbles or peg-tops, he has opened a door that will always stay open
so long as he approaches it with sincerity; if he slights it, if he is
too busy with those lesser things that seem great to him, he has closed
a door into the boy's life; it may never be opened again. Children learn
life through the life they are now living. Real preparation for the
world of business and larger responsibilities comes by the child's
experiences of his present world of play and schooling and family
living. To help him to live this present life aright is the best
training that can be given for the right living of all life.

_Questions on organized religion_: As children grow up, the church comes
into their range of interests. Just as they often make the day school
focal for conversation, as they recount their day's work there, so they
retain impressions of the church school, of the services of the church,
and will always ask many questions about this institution and its
observances. Here is the opportunity, in free conversation, to tell the
child the meaning of the church, the significance of membership therein,
and to lead him to conscious relationship to the society of the
followers of Jesus. (See chap. xvii, "The Family and the Church.")

     I. References for Study

     Alice E. Fitts, "Consciousness of God in Children," _The Aims of
     Religious Education_, pp. 330-38. Religious Education Association,

     W.G. Koons, _Child's Religious Life_, sec. II. Eaton & Mains,

     J. Sully, _Children's Ways_, chap. vi. Appleton, $1.25.

     II. Further Reading

     George Hodges, _The Training of Children in Religion_, chaps. i-vi.
     Appleton, $1.50.

     George E. Dawson, _The Child and His Religion_, chap. ii. The
     University of Chicago Press, $0.75.

     Edward Lyttleton, _The Corner-Stone of Education_, chap. viii.
     Putnam, $1.50.

     T. Stephens (ed.), _The Child and Religion_. Putnam, $1.50.

     C.W. Richell, _The Child as God's Child_. Eaton & Mains, $0.75.

     W.G. Koons, _The Child's Religious Nature_. Eaton & Mains, $1.00.

     III. Topics for Discussion

     1. What are the special difficulties which you feel about
     introducing the topic of religion to children? Describe any methods
     or modes of approach which have seemed successful?

     2. Would you regard it as a fault if a child seems unwilling to
     talk about religion? What do you think "religion" means to the

     3. In what ways do children's aptitudes differ and what factors
     probably determine the difference? What was your own childish
     conception of God? Did you love God or fear him? Why?

     4. Is it ever right to teach the child those conceptions which we
     have outgrown? What about Santa Claus and fairies? How can you use
     childish figures of speech as an avenue to more exact truth?

     5. Does the child learn more through ears or eyes? Through which
     agency do we seek to convey religious ideas?

     6. Is it possible to make the child see the intimate relation
     between conduct and religion? How would you do this?

     7. Give some of the characteristics of a religious child of seven
     years, of ten.



Probably all parents find themselves at some time thinking that the
real, fundamental problem of training their children lies in dealing
with their superabundant energy. "He is such an active child!" mothers
complain. Were he otherwise a physician might properly be consulted. But
the child's activity does seriously interfere with parental peace. It
takes us all a long time to learn that we are not, after all, in our
homes in order to enjoy peaceful rest, but in order to train children
into fulness of life. That does not mean that the home should be without
quiet and rest, but that we must not hope to repress the energy of
childhood. One might as well hope to plug up a spring in the hillside.
Our work is to direct that activity into glad, useful service.


The things we do not only indicate character, they determine it. Our
thoughts have value and power as they get into action. To bend our
energies toward an ideal is to make it more real, to make it a part of
ourselves. Children learn by doing--learn not only that which they are
doing but life itself.

It may be doubted whether a child ever grew who did not plead to have a
share in the work he saw going on about him. That desire to help is part
of that fundamental virtue of loyalty of which we have spoken above; it
is his desire to be true to the tendency of the home, to give himself to
the realization of its purposes. Of course he does not think this out at
all. But this desire on the part of the child to have a hand in the
day's work is the parent's fine opportunity for a most valuable and
influential form of character direction.

One of the tests of a worthy character is whether the life is
contributory or parasitic, whether one carries his load, does his work,
makes his contribution, or simply waits on the world for what he can
get. A religious interpretation of and attitude toward life is
essentially that of self-giving in service. "My Father worketh hitherto
and I work." "I must be about my Father's business." How noticeable is
the child's interest in the vivid word-picture of One who "went about
doing good"!


The home is the first place for life's habituation to service. The child
is greatly to be pitied who has no duties, no share in the work. Where
the hands are unsoiled the heart is the easier sullied. It is the height
of mistaken kindness, one of the common errors of an unthinking,
superficial affection, to protect our children from work. This is a
world of the moral order and of the glory of work.

When the child is very small it must learn this by having committed to
it very simple duties. As soon as it is able to handle things it may
learn to do that which is most helpful with those things, to care for
its toys, to put them away neatly. A child can learn while very young to
take care of its spoon, of certain clothes, of chair, and pencil and
paper. True, it is much easier to "pick up" after the child; but to do
so is to yield to our own sloth. The more tedious way is the one we must
follow if we would train the child.

Besides the care of his possessions the child will gladly take a share
in the general work of the home. Let some daily duty be assigned to each
one; such simple responsibilities as picking up all papers and magazines
and seeing that they are properly stacked or disposed of may be given to
one; another may sweep the stairs every day with a whisk broom (in one
instance a boy of eight did this daily); another may be "librarian,"
caring for all books; each one, after eight years of age, should make
her own bed; each one should be entirely responsible for his own table
in his room. Many homes permit of many other "chores," such as keeping
up the supply of small kindling, caring for a pet or even a larger
animal, keeping a little personal garden or vegetable plot. Under those
normal conditions of living, which some day we may reach, where each
family, or all families, have trees and flowers and ample space, the
opportunities are increased for joyous child activities which
consciously contribute to social well-being as a whole.


Perhaps some will say, this is not religious education, it is everyday
training. Yes, it is "everyday training," but it is the training of a
religious person with the religious purpose of habituating the child to
give his life in service to his world. That is precisely what we
need--_religion in everyday action_. The atmosphere and habitual
attitude and conversation of the family must be depended on to give a
really religious meaning to these everyday acts, to make them as
religious as going to church, perhaps more so, and so to make them a
training for the life that is religious, not in word only, but in deed
and in truth.

Whatever we may say to children on the subject of religion, whether
directly or in teaching by indirection through songs and worship, must
pass over somehow into action in order to have meaning and reality. It
must be realized in order to be real. The difficulty that appears is
that of connecting the daily act with its spiritual significance. Yet
that is not as difficult as it seems. If the act has religious
significance to us, if we form the habit of really worshiping God with
our work, seeking in it to do his will, the child will know it. We
cannot keep that hidden. The spiritual life will never be more real to
the child than it is to us, and no amount of moralizing or
spiritualizing about our acts or his will give them religious

At least one person will testify that, after being brought up in a
really religious home, the most strikingly religious memory of that home
is an occasion when he delightedly carried a tray of food to a sick
neighbor. It was doing the very thing that he longed to do, realizing
the aspiration that had been unable to find words or form before. So the
life of action can be steadily trained by acts of kindness. Habits are
acts repeated until they pass from the volitional to the involuntary.
The only process we can follow is steadily to train the children in the
willing and doing of the right, the good, and the kindly deed, until it
becomes habitual. Let the child prepare the tray of delicacies, pack the
flowers we are sending, carry them over if possible, at least have a
share in all our ministries.[12]

The modern Sunday school recognizes the importance of activity in
forming religious character; therefore it plans and organizes social
activities for students to carry out.[13] The parents ought to know what
is designed for each child in his respective grade and to plan to
co-operate with the school. Where the family unites in the forms of
service suggested for the children, these activities lose all
perfunctoriness and take on a new reality. Social usefulness becomes a
normal part of life.

Do we remember the best times of our childhood? Were they not when we
were doing things? And were not the best of these best times when we
were doing the best things, those that seemed ideal, that gave us a
sense of helping someone or of putting into action the best of our
thoughts? That is the chance and the joy our children are longing for,
and that joy will be their strength.


The family has excellent opportunities for developing through its own
activities and duties the habits of the religious life. Children may
acquire through daily acts the habit of thinking of life as just the
chance to love and serve. Service may become perfectly normal to life.
Our modern paupers, whether they tramp the highways or ride in private
cars, came usually out of homes where the moral standard interpreted
life as just the chance of graft, to gain without giving, to have
without earning. Parental indulgence educates in pauperism. Let a boy
remain the passive beneficiary of all the advantages of a home until he
is sixteen or eighteen, and it will be exceedingly difficult to convert
him from the pauper habit.

The hard task before parents is to save their children from the snare of
passive luxury. Perhaps, remembering our toilsome youth, we seek to
shield them. It is a serious unkindness. It is a wrong to our world. The
religious mind is the one that takes life in terms of service, sees the
days as doors to ways of usefulness, girds itself with the towel, and
finds honor in bending to do the little things for the least of men.
Vain is all family worship, all prayer and praise and catechism, unless
we train the feet to walk this way so that they may visit the
imprisoned, clothe the naked, comfort the sad, and cheer the broken in
heart. The family may make this the normal way to live.

If the family would train boys and girls who shall be true followers of
the great Servant, it must stand among men as a servant, it must see
itself as set in the community to serve, and by habits of service and
helpfulness, by its whole social tone, it must quicken in its own people
the sense of social obligation and a realization of the delight in
self-giving. A home that is selfish in relation to other homes, in
relation to its community, can have no other than selfish, antisocial,
and therefore irreligious children. The first step in the welfare of a
child is to see that the home which constitutes his personal atmosphere
is steeped in the spirit of good-will toward men.

The whole attitude of life is determined by the thought-atmosphere of
the family. The greedy family makes the grafting citizen. The grasping
home makes the pugnacious disturber of the public peace. Greater than
the question whether you are a good citizen in your relation to the
ballot box is the one whether you are a cultivator of good citizenship
in your home. No amount of Sunday-school teaching on the Beatitudes or
week-day teaching on civics is going to overcome the down-drag of
envious, antisocial thought and feeling and conversation in the home.
Home action and attitude count for more than all besides.

It is equally true that no other influence can offset the salutary power
of a truly social home, that the easiest, most natural, and effective
method of teaching social duty and unselfishness is to do our whole
social duty unselfishly.


The supreme test of the religious life here is ability to live among men
as brothers and to cause the conditions of the divine family to be
realized on earth. If we can realize that the purpose of Jesus was to
bring men into the family of God, that the aim of all religious endeavor
is the family character in men and women and the conditions of that
family in all society, we must surely appreciate the possibility of the
human family as a training school for this larger family of humanity.

The infant approaches social living by the pathway of the society of the
family. We all go out into life through widening circles, first the
mother's arms, then the family, the neighborhood, the city, the state,
the nation, the world-life. Each circle prepares for the next. The
family is the child's social order; its life is his training for the
larger life of nation and human brotherhood.

Just how men and women will live in society is determined principally by
the bent of their characters in the social order of the family. Their
attitude to the world follows the attitude of the family, especially of
the parents. They interpret the larger world by the lesser. The home is
the great school of citizenship and social living.

All the moral and religious problems of the family find a focus in the
purpose of preparing persons for social living. The family justifies its
cost to society in the contribution which it makes in trained and
motived lives. As a religious family its first duty is to prepare the
coming generation to live in a religious society, in one which will
steadily move toward the divine ideal of perfect family relations
through brotherhood and fatherhood. Its business is not to get children
ready for heaven, but to train them to make all life heavenly. Its aim
is not alone children who will not tear down the parents' reputation,
but men and women who will build up the actual worth and beauty of all

The realization, in the family, of the purpose of training youth to
social living and service in the religious spirit depends on two things:
a spirit and passion in the family for social justice and order, and the
direction of the activities of the family toward training in social

Only the social spirit can give birth to the social spirit. True lovers
of men, who set the values of life and of the spirit first, who give
their lives that all men may have freedom and means to find more
abundant life, come out of the families where the passion of human love
burns high. The selfish family, self-centered, caring not at all in any
deep sense for the well-being of others, existing to extract the juice
of life and let who will be nourished on the rind, becomes effective to
make the social highwayman, the oppressor. From such a family comes he
who breaks laws for his pocketbook and impedes the enactment of laws
lest human rights should prevent his acquisition of wealth; he who
hates his brother man--unless that brother has more than he has; the foe
of the kingdom of goodness and peace and brotherhood.

And goodness is as contagious as badness. Children catch the spirit of
social love and idealism in the family. Where men and women are deeply
concerned with all that makes the world better for lives, better for
babies and mothers, for workers, and, above all, for the values of the
spirit gained through leisure, opportunities, and higher incentives;
where the family is more concerned with folks than with furniture; where
habitually it thinks of people as Jesus did, as the objects most of all
worth seeking, worth investing in, there children receive direction,
habituation, and motivation for the life of religion, the life that
binds them in glad love to the service of their fellows, and makes them
think of all their life as the one great chance to serve, to make a
better world, and to bring God's great family closer together here.

     I. References for Study

     G.A. Coe, _Education in Religion and Morals_, pp. 142-50. Revell,

     W.S. Athearn, _The Church School_, pp. 85-102. Pilgrim Press,

     G. Johnson, _Education by Plays and Games_, Part I. Ginn & Co.,

     II. Further Reading

     E.D. Angell, _Play_. Little, Brown & Co., $1.50.

     Fisher, Gulick, _et al._, "Ethical Significance of Play,"
     _Materials for Religious Education_, pp. 197-215. Religious
     Education Association, $0.50.

     Publications of the Play Ground Association.

     III. Methods and Materials


     Forbush, _Manual of Play_. Jacobs, $1.00.

     A. Newton, _Graded Games_. Barnes, $1.25.

     Von Palm, _Rainy Day Pastimes_. Dana Estes, $1.00.

     Johnson, _When Mother Lets Us Help_. Moffat, Yard & Co., $0.75.


     Canfield, _What Shall We Do Now?_ Stokes, $1.50.

     Beard, _Jack of All Trades_. Scribner, $2.00.

     Beard, _Things Worth Doing_. Scribner, $2.00.

     Bailey, _Garden Making_. Macmillan, $1.50.

     Bailey (ed.), _Something to Do_ (magazine). School Arts Publishing

     IV. Topics for Discussion

     1. Is the quiet child an ideal child? How far should we go in
     restraining activity?

     2. The relative advantages of work and leisure for children. What
     of the value of chores to you; did you do them? Describe any forms
     of children's service in the home which have come under your

     3. What forms of community service can be done by children and by
     young people?

     4. Recall any lessons learned by activity in your early home life.

     5. Give in their order, according to your judgment, the potencies
     for religious character in the home.


[12] A short list of books on child activity in the home is appended at
the end of this chapter; a fairly complete list, long enough for any
family, will be found on p. 117 of _The Church School_, by W.S. Athearn.

[13] See W.N. Hutchins, _Graded Social Service for the Sunday School_.



The home is so mighty as a school because, requiring little time for
formal instruction, it enlists its scholars so largely in informal
activities. It trains for life by living; it trains as an institution,
by a group of activities, a series of duties, a set of habits. If the
home is to prepare for social living it will be most of all and best of
all by its organization and conduct as a social institution.


For the purposes of society homes must be social-training centers; they
must be conducted as communities if their members are to be fitted for
communal living. No boy is likely to be ready for the responsibilities
of free citizenship who has spent his years in a home under an absolute
monarchy; or, as is today perhaps more frequently the case, in a
condition of unmitigated anarchy. A free society cannot consist of units
not free. The problems of parental discipline arise and appear as
persistently irritating and perplexing stumbling-blocks in many a home
simply because that home is organized altogether out of harmony and
relation with the normal life in which it is set. Society environing the
home gives its members the habits of twentieth-century autonomy,
individual initiative and responsibility, together with collective
living and working, while the home often seeks to perpetuate
thirteenth-century absolutism, serfdom, and subjection. In social living
outside the home we learn to do the will of all; in the home we attempt
to compel children to do the will of one.


The home organized as a social community will give to every member,
according to his ability, a share in its guidance and will expect from
every member the free contribution of his powers. Its rules will be made
by the will of all, and its affairs governed, not by an executive board
composed of the parents, but by the free participation and choice of
all. The young will learn to choose by choosing; will learn both how to
rule and to be ruled by a share in ruling.

To be explicit, suppose a piece of furniture is desired for the home.
Two plans at least are possible: first, the "head of the home" may go
forth and purchase it without consulting anyone, or after advising with
the other "head"; or, second, before a purchase is made, the wisdom of
such an addition to the furniture may be suggested in the open council
of the whole family and the purchase discussed and determined by all.
Such councils, usually coming at or after the principal meal, freely
participated in by all, give even to the youngest a sense of the cost of
a home, of the care that goes into it, with, what is more important, a
sense of a share in these cares and costs; they cultivate habits of
prudence, of consideration of a matter, of steady judgments, of
deference to the wishes and wisdom of others. Of still greater
importance is another practical issue of such a plan--that every member
of the household has a new sense of proprietorship with deepened
responsibility. Instead of thinking of any household possession as
father's or mother's, or even mine, it becomes _ours_. The parents no
longer need to say, "Children, do not mar the furniture; it costs money
to replace it." The children know that already, and they have the same
pride in the home possessions and the same desire to preserve them as
they have in that which is peculiarly their own. A habit of mind results
from such a course so that, by thinking in terms of common possession of
the best things of life, there is cultivated that respect for the rights
of others which is simply right social thinking.

The same plan could be pursued in relation to almost every interest of
the family--as the planning of the annual vacation and outing, the
holidays, picnics, and birthday celebrations, the church and religious
exercises. Above all, in the last mentioned, this social spirit may be
cultivated. The father may cease to be the "high priest" for his family
and become a worshiper along with the other members. The effect will be
that his children are more likely to stay as worshipers with him than if
they gazed on him as on some lonely elevation, unrelated to them in his
religious exercises. The reading, the song, the prayers, the comment and
discussion, the story-telling, and all that may make up the regular
specific religious activities of the family should be such that all may
have a share in them. Nothing could be finer, diviner, and bring larger
helpfulness for social living than the attempt of the least little
lisping child to throw herself into the unified family act of prayer, as
when one little tot, unable to say the Lord's Prayer, united in worship
at the time of that act by saying, as reverently as possible, "One, two,
three, four, five," etc., up to ten. The ability to count was her latest
accomplishment; counting to ten was bringing the very best thing she
then had and, in the act of family worship, offering her part to the
Most High. A fine sense of worship and a desire to be one with the
others in this united, communal service prompted the participation.


Community service may be cultivated in the home. Here is the ideal
social community, where there are neither parasites nor paupers, where
all give of their best for the best of all. No one doubts that the baby
gives its full share of happiness and cheer, and the aged their offering
of consolation and experience; but the difficulty is supposed to be with
the lad and the girl who would rather play than work. Usually this is
because the habits of co-operation in the life of this community have
been too long neglected. The small boy or girl had no share in its work.
Parents are too busy to think through the matter of finding suitable
duties for all. It is so much easier to do things one's self, even
though the child misses the benefits of participation. More frequently
the blame lies in the fact that parents desire to shield children from
labor. Some would have them grow up without knowing what they count as
the degradation of toil. But a boy who knows nothing of the "chores" has
missed half the joys of boyhood, and has a terribly hard lesson ahead of
him when he goes out to relate himself to life. No matter what one's
station may be, there is a part to be played, and one's piece of work to
be done. The greatest unkindness we can do our children is to train them
to lives that do not play their part. The home is our chance to train a
man to harmonious usefulness in his world. Not only should the family
train to social co-operation and service, but it should train to
efficiency therein. Do not let your child's duties become a farce; let
them exact as much of him as the world will exact also; that is,
efficiency, accuracy, thoroughness, and fidelity.


The family trains lives for social ministry. The unsocial lives come out
of unsocial homes. The home that exists for itself alone trains lives
that exist only for themselves; these are the homes that throw the sand
of selfishness into the wheels of society; they ultimately effect social
suicide through selfishness. The attitude and atmosphere of the home are
of first importance here. As we think, so will our children act. If the
home is to us a place without responsibilities for the neighborhood,
without duties to neighbors, without social roots, then it is a school
for industrial, commercial, and social greed and warfare. As we think in
our hearts and talk at our table, so are we educating those who sit

If we would have our homes really efficient and worthy agencies for
education in social living, the first thing to do is to seek the social
atmosphere, to cultivate all those influences which young lives
unconsciously absorb. We all know that character comes through
environment in large measure, and that the mental and spiritual
environment is by far the most potent. Here is something that affects us
more than the finest or poorest furniture and that gives the real zest
and flavor to any meal. The choice of our own reading enters here, not
only the matter of reading in sociology, but of all reading, as to
whether it blinds with class prejudices, intensifies caste feeling, or
atrophies social sympathy by pandering to selfishness and sensuousness.
The control of our own feelings and judgment enters here. Do we
sedulously cultivate charity for others? Do we stifle impatience,
bitterness, class feeling? Do we guide the conversation of visitors and
the family group so that antisocial passions are subdued and a spirit of
brotherly love and compassion for all is cultivated? Here men and women
have opportunity to give evidence of a change of heart; here they need
that awakening to social consciousness which is a new birth, a
regeneration into the life of the Son of Man who came to give his life.

By its active ministry the family is training for social living. When a
child carries a bowl of soup to some sick or needy one, he learns a
lesson never to be forgotten. The memories of hours of planning and
preparation for some neighborly service--the making of bread, the
packing of a box, the preserves for the sick--shine out like sunshine
spots along childhood's ways; they direct manhood's steps.

We are gradually learning that social duties are not learned save
through social deeds; that even the most carefully prepared and
perfectly pedagogical systems of instruction fail, standing alone. The
college student uses the laboratory method in his sociology--though we
know that sociology may be as far from social living as the poles are
apart. The Social Service Association of the Young Men's Christian
Association has given up attempts to teach social duty in favor of the
plan of undertaking specific pieces of social activity. The home must
adopt the laboratory method. The important thing is, not what the father
or mother may systematically teach about the social duties of the
children, but what kinds of service, of ministry and normal activity
they may lead the children to; that is, in what ways they may all
together discharge their functions in society.


Each family must clearly see its normal relations to its community, to
the social whole; first, as an association of social beings having
social duties, obligations, and privileges; then, to see that the
ordering of the daily life is the largest single factor in determining
the value of the family to the development of the community, fitting
harmoniously into the larger community, and rendering its share of

The disorderly home spreads its immoral contagion beyond its walls, out
into the front yard, out and up and down the street, and all through the
village and city. The City Beautiful cannot come until we have the Home
Beautiful. Training each one to play his part in keeping the house in
order, picking up and setting in place his own tools and playthings,
preventing and removing litter, scraps, and elements of disorder and
discomfort, acquiring habits of neatness based on social motives--these
things make more for the city of beauty and health than all our lectures
on clean cities.

No family lives to itself. Young people need to see clearly how their
homes and their habits in the home impinge on other homes and lives.
This is impressed upon us in an accentuated and acute degree in city
living. One can hardly imagine a finer discipline of grace than
apartment living, though one may well question whether it is not morally
and hygienically flying in the face of the natural order. We may not
have for a long time municipal ordinances forbidding boiled dinners,
limburger, and phonographs in city apartments; but if, unfortunately, we
are compelled to live in these modern abominations, we ought to
cultivate a conscience that will not inflict our idiosyncrasies, either
in culinary aromas or in musical taste, on our neighbors. But there are
matters greater than these by which the home trains for social
thoughtfulness. No man has a right to grow weeds at home, because the
seeds never stay there. A howling dog, a disease-breeding sty, a
fly-harboring stable, must be viewed, not from the point of the family's
convenience, but from that of others' welfare.


The family has a duty to train children for Christian citizenship. No
other institution can take its place even here. Courses of lectures in
churches and settlements effect excellent results, and the study of
civics from the moral and ideal viewpoint should be encouraged in the
schools; but the home is the place where, after all, citizens are
trained and the value or menace of their citizenship determined. If we
stop long enough to get a clear understanding of what we mean by
citizenship this will be the more evident.

Citizenship is the condition of full communal, social living in a
democracy. It is not a special department or activity of a man's life
which he exercises once in a while, as at the primary or at the polls or
through the political campaign; it is a permanent condition, the
condition of his social living in a democracy. It seems to be worth
while to think of this enough to be quite sure of it, for we have
thought too long of citizenship as a special aspect of one's life or as
an occasional duty; we have called for good citizenship at times of
election and have been content with dormant citizenship at other times;
we have said that one was exercising his citizenship when he voted, and
have forgotten that he was exercising it or abusing or neglecting it as
he walked the streets, talked with his neighbors, or in any way lived
the life that has relations to other lives.

Matters of citizenship are simply matters of social living, as social
living expresses itself through what we call government; that is,
through communal, civic, national administration and regulation.
Citizenship is social control in action, not through political activity
alone, but through all that concerns civic and communal life. In view of
this it may be worth while to look a little more closely into the
relations of family life to this matter of the determination of the
character of our citizenship.

The family is an agency for religious training in citizenship. The
family is the first, smallest, and still the most common and potent
social group. It is the community in which we nearly all learn communal
living. At first it is a child's world, then comes his city, and then
his nation, but ere long again the family is his own kingdom. Its
ideals, constantly interpreted in action, determine our ideals. Where
the father is greedy, self-centered, regarding the home as solely for
his convenience as his private boarding-house, where he is a despotic
boss, why should not the son at least tolerate bossism in his city if he
does not himself pattern after his father on a wider scale and regard
the city or the state as his private boarding-house and the treasury as
his private manger? Where the mother is a petty parasite, what wonder
the children regard with indifference, if not even with admiration, the
whole system of civic and social barnacles, leeches, and other

The very organization of the home must prepare for civic duty by laying
upon all appropriate duties and activities. It ought to be an ideal type
of community. But that can never be until we take the training of
parents seriously in hand; until we cease to delegate the pedagogy of
courtship, marriage, and home-founding to the comic supplements of the
Sunday papers and to the joke columns. Parents must themselves be
trained for the business of the organization of homes as educational

The life and work of the home ought to train religiously for
citizenship, by causing each to bear his due share of the burdens of
all. Where the child has been forced to do the indolent parent's share,
to support the slothful father, he can only look forward to the time
when he will be free to support only himself, and have no other than
purely egoistic obligations; this is an utterly immoral conception, and
one squarely opposed to good citizenship. Where the boy or the girl has
been trained to regard all toil as dishonorable, where each has been
taught scrupulously to avoid every burden, they come into social living
with habits set against bearing their share and toward making others
carry them. The indolent parent makes the tax-dodging citizen, as the
indulgent parent often makes the place-hunting citizen who becomes a tax
on the public.

The ideals of the family determine the needs of citizens. Its
conversation, its reading, its customs, set the standard of social
needs. Where the father laughs at the smartness of the artful dodge in
politics, where the mother sighs after the tinsel and toys that she
knows others have bought with corrupt cash, where the conversation at
the meal-table steadily, though often unconsciously, lifts up and lauds
those who are out after the "real thing," the eager ears about that
board drink it in and childish hearts resolve what they will do when
they have a chance. Where no voice speaks for high things, where no tide
of indignation against wrong sweeps into language, where the children
never feel that the parents have great moral convictions--where no
vision is, the people perish.

Yet to realize this civic responsibility of the home would be, in the
greater number of instances, to remedy it. In those other instances
where there are no civic ideals, where the domestic conscience is dead,
there rests upon the state, upon society, for its own sake, the
responsibility to train those children so that, at any rate, they will
not perpetuate homes of this type. We may do very much by the
stimulation and direction of parents. Men need but to be reminded of
their duty to make it a part of their business to train their children
in social duty.

     I. References for Study

     Taylor, _Religion in Social Action_, chaps. vii, viii. Dodd, Mead &
     Co., $1.25.

     E.J. Ward, _The Social Center_, chap. v. Appleton, $1.50.

     II. Further Reading

     Lofthouse, _Ethics in the Family_. Hodder & Stoughton, $1.50.

     III. Topics for Discussion

     1. What is the special social importance of the family?

     2. How do children acquire their social ideals from the home?

     3. What are the advantages which the home has as a school?

     4. How do homes train for the responsibilities of citizenship?

     5. Can you describe any plans of community councils in the home?

     6. How would you promote community service in the family?

     7. What are the dangers of unsocial and selfish lives growing in
     the home?


[14] This chapter is, with the publisher's kind permission, taken, with
sundry minor changes, from the author's pamphlet, _The Home as a School
for Social Living_, published by the American Baptist Publication
Society in the "Social Service Series."



The modern child is likely to miss one of the great character enrichings
which his parents had, in that he is in danger of growing up entirely
ignorant of the poetic setting of religious thought in historic and
dignified hymns. The great hymns have done more for religious thought
and character than all the sermons that have ever been preached. Even in
the adult of the purely intellectual cast the hymn, aided by rhythm,
music, repetition, and emotion, is likely to become a more permanent
part of the mental substratum than any formal logical presentation of
ideas. How much more will this be the case with the child who feels more
than he reasons, who delights in cadence and rhythm, and who loves a
world of imagery!


Very early life's ideals are presented in poetic form; plays,
school-life, love of country, friendships, all take or are given metric
expression. So, for children, hymns have a perfectly natural place. The
child sings as he plays, sings as he works, sings in school, and, as
long as life and memory hold, these words of song will be his
possession; in declining years, when eyes are failing and other
interests may wane, fragments of childhood's songs and youth's poems
will sing themselves over in his memory; while in the years between how
often will some stanza or line spring into the focus of thought just at
the moment when it can give brave and helpful direction!

Those years of facile memorization should be like the ant's summer, a
period of steady storing in mind of the world's treasures of thought. No
man ever had too many good and beautiful thoughts in his memory. Few
have failed to recall with gratitude some apparently long-forgotten word
of cheer, light, and inspiration stored in childhood. The special virtue
of the hymn, among all poetic forms of great thoughts, is that memory is
strengthened by the music and the thought further idealized by it, while
frequent repetition fixes it the more firmly and repetition in
congregational song adds the high value of emotional association.

But what kinds of memory treasures are being given to the modern child
in the realm of religion? In by far the greater number of instances in
the United States neither church nor Sunday school nor home brings to
him any knowledge of the great hymns of religion.[15] In the churches
that use these hymns the child is frequently not in the Sunday
services; he is in the children's service or the school, while in the
majority of churches a weak-minded endeavor for amusement has
substituted meaningless rag-time trivialities for rich and dignified
hymns. Perhaps the custom of encouraging congregations to jig, dance,
cavort, or drone through the frivolities of "popular" gospel songs is
only a passing craze, but it is a most unfortunate one; it tends to
divorce worship and thought, to make worship a matter of purely
superficial emotions, and to form the habit of expressing religion, the
highest experience of life, in language, often irreverent and almost
always trivial, slangy, or ridiculous. It is an insult to the
intelligence of children to ask them to sing

    We're pilgrims o'er the sands of time,
      We have not long to stay,
    The lifeboat soon is coming,
      To carry the pilgrims away.

It is the duty of parents to know what their children are learning in
the Sunday school. Not only are they often missing the opportunity to
lay up the treasure of elevating, inspiring thoughts; they are acquiring
crude, mistaken, misleading theological concepts in the hideous,
revolting figures of "evangelistic songs"; they are storing their minds
with atrocities in English and in figures of speech; they are acquiring
the habits of sentimentality in religion and inhibiting the finer,
higher feelings. They are blunting their higher feelings by repeating
incongruous and nauseating figures of being "washed in blood," or they
are carelessly singing sentiments they do not understand.

What can the family do about this? It ought to assert its rights in the
church. It ought to protest and rebel against the debauching of mind and
the degrading of religion (all for the sake of selling trashy books at
$25 per hundred). A parent would do better to keep his child from church
and Sunday school than to permit his mind to be filled with the
sanguinary pictures of God, the mediaeval theology of the modern
songbook, and its offenses against truth in thought and form. But the
family can work positively and more effectively by providing good hymns
for children in the home.


Almost without exception all children will sing if encouraged early in
life. In the family group one has only to start a familiar song and soon
all will be singing. It is just as natural to sing "Abide with Me" when
the family sits together in the evening as it is to start "My Alabama
Choo-choo." Children like the swing of "Onward, Christian Soldiers" just
as much as in the northern states they like "Marching through Georgia."
If they do not know the hymns the home is the best of all places in
which to learn them.

A large section of real family life is missing in families that do not
sing together. A home without song lacks one of the strongest bonds of
family unity, and the after-years will be deprived of a memory dear
indeed to many others. Days often come when the wheels of family life
seem to develop friction, when little rifts seem to throw the members
far apart, but the evening song brings them together. The unity of
action, of feeling, the development of emotions above the day's
irritation and strife, all help to new joys in family living.

We may well think of the fine songs and the great hymns together. There
is no fixed wall between "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory," and "The Son
of God Goes Forth," nor between "My Old Kentucky Home" and "Jerusalem
the Golden." The modern home has the musical instruments to lead in
song--though they are not always essential--and lacks only the planning
and forethought to develop the joys of song. It must provide the thought
that applies the simpler forms of musical expression to the sweetening
and enriching of life.

Let no one say, "My family is not musical." That simply means that your
family does not take time for music and song. Build on the training in
patriotic and folk-songs given in the schools; sing these same songs
over in the home and then associate with the best of them the best of
the hymns. Cultivate the habit of binding the whole realm of feeling in
music together, the hymns and the songs, to make religion mean beauty
and devotion and to make the finer sentiments of life truly religious.

This costs time and thought. Someone must plan that the books of songs
and hymns are provided, that the opportunity is given, and that wise,
unobtrusive leadership is there. Have ready several copies of the book
containing the best hymns. Think out your plan of procedure in advance,
selecting the songs, or at least the first one. Then at the right time
simply begin to play that song and you will scarcely need to invite the
children to sing with you.

Should anyone doubt whether children will enjoy singing good hymns, he
may purchase a few records for the phonograph, for example, "O Come All
Ye Faithful," "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "O Zion Haste," "Holy,
Holy, Holy," "Abide with Me." These will suit those of from ten upward;
younger children will enjoy "Can a Little Child Like Me," "Brightly
Gleams Our Banner," "Jesus Loves Me." "I Think When I Read That Sweet
Story," and "For the Beauty of the Earth," though they will join gladly
in the other hymns. Or, instead of using the phonograph, sit down
quietly at the piano and play these hymns, with just enough emphasis for
the children to catch the rhythm, and they will soon be standing at the
piano singing with you.[16]


The child is a playing animal. Play is not an invention of the devil,
designed to plague parents and to lead children to waste their time. It
is nature's best method of education, for when a child plays he is
simply reaching forward in his activities to the realization of his
ideals. Play is idealized experiences. There is always a significance of
wider and maturer experience in children's play. Therefore the family
must find space and time and adaptation of organization to the child's
need of spontaneous, free activity in play.

The special religious value of play lies in the fact that the child in
his games is experimenting with life, learning its lessons; especially
is he learning the art of living with other lives. It is our religious
duty to see to it that our children become used to living in society by
playing in social groups. Scarcely anyone is more to be pitied than the
lonely child standing in the corner of the playground, able only to
watch the games, because parental prohibition has already made him a
solitary and unsocial creature.

The educational potencies of play are so great that we dare not leave
its activities to chance. Parents must study the power of play, its
psychological and educational values, in order to direct its activity to
the highest good.

The adequate care of a child's play-life will involve, in addition to
the trained intelligence of the parents, provision for space in the
house and also outdoors, willingness to subordinate our peace and our
pleasure to the child's play at times, a reasonable though not
necessarily expensive provision of play materials, attention to the
character of the plays and playmates. The home will not lose its harmony
and beauty if it is filled with playing children. Its function has to do
with their development rather than with the preservation of chairs.

     I. References for Study

     H.F. Cope, _Hymns You Ought to Know_, Introduction. Revell, $1.50.

     W.F. Pratt, _Musical Ministries_. Revell, $1.00.

     H.W. Hulbert, _The Church and Her Children_, chap. x. Revell,

     II. Further Reading

     For a list of great hymns see _Hymns You Ought to Know_, edited by
     Henry F. Cope, and mentioned above. It contains one hundred
     standard hymns with a brief account of each hymn and of each

     E.D. Eaton, "Hymns for Youth," _Religious Education_, December,
     1912, VII, 509.

     See report of the Commission on Worship in the Sunday School, in
     _Religious Education_, October, 1914.

     Read especially the chapter on this subject in H.H. Hartshorne,
     _Worship in the Sunday School_. Columbia University, $1.25.

     III. Topics for Discussion

     1. What special advantages do songs and hymns have in their
     pedagogical power?

     2. What hymns do you remember from childhood? In what way are these
     hymns valuable to you?

     3. What changes would you like to see in the hymns the children
     learn today?

     4. What difficulties do you find in training children to sing in
     the home?

     5. Is it worth while to teach children to play? What games have
     special educational value? What games have religious significance
     or value? Give reasons for your opinions.


[15] One of the best collections of suitable religious songs is _Worship
and Song_. Pilgrim Press, $0.40.

[16] An excellent plan is worked out in _The Children's Hour of Story
and Song_ by Moffat and Hidden, Unitarian Sunday School Society, in
which children's stories are given and following them suitable songs and
hymns with the music for each.



If we would teach religion to our children we must adopt the method of
Jesus; that of telling stories. The story has the advantage, first, of
its natural interest, and, then, of the indirect manner of its
presentation of the truth, together with the fact that that truth is
embodied in a statement of life and experience. Besides, story-telling
to any person of active interests is one of the easiest and most
stimulating methods of teaching.


So much has already been written on the art of telling stories that only
a few suggestions are needed here. First, understand why you tell the
story. Normally a double motive enters in, namely, the conveyance of
truth in life, at the same time affording real pleasure to the
listeners. Either motive alone will be inadequate. You cannot convey the
truth without the desire to give pleasure; you cannot make the pleasure
worth while without the truth. But this is the place to insist that the
truth which you desire to convey must find its way to the conviction of
the child through the story and not through any moral or preface or
particular statement which you may make. The moral or lesson must be
clear to you but carefully held in reserve to direct the matter and
manner of the story.

Secondly, be prepared to pay the price of this most effective method of
instruction. It will cost the reservation of a certain amount of time
both for acquiring the story and for relating it. It will require
careful thought and planning, especially to be sure that the story is
told in sympathy with the child's world. People who are too busy to tell
their children stories are, perhaps fortunately, coming to realize that
they are too busy to have children. If it looks like a waste of time to
turn off the lights and sit by the firelight for from twenty to thirty
minutes, we shall need to revise our estimates of the value of
child-character. Nor must we shrink from the investment of time in
preparation for the narration of the story; if it is worth telling, it
is worth telling well.

Thirdly, keep a record of sources of stories. This may be preserved in a
notebook. One parent used a card-index for this purpose. There are a few
books published containing good collections.[17] You will find most
valuable your own little book in which you have noted down the fugitive
stories and short selections which are to be found in general

Fourthly, do not tell a story so as to close the child's interest in the
narrative. Stories ought to lead to inquiry and further reading in the
book or other source from which they have been drawn; indeed,
story-telling is one excellent method of quickening an interest in

Fifthly, allow the children to retell the stories to one another. Often
the whole family will be entertained and helped by the explanation which
a small child will give of the story he has learned by hearing it
repeated a few times from his mother's lips.

Sixthly, telling Bible stories to children in the quiet hour is the best
of all methods to stimulate their interest in the Bible itself. It is
much better to tell the story in your own language than to read it
either in the Bible or in a paraphrase. For one reason, you will never
tell it twice the same way, and children will watch with interest
changes in the narration. As soon as they can read, secure some of the
simple Bible narratives and put these in their hands.[19]


A home without books is like a house with only one window; it can look
out in only one direction, in that of the present. It knows only a
limited world; its children have a short measure of the joy of life,
they can know here only those whom they see today, their friends must be
few, their world narrow and confined.

If the books are not in your home the children will find them elsewhere.
Unless the school kills the taste for reading, as it sometimes does, the
young folks will open ways somehow into the ideal realm of books. As
they grow up, the book takes the place of the story. The printed page is
the child's key to all routes of travel, routes that lead to other times
and lands, routes that lead to other people and into their hearts and
minds. The child sees conduct and feels it as it is in action in lives
before him, but he begins to discriminate and to analyze it only through
reading; souls are revealed where the purpose of the writer is that the
reader may see the springs of action in the character portrayed.
Fiction, biography, travel, and adventure soon pass from the merely
exterior happenings to the discovery of meanings in character.


Since the book needs only one for its enjoyment, while the story
requires two, there is less control over reading. There is only one way
to be sure that children are not devouring vicious books and that is to
make sure that they have an ample supply of healthful, helpful ones.
This is especially necessary in a day that caters to sloth in reading.
The tendency is for reading to take the facile decline from book to
cheap magazine, from magazine to newspaper, and from the newspaper to
skimming the headlines and the "funnies." The cheaper papers appeal to
the lowest intelligence and strike at the line of least moral and mental
resistance. Reading enriches the life but little and may impoverish it
greatly unless there is developed the habit of drawing on the world's
great treasures of thought and feeling. Open windows in your children's
souls by giving them books; keep them open by encouraging the reading
habit. Great souls wait for them, willing to converse and become their
friends and teachers if they will but take down these books from the
shelves and open them with an eager mind.


_What can be done to quicken a love of good reading in children?_
Recognize that not all children develop this appetite at the same age,
that girls read more than boys, that boys usually have a period of
decline in reading interest from seventeen to twenty-one or even later.
But everything really depends on whether we ourselves love good books
and keep them on hand. One of the life-centers of a family should be the
bookshelf, while the picture of the evening lamp and the reading group
will constitute one of its best memories. Where books are at hand and
where they are used daily, the children need little urging to read. Now
this does not mean that yards of choice editions make a book-loving
family. There is a difference between bindings and books. It means books
known and loved, familiar friends for daily converse, books on handy
shelves and fit to be used as common food.

_Do you know what your children read?_ Do you watch as carefully the
food of mind and spirit as you do that of the body? Do you show an
interest in the books they plan to draw from the public library? Can you
guide them intelligently when they ask for suggestions of interesting
books? Do you know the healthful, suitable ones?


The Sunday school might aid greatly in promoting the habit of selecting
and reading good books. Children often come home from day school
clamoring for some book which the teacher has recommended as interesting
and valuable. The Sunday-school teacher's recommendation would also
carry weight. In every church, whether there exists a Sunday-school
library or not, there ought to be a library or book committee which
would watch for the right reading for the different grades and would
cause the titles of good books to be placed on a bulletin board.
Further, such a committee might very well place a copy of the book
selected in the teacher's hand in order that the teacher might call the
attention of the class directly to it. Of course the range of selection
should be as wide as the world of books and should include fiction,
romance, song, and story.[20] Parents could do the same sort of thing.
Why not talk up the best books we remember? As to those old-time books,
we need to realize that tastes change. Perhaps they owed much of their
interest to their vivid descriptions of contemporary life. Therefore we
must commend the new books, those that belong to the children's own
days, too. This can be done, provided we really know the books, not by
saying, "We should like you to read _Sandford and Merton_," but rather,
"There is a capital story in _Captains Courageous_; have any of you read
it?" Leave the matter there, or, at most, go only far enough to
stimulate interest.

     I. References for Study

     St. John, _Stories and Story Telling_, chaps. i-v. Eaton & Mains,

     Forbush, _The Coming Generation_, chap. viii. Appleton, $1.50

     Winchester, "Good and Bad Books in the Home," in _The Bible in
     Practical Life_, p. 38. Religious Education Association, $2.50.

     II. Further Reading

     Partridge, _Story Telling in School and Home_. Sturgis & Walton,

     H.W. Mabie, _Books and Culture_. Dodd, Mead & Co., $1.25.

     III. Methods and Materials


     E.P. St. John, _Stories and Story Telling_. Eaton & Mains, $0.50.

     Wyche, _Some Great Stories and How to Tell Them_. Newson & Co.,

     L.S. Houghton, _Telling Bible Stories_. Scribner, $1.25.

     Bryant, _How to Tell Stories for Children_. Houghton Mifflin Co.,

     E.M. and G.E. Partridge, _Story Telling in School and Home_.
     Sturgis & Walton, $1.25.


     Macy, _A Children's Guide to Reading_. Baker & Taylor Co., $1.25.

     Field, _Finger Posts to Children's Reading_. McClurg, $1.00.

     Arnold, _A Mother's List of Books for Children_. McClurg, $1.00.

     For a short practical list see the different lists classified under
     Sunday-School Departments in W.S. Athearn, _The Church School_,
     particularly pp. 54, 83, 118, 169. Pilgrim Press, $1.00.

     IV. Topics for Discussion

     1. Do you remember any stories which especially impressed you as a
     child? What were their qualities? What were the qualities of their

     2. What are your difficulties in story-telling to children?

     3. Is the habit of reading books passing among children? If so,
     what are the reasons?

     4. What responsibility has the public library toward the child's
     selection of books? toward promoting book reading?

     5. How many families co-operate with the library?

     6. How might the church co-operate?

     7. Does the reading of newspapers by children affect their general
     habits of reading? In what ways?

     8. What personal difference is there, if any, between the effect of
     a borrowed book and of one the child owns?


[17] Laura E. Cragin, _Kindergarten Bible Stories_. Fifty-six of the Old
Testament stories. There is also a companion volume of New Testament

James Baldwin, _Old Stories of the East_. Fresh and interesting versions
of the familiar Old Testament stories.

Kate Douglas Wiggin, _The Story Hour_. Good stories and a suggestive
introduction on story-telling.

_Half a Hundred Stories for the Little People_, by various authors.

[18] _A List of Good Stories to Tell to Children under Twelve Years of
Age_, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, $0.05. There are references to
books in which the stories may be found, including 25 Bible stories, 16
fables, 14 myths, 14 Christmas stories, 7 Thanksgiving stories, etc.

[19] Such as O'Shea, _Old World Wonder Stories_; George Hodges, _The
Garden of Eden_; Cragin, _Old Testament Stories_; Mary Stewart, _Tell Me
a True Story_.

[20] The H.W. Wilson Co., White Plains, New York, publishes a list of
_Children's Books for Sunday-School Libraries_.



If we keep clearly in mind the aim of religious education in the family
as that of the development of the lives of religious persons, the place
and value of the Bible will be evident. It will be used as a means of
developing and directing lives. This will be quite different from a
perfunctory use because our fathers used it or a use under the
compulsion of the fear lest some strange evil should befall us, some
visitation of an offended deity.


Children need the Bible as a part of their social heritage. Just as they
get a larger life, inspired and stimulated by the realization of their
connection with the past of their family and their country, so the Bible
brings them into connection with the religious history of the race.
General history brings heroic forefathers into the stream of
consciousness; we feel the push of their lives. So the Bible reveals the
stream farther back and makes us part of the process of life in unity
with great characters and great movements.

The child has a right to the Bible as his literary heritage. Here in the
Bible is the precipitation of the ideals of a people unique in the
place which religion held in their lives. Here is a literature which is
the source of much of the best in the language and reading of the
child's life. Its phrases are beautiful and convenient embodiments of
religious ideals; they will have a steadily developing richness of
meaning as life opens out to the child.[21]


The difficulties in the way of the use of the Bible in the home are: the
crowded programs, or a lack of time due to the absence of any program
for the days; a feeling of unnaturalness in the special reading of this
book; the decay of the custom of reading aloud; parental ignorance of
the Bible and especially of its beauties for the young; and the
excessive amount of task-reading frequently required by the schools. The
Sunday school also sometimes offends in this respect by overemphasis on
academic tasks for home work.


First, let parents use the Bible themselves. Use the books as you wish
children to use them. This will be the longest step you can take toward
the solution of the problem.

Secondly, use the Bible naturally. When children have an aversion to the
Bible it is due usually to two causes: the peculiar place and use of
the book which makes it a thing apart from life, and often an object of
dread; and the practice of using it as a task-book, to be opened only in
order to prepare Sunday-school lessons. Just as it takes years to
overcome the aversion set up against English literature by its
analytical study in the schools, so that the child becomes a man before
he voluntarily reads Dickens, Thackeray, the poets, and essayists, in
the same manner we have succeeded in making the Bible undesirable to
youth. If you read passages aloud, use the tone of voice which would be
appropriate if this was a new book not bound in leather. Read it for
pleasure as one would read a literary masterpiece--not because opinion
might frown on you if you had not read the classic. Does someone object
that that would be to degrade the Bible to the level of secular
writings? You cannot degrade a literature; it makes its own level and
our labels do not affect it. Certain it is that a pious tone of voice
will not protect the Bible from the secular level. But to use it
unnaturally will degrade it in the opinion of those who hear us.

Thirdly, make its use a pleasure. All children enjoy story-telling and
listening to reading. Many parents practice the children's hour, some
period in the day when they will, alone with the children, read and talk
with them. Let the Bible story be the reward of a good day, something
promised as an incentive to good behavior. Children delight, not alone
in the story itself, but in rhythmic passages, in the poetic flights of
Isaiah and the beautiful imagery of the Psalms. To them it is natural
and pleasant to think of the hills that skipped and the stars that sang
and the trees that gave forth praise. They know the song of nature and
are happy to find it put into words.

Fourthly, use the Bible as a book of life. How many times a day do
questions of conduct arise in the family! How often do children ask what
is right, and freely discuss the question! Here is a book rich in
precept and example on at least many of the questions. There are
pictures of actual lives meeting real temptations; there are the
epigrammatic precepts of Proverbs and of the teachings of Jesus. Call
attention to them, not as settling the question out of hand, but as
testimony to the point. Accustom children to getting the light of the
Bible on their lives, remembering that this book is a light and not a
fence nor a code of laws.

Fifthly, use the Bible in worship. This does not conflict with the plea
for its use naturally, for worship should be as natural as any of the
social pleasures of the family. Here select those passages for reading
which count most for the spirit of worship. It is a good plan to read a
short passage, suitable for memorizing, so frequently that children
learn it and are able to repeat it in concert. Be sure that all the
passages read or recited are short. It will often be wise to preface the
reading with a brief account of its original circumstances, so that all
may hear the words as the actual utterances of a real man living in real

Sixthly, provide material which helps to make the Bible interesting, and
which helps children to see its pictures through the eyes of geography
and history.[22]

Seventhly, make the use of the Bible possible at all times for all. See
that as soon as the child can read he has his own Bible, that it is in
large, readable type, as much like any other book as possible. It is no
evidence of grace to ruin the eyes over diamond-text Bibles. If
possible, also provide separate books of the Bible, in modern literary
form and some in the idiom of our day.[23]


It is doubtful whether good comes from the use of the Bible as a
riddle-book, nor do the "Bible games" tend to develop a natural
appreciation of the book. There is no new light but rather a confusing
shadow thrown on the character of Joseph by the foolish conundrum
concerning Pharaoh making a ruler out of him. Sending a child to the
Bible to discover the shortest verse, the longest, the middle one, etc.,
trains him to regard it as an odd kind of book, to think of it as a
dictionary, and to use it less.

We assume too readily that a knowledge of the separate details of
biblical information, such as the date of the Flood, the age of
Methuselah, the names of the twelve tribes, the twelve apostles, the
books of the two Testaments, is the desired end. But one might know all
these things and many more and be not one whit the better. For the child
surely the desirable end is that he may feel deeply the attractiveness
of the character of Joseph or of Jesus, may say within himself, "What a
fine man; I want to be like him." Be sure the persons are real, that you
see them living their lives in their times, just as you live your life

     I. References for Study

     T.G. Soares, "Making the Bible Real to Boys," in _Boy Training_,
     pp. 117-40. Association Press, $0.75.

     W.T. Lhamon, "Bible in the Home," _Religious Education_, December,
     1912, p. 486.

     G. Hodges, _Training of Children in Religion_, chap. x. Appleton,

     II. Further Reading

     _The Bible in Practical Life._ Religious Education Association.
     Numerous references to the use of the Bible in the home in this

     Patterson Dubois, _The Natural Way_, sec. iv. Revell, $1.25.

     III. Methods and Materials

     "Passages of Bible for Memorization," _Religious Education_,
     August, 1906.

     Louise S. Houghton, _Telling Bible Stories_. Scribner, $1.25.

     Johnson, _The Narrative Bible_. Baker & Taylor Co., $1.50.

     Hall and Wood, _The Bible Story_, 5 vols. King, $2.00 by

     Courtney, _The Literary Man's Bible_. Crowell, $1.25.

     The above are but a few of the many collections of biblical

     IV. Topics for Discussion

     1. What are the conditions which seem to make the reading of the
     Bible different from other reading? Is there a sense of unreality
     about it as a book? What are the causes?

     2. Try the experiment of reading the story of Joseph at one
     sitting. Try to retell this to children.

     3. What biblical material stands out in your memory of childhood?
     In what degree is this due to the art of the story-teller or the
     reader? to the character of the material?


[21] See M.J.C. Foster, _The Mother the Child's First Bible Teacher_.

[22] Mackie, _Bible Manners and Customs_.

Chamberlin, _Introduction to the Bible for Teachers of Children_.

Worcester, _On Holy Ground_, 2 vols.

[23] For example, Moulton, _Modern Reader's Bible_. The new Jewish
renderings of Old Testament books are good, especially the Psalms.



Family worship has declined until, at least in the United States, the
percentage of families practicing daily worship in the home is so small
as to be negligible. If this meant that a general institution of
religion had passed out of existence the fact would be highly
significant. But it is well to remember that family worship has never
been a general institution. We have generalized the picture of the
"Cotter's Saturday Night" so eloquently drawn by Burns; it has been
applied to every night and to every fireside. Daily family worship was
observed in practically all the Puritan homes of New England; but there
is no evidence for it as a uniform custom, either in other parts of this
country or in other parts of the world, save perhaps in sections of
Scotland. True, there were many families which observed the custom; but
there were also many families of church members and doubtless of truly
religious people in which family worship as a regular institution was
unknown. This has been especially true in the type of family life which
has developed under modern social conditions. Further, even so simple an
exercise as grace at meals has not always been a general custom.


But the fact today is that family worship is so rare as to be counted
phenomenal wherever found. The instances, though not general, were
common a generation ago. Many are living to whom family worship afforded
the largest part of their conscious and formal religious education.
Following the morning meal, or, occasionally, the evening meal, the
family waited while the father, or the mother in his absence, read a
portion of the Scriptures and offered prayer. In other families the act
of worship would be the closing one of the day, perhaps participated in
by the older members only, the younger children having repeated their
prayers at bedside on retiring. A thousand happy and sacred associations
gather about the memories of these occasions: the sense of reverence,
the feeling that the home was a sacred place, the impression of noble
words and elevating thoughts, the reflex influence of the prayer that
committed all to the keeping and guidance of God.[24]


Parents need to see the values in family worship. We have been insisting
on the primary importance of the religious interpretation of the family
as an institution, on the power of the religious motive, and the
atmosphere of religion. But wherever there is a truly religious motive
and a permanent religious atmosphere these will find definite expression
in acts easily recognized as religious. Love is the motive and
atmosphere of the true home, but love blossoms into words and bears
fruit in a thousand deeds. The life of love dies without reality in act.
Ideals are precipitated in expressive acts. So is it with religion in
the home; it must not only be real in its sincerity, it must be
realized, must pass over into conduct and action, as suggested above in
chaps. vii and viii. And it must do this in ways so sharply defined and
readily recognized as to leave no doubt as to their meaning. True, all
acts may be religious and thus full of worship--this is most important
of all--but worship expressly unites all such acts in a spirit of
loyalty and aspiration.

Worship is a necessity for the sake of the ideal unity of the family
life. Just as the individual must not only feel the religious emotion
but must also do the thing called for, so must this united personality
of the family give expression to its faith and aspiration, its motives
and emotions, in such a manner that, acting as a social unit, all can
together put the inner life into the outer form. The social value of
family worship is the strongest reason for its maintenance. It is the
united act of the family group, the one in which group consciousness is
expressly directed to the highest possible aims. Every period of worship
brings the family into unity at an ideal level.

The expression of religion in definite forms is necessary for children,
too, as furnishing a means by which they can manifest their feeling of
the higher meaning of family life. The reality of that feeling is
stimulated in the daily, common life of the right family; the hour of
worship is one out of many definite forms of its concrete expression. It
is the form which gathers up the totality of feeling and aspiration into
an act of worship and praise toward God, the Father of all families. It
is evident there cannot be true worship in the family that is
irreligious in its essential qualities, in its character, in its ideals
and atmosphere.


The period of worship is a necessity in interpreting to all the spirit
and meaning of a religious family. It objectifies the inner life. It
makes definite, tangible, and easily remembered the general impressions
of religion. It precipitates the atmosphere of religion into
definiteness. In the chemical laboratory of a university there is
usually a decided atmosphere of chemistry, but no one expects to become
a chemical engineer by absorbing that atmosphere, nor even to attain a
simple working knowledge by merely general impressions. Definiteness
aids in gathering up our knowledge, our impressions.

The reading of the Bible in the home will give, when the passages are
wisely chosen, forms of language into which the often chaotic but
nevertheless valuable and potential emotions of youth fall as into a
beautiful mold; they become remembered forms of beauty thereafter.

Family worship furnishes opportunity for direct religious instruction.
When the home life has its regular institution, as regular as meals and
play, the formality, the apparent abnormality of conversation about
religion, is absent. Children expect and look forward to the period when
the family will lay other things aside to think on the eternal values.
Their questions in the breathing-space that always ought to follow
worship become perfectly natural and sincere.

Family worship lifts the whole level of family life. Ideally conceived,
it simply means the family unity consciously coming into its highest
place. Children may not understand all the reading nor enter into the
motives for all parts of the petition, but they do feel that this moment
is the one in which the family enters a holy place. They feel that God
is real and that their family life is a part of his whole care and of
his life. One short period of natural reverence sends light and calm
all through the day. Where the home is the place where true prayer is
offered, the family is the group which meets in an act of worship; here
and into this group there cannot easily enter strife, bickerings, or
baseness. One short period, five minutes or even less, of quietness, of
united turning toward the eternal, gives tone to the day and finer
atmosphere to the home.

What our community life might be like without the churches, faulty or
incompetent as we may know some of them to be, what that life would lose
and miss without them is precisely, and perhaps in larger degree, what
the family life misses without its own institution of regular devotion
and worship.


We can always afford to do that which is most worth while doing; our
essential difficulty is to shake off the delusion of the lesser values,
the lower prizes, to realize that, of all the good of life, the
characters of our children, the gain we can all make in the eternal
values of the spirit, in love and joy and truth and goodness, is the
gain most worth while. We tend to set the making of a living before the
making of lives. We need to see the development of the powers of
personality, the riches of character, as the ultimate, dominant purpose
of all being. Once grasp that, and hold to it, and we shall not allow
lesser considerations, such as the pressure of business, the desire for
gain, for ease, for pleasure, for social life, to come before this first
and highest good; we shall make time for definite conscious religion in
the life of the family.[25]


There are three simple forms which worship takes in the family: first,
grace offered at the meals; secondly, the prayers of children on
retiring and, occasionally, on rising; thirdly, the daily gathering of
the family for an act of the spirit. The statement of the three forms
reads so as to give them a formal character, but the most important
point to remember is that wherever they are true acts of worship they
are formal only in that they occur at definite, determined times and
places. The acts have no merit in themselves. Merely to institute their
observance will not secure religious feeling and life in the home. These
three observances have arisen because at these times there is the best
and most natural opportunity for the expression of aspiration, desire,
and feeling.


1. _Grace at meals._--Shall we say grace at meals? To assent because it
is the custom, or because it was so done in our childhood's home, may
make an irreligious mockery of the act. Perhaps, too, there are some who
even hesitate to omit the grace from an unspoken fear that the food
might harm them without it. All have heard grace so muttered, or
hurriedly and carelessly spoken, void of all feeling and thought, that
the act was almost unconscious, a species of "vain repetition."

There are two outstanding aspects of the asking of a blessing--the
desire to express gratitude for the common benefits of life, and the
expression of a wish, with the recognition of its realization, that at
each meal the family group might include the Unseen Guest, the Infinite
Spirit of God. That wish lifts the meal above the dull level of
satisfying appetites. Just as, in good society, we seek to make the meal
much more than an eating of food, "a feast of reason and a flow of
soul," so does this act make each meal a social occasion lifted toward
the spiritual. The one thought at the beginning, the thought of the
reality of the presence of God, and of the nearness of the divine to us
in our daily pleasures, gives a new level to all our thinking.

How shall we say grace, or "ask a blessing"? First, with simplicity and
sincerity. Avoid long, elaborate, ornate phrases. It is better to err
in rhetoric than in feeling and reality. The sonorous grace may soon
become stilted and offensive. It is better to say in your own words just
what you mean, for that will help all, even to the youngest, to mean
what they say with you.

Vary the form of petition. Sometimes let it be the silent grace of the
Quakers; sometimes children will enjoy singing one of the old four-line
stanzas, as

    Be present at our table, Lord,
    Be here and everywhere adored;
    These mercies bless and grant that we
    May feast in Paradise with thee.

One might use the first three of the following lines for breakfast and
the last three at another meal:

    For the new morning with its light,
    For rest and shelter of the night,
      We thank the heavenly Father.

    For rest and food, for love and friends,
    For everything his goodness sends,
      We thank the heavenly Father.[26]


    When early in the morning the birds lift up their songs,
    We bring our praise to Jesus to whom all praise belongs.

One especially needs to guard against the purely dietetic grace, the one
that only asks that the deity will aid digestion, as that form so often
heard, "Bless these mercies to our use."[27]

Should we say grace on all occasions of meals? What shall we do at the
social dinner in the home? The answer depends on the purpose of the
grace. Is it not that in our own group we may have the consciousness of
the presence of God? When the meal is that of our own group with a
friend or two, we bring the friends into the group and the act of family
worship is maintained. Usually this is the case. So it will be when the
group is entirely at one in this desire: the asking of grace will be
perfectly natural. But when the group is a large one, when the sense of
family unity is lost, or when the observance would seem unnatural, it is
better to omit it. Grace in large gatherings often seems an uncovering
of the sacred aspects of the home life.

2. _Bedtime prayers._--What of children's bedtime prayers? Many can
remember them. To many the most natural, helpful time for formal periods
of prayer is in the quiet of the bedroom just before retiring. But there
is a grave danger in establishing a regular custom of bedside prayers
for children, a danger manifest in the very form of certain of these
prayers, as

    Now I lay me down to sleep,
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

It is as though the child were saying, "The day is ended during which I
have been able to take care of myself, the hours of helpless sleep
begin, and I ask God to take care of me through the terrors of the
night." For some children, at least, the night has been made terrible by
that thought; they have been led to feel that the day was safe and
beautiful, but that the night was so dangerous and fearful that only the
great God could keep them through it, and it was an open question
whether their prayer for that keeping would be heard.

One must avoid also the notion that such prayers are part of a price
paid, a system of daily taxation in return for which heaven furnishes us
police protection.

The best plan seems to be to encourage children to pray, to establish in
them the habit of closing the day with quiet, grateful thoughts, to
watch especially that the prayers learned in early life do not distort
the child's thoughts of God, and to make the evening prayer an
opportunity for the child to express his desires to God his Father and
Friend. Having done this, as the children grow up it is best to leave
them free to pray when and where they will. One may properly encourage
the evening, private prayer; but the child ought to have the feeling
that it is not obligatory, that it must grow out of his desire to talk
with God, and, above all, that it has no special connection with the
hour and act of retiring for sleep but rather, so far as time is
concerned, with the closing of the day. Mothers must see far beyond the
charm of the picture formed by the little white-robed figure at her
knee. There is no hour so rich in possibilities for this growing life.
It is one of the great opportunities to guide its consciousness of

3. _General family prayers._--It is true that, in many homes, under
modern conditions of business, it is almost impossible for the family to
be united at the hour when worship used to be customary, following
breakfast. However, that is not the only hour available. In many
respects it is a poor one for the purpose of social worship; it lacks
the sense of leisure. But there are few families where the members do
not all gather for the evening meal. It is not difficult to plan at its
close for ten minutes in which all shall remain. Without leaving the
table it is possible to spend a short time in united, social worship.
Or, by establishing the custom and steadily following it, it is possible
to leave the table and in less than ten minutes find ample time for
worship in another room.

Really everything depends at first on how much we desire to have family
worship, whether we see its beauty and value in the knitting of home
ties, in the elevation of the family spirit, and in the quickening of
the religious ideas. We find time to eat simply because we must; when
the necessity of the spirit is upon us we shall find time also to
worship and to pray.

Next to the will to make time comes the question of method. First,
determine to be simple, natural, and informal. A stilted exercise soon
becomes a burden and a source of pain to all. In whatever you do, seek
to make it possible for all to have a share by seeing that every thought
is expressed within the intelligence of even the younger members, that
is, of those who desire to have a share. This does not mean descending
to "baby-talk." Just read the Twenty-third Psalm; that is not baby talk,
but a child of seven can understand what is meant up to the measure of
his experience; the language is essentially simple though the ideas are

Secondly, insure brevity. For that part of worship in which all are
expected regularly to unite, ten minutes should be ample. Some excellent
programs will not take more than half this time. Family worship is not a
diminutive facsimile of church worship. Doubtless the experiment has
failed in many families because the father has attempted to preach to a
congregation which could not escape. Keep in mind the thought that this
is to be a high moment in each day in which every member will have an
equal share.

Thirdly, plan for the largest possible amount of common participation.
This is to be the expression of the unity of the family life. Children
enjoy doing things co-operatively and in concert.

Fourthly, treat the occasion naturally in relation to other affairs.
Proceed to the worship without formal notice, without change of voice,
and without apology to visitors. Take this for granted. At the close
move on into other duties without the sense of coming back into the
world. You have not been out of it; you have only recognized the eternal
life and love everywhere in it.

4. _Suggestions of plans._--There are given below seven outlines of
plans of worship. They are plans which have been in use and have been
tried for years. Their only merit is simplicity and practicability; but
they are at least worthy of trial. There is no special significance in
the arrangement of the days and this may be changed in any way
desirable. Further, all plans should be elastic; there will come special
days, such as festivals and birthdays, when the program should be
varied. For example, on a birthday the child whose anniversary then
occurs should have the privilege of making the choice of recitation or
reading or of determining the order of all the parts of this brief
period of worship.


     1. A short psalm repeated in concert.

     2. A brief, informal petition by father or mother.

     3. The Lord's Prayer, in which all join.

     Before attempting even this simple plan, prepare for it by first
     selecting several suitable psalms. The following should be
     included: the 1st, 19th, 23d, 24th, 100th, 117th, 121st, and a part
     of the 103d. You would do well to memorize one of these yourself,
     so as to be able to lead without reading from the book. Next, think
     over with some care the things for which you may pray, the
     aspirations which your children can share with you. Few things are
     more difficult than this, so to pray that all can make the prayer
     their own. Let it also be a prayer of love and joy, not a craven
     begging off from punishments, nor a cowardly plea for protection
     and provision. We can pray over all these things with gratitude and
     with confidence toward the God of love. Do not try to preach in
     your prayers. Many prayers have been ruined by preaching, just as
     some preaching has been spoiled by praying to the people. Usually
     four or five sentences will do for the one day. Better a single
     thought simply expressed than the most brilliant attempt to inform
     the Almighty on all the events of the world that day.

     A prayer in which all can join is always desirable. The Lord's
     Prayer never wearies us nor grows old. Children enter into it with
     some new meaning every day; it covers all our great, common, daily


     1. A few favorite memory verses repeated by all (from either the
     Bible or other literature).

     2. Read a very brief passage from the Bible.

     3. Prayer, ending with the Lord's Prayer.

     Many excellent selections will be found in Dr. Dole's book
     mentioned at the end of this chapter. Encourage children, however,
     to make their selections from the poems and passages they already

     The passage of the Bible selected to be read should be one which
     first of all incites to worship, and should be chosen for its
     inspiration and literary beauty. A few lines from the great
     chapters of Isaiah (e.g., chaps. 35 and 55), from the Psalms (e.g.,
     Pss. 61, 65, 145), from the Sermon on the Mount, from 1 Cor., chap.
     13, from the parables of Jesus, will be suitable.

     The closing prayer may be extemporaneous or may be read from one of
     the books of prayers. Many of the prayers in the Episcopal Prayer
     Book are especially beautiful and quite suitable. Of course in
     families of the Episcopal church the collect for the day would be
     the right prayer to use. It is sometimes necessary to use prayers
     prepared beforehand; some persons never acquire the ability to pray
     aloud, even in their own families. But halting sentences that are
     your own, that your children recognize as yours, may mean more to
     them than the finest flowing phrases from a book. Use the prayers
     from the book, not as a substitute, but as an addition.


     1. A good poem from general literature.

     2. Prayer.

     There are so many good collections of the great and inspiring poems
     that one hesitates to recommend any collection. Remember that a
     poem may be religious and imbued with the spirit of worship,
     helpful to the purpose of this occasion, even though it contains no
     allusions to Scripture and makes no direct references to religious
     belief. "A House by the Side of the Road"[29] is thoroughly human,
     popular, and could not even be accused of being a classic; but it
     has a helpful motive and is likely to lead the will toward the life
     of service and brotherhood. Some would prefer to read a part of one
     of the great hymns.


     1. A brief reading or recitation from the New Testament.

     2. A few moments' conversation on the reading.

     3. A very brief prayer followed by a song.

     The only apparent difficulty here is in starting the conversation.
     Do not ask formal questions; rather put them something like this:
     "I wonder whether people would do just the same on our street
     today." Make the conversation as general as possible; do not
     slight, nor scoff at, the contribution of even the least in the


     1. A few verses in concert.

     2. Read a parable or very brief narrative.

     3. The Lord's Prayer.

     The reading had better be from one of the paraphrases if it is a
     narrative from the Old Testament.[30] Even in reading the New
     Testament one can at times use with advantage the
     _Twentieth-Century Bible_ or the _Modern Reader's Bible_.


     1. A period of song.

     2. Closing prayer, with the Lord's Prayer.

     Perhaps only one song can be sung. It need not be a hymn; that
     should depend on the choice of the children. Help them to put
     together all the good songs, including the hymns, in one category
     in their minds.


     1. Ask: "What has been the best we have read or repeated in our
     worship this week?"

     2. Ask: "What shall we learn for memory repetition this week, what
     psalm or other passage for our concerted worship?"

     3. Read the psalm selected.

     4. Closing prayer.

     5. Period of song, lasting as long as desired.

     This exercise evidently permits of extension in time and should be
     arranged in accordance with the program for the day.

     I. References for Study

     George Hodges, _The Training of Children in Religion_, chaps. viii,
     ix. Appleton, $1.50.

     _The Improvement of Religious Education_, pp. 108 to 123. Religious
     Education Association, $0.50.

     Mrs. B.S. Winchester, "Methods and Materials Available," _Religious
     Education_, October, 1911. $0.50.

     II. Further Reading

     Koons, _The Child's Religious Life_. Eaton & Mains, $1.00.

     Hartshorne, _Worship in the Sunday School_. Columbia University,

     III. Methods and Materials

     A.R. Wells, _Grace before Meat_. U.S.C.E., $0.25.

     C.F. Dole, _Choice Verses_. Jamaica Plains, Massachusetts.
     Privately printed.

     F.A. Hinckley (ed.), _Readings for Sunday School and Home_.
     American Unitarian Association, $0.35.

     J. Martin, _Prayers for Little Men and Women_. Harper, $1.25.

     S. Hart (ed.), _Short Daily Prayers for Families_. Longmans, $0.60.

     G.A. Miller, _Some Out-Door Prayers_. Crowell, $0.35.

     Oxenden, _Family Prayers_. Longmans, $1.50.

     George Skene, _Morning Prayers for Home Worship_. Methodist Book
     Concern, $1.50.

     W.E. Barton, _Four Weeks of Family Prayer_. Puritan Press, Oak
     Park, Ill.

     Abbott, _Family Prayers_. Dodd, Mead & Co., $0.50.

     _Prayers for Parents and Children._ Young Churchman Co., Milwaukee,
     Wisconsin, $0.15.

     IV. Topics for Discussion

     1. What are the causes for the decay of the custom of family

     2. What influences us most: public opinion, popular custom,
     economic pressure?

     3. How have the changes affected the religious influence of the

     4. What features of the older customs are most worth preserving?

     5. Recall any of childhood's prayers which you remember. How many
     maintain the custom of bedtime prayers in mature life?

     6. What should be the central motive of "grace" at meals?

     7. Would there be advantage in occasionally omitting the "grace"?

     8. Give reasons for and against "grace."

     9. Criticize the proposed plan of evening family prayers.

     10. Describe any plans which have been tried.

     11. Why is it desirable to maintain family worship?


[24] For a study of children's worship see H.H. Hartshorne, _Worship in
the Sunday School_; "Report of Commission on Graded Worship," _Religious
Education_, October, 1914.

[25] "Parents who give up such a practice as family prayers mainly
because they know of many other people who have done the same are
just as much the slaves of public opinion and ignorant cant as the
narrowest Lowlander who forbids his children secular history on
Sunday."--Lyttleton, _Corner-Stone of Education_, pp. 207-8.

[26] Quoted by W.S. Athearn, _The Church School_.

[27] A number of good poems are given in A.R. Wells, _Grace before

[28] W.B. Forbush gives a number of poetic forms of prayer for children
in _The Religious Nurture of a Little Child_, pp. 12, 13.

[29] By Samuel Walter Foss.

[30] One handy form is _The Heart of the Bible_, prepared by E.A.
Broadus; another, _The Children's Bible_.



Almost every family finds Sunday a problem. Other days are well occupied
with full programs; this one has a program for only part of its time.
Other days are rich with the liberty of happy action, but this one is
frequently marked by inaction, repression, and limitations. As soon as
the evanescent pleasure of Sunday clothes has passed, for those for whom
it existed at all, the children settle down to endure the day.


Fathers and mothers who vent a sigh of relief when Sunday is over must
marvel at the strains of "O day of joy and gladness." Yet this day
defeats its purpose when it is of any other character. We have no right
to rob it of its joy and its healing balm. On the day made for man,
sacred to his highest good, whatever hinders the real happiness of the
child ought to be set aside.

Instead of accepting traditions regarding the method of observing the
Sunday, would it not be worth while to ask ourselves, For what use of
the day can we properly be held responsible? Here are so many--fifty-two
a year--days of special opportunity. To us who complain that business
interferes with the personal education of our children through the week,
what ought this day to mean? To us who lament the little time we can
spend with our families, what ought this day to mean? And what ought we
to try to make it mean to children?

We call this God's day; what must some children think of a God who robs
his day of all pleasure? If this is the kind of day he makes, then how
unattractive would be his years and eternity! It is the day when we have
our best opportunity to show them what God is like, to interpret his
world and his works in terms of beauty, kindness, riches of thought, and

It ought to be the day reserved for the best in life, for the treasures
of affection, for the uses of the spirit. Whatever is done this day must
come to this test, Is this a ministry to the life of goodness, truth,
and loving service? Does this enrich lives? In other words, we may put
the broad educational test to the day and its program and determine all
by ministry to growing lives.


The family faces the problem of the opposition between the rights of man
on this day and the greed of commerce, the fight between a day of rest
and a day of work. Man's right to rest is assured, legally, but
commerce in the name of amusement and in the guise of petty and
unnecessary trading constantly maintains its fight to invade the day of
rest, to turn it from ministry to man as a person to the dull level of
the week of ministry to things. The home has much at stake in this
struggle. It needs one day free from the life that tears its members
apart, free from the toil that engrosses thought, free for its members
to live together as spiritual beings.

In the need for one day, free from the things that hinder and devoted to
the life of the spirit, the home finds the guiding principle for the use
of the day; all members are to be trained to use it as a glorious
opportunity, a welcome period, a day of the best things of life. It is
devoted to personality, to man's rights as a religious being.

Surely one of the best things of life will be that we shall meet one
another, shall look into faces of friends and companions! And this
opportunity of social mingling is lifted to a high level when it is an
act of the larger family life, the life that brings God and man into one
family. That is what the church meeting and service ought to be: our
Father's larger family getting together on the day of the life that
makes them one. For the child the church school and the children's
service of worship are their immediate points of vital touch with the
church family. If we think of the day as affording us the pleasure of
social mingling with friends and members of that family, Sunday morning
will cease to be a period of unwilling observance of empty duties. Of
course that will depend, too, on the measure in which the church and
school grasp their opportunity to make this the best of days.[31]

Further, let the home keep this day as the one of personal values all
the way through, sacred to that life of love, friendship, and joy in the
presence of one another which is the essential life of the family. It
has always been a good custom for friends to visit on this day, for
families grown up and established around their own hearths to gather
again for a few hours. It is the day when we have time to discover how
much greater are the riches of friendship than aught besides, when,
looking into the eyes of those we love, we see "the light that never was
on sea or land," the ultimate good!

The hours of being together are the hours of real education. Children
cannot be with good and great people and remain the same. Their lives
need other lives. Above all, they need us. This should be the day for
real mothering and fathering. Nothing ought to be permitted to interfere
with this, neither our social pleasures nor the demands of the church.


What shall we do with the child who wants to play on Sunday? Is there
any other kind of child? They all want to. It is as natural for a child
to play as it is for a man to rest; it is as necessary. A child is a
growing person learning life by play. Because play seems trivial to us
we assume it is so to them; we would banish the trivial from the day
devoted to the higher life. In some families play is forbidden because
children find pleasure in it, and adults find it impossible to associate
piety and pleasure.

Shall we then throw down all barriers and make this day the same as all
others? No, rather make the day different by throwing down barriers that
stand on other days. Let this be the day when the barriers between
father and sons, parents and children, are let down and all can enter
into the joy of living.

Play is to a child the idealization of life's experiences and the
realization of its ideals. That is why he plays at school, idealizing
the everyday life; that is why he plays at housekeeping, at being in
church, at being a railway engineer, even a highwayman or an outlaw. The
traditional games are the game of life itself in terms of childhood.
Play as idealized experience and realized ideals is to the child what
the church, worship, and the reading of fiction and essays are to the
adult. Play is the child's method of reaching forward into life's
meaning. Some games as old as history carry a weight of human tradition
and experience as rich for a child as the adult obtains from historical
review and from association with the past. There is a sense in which the
child playing these games opens the Bible of the race.[32]

We cannot make children over into our pattern; we have to learn from
them. Indeed, we come to life through their ways. We must become as
little children. Before we settle the question of play on Sunday we do
well to be sure that we know what play means to children, that we really
grasp something of its educational value and its religious potency. Then
we can proceed to a family policy in Sunday play.


_Keep the day as one of family unity._ Help the child to think of it as
a day protected for the sake of family togetherness. You can play that
for this day the ideal is already realized of a family life
uninterrupted by the demands of labor and business.

_Maintain the unity by doing the ideal things together._ Go to the place
of worship together, provided it is the place where the child can find
expression for spiritual ideals. If the Sunday school does not really
lift the child-life and really teach the child, if it is not honest with
him and makes no suitable provision for his developing nature, he will
be better off in a quiet hour of family conversation and reading at
home. That means the application of parents to this hour.[33] It
banishes the monstrous Sunday supplement with its hideous, debasing
pictures. It substitutes conversation in the whole group, reading aloud
of stories and poems, biblical and otherwise, and songs, hymns, or at
times the walk in the fields or parks. Fortunately the better type of
Sunday school is more and more to be found; children are more and more
receiving a ministry actually determined by their needs. So far as the
church service is concerned the ideal situation is found when a parallel
service is provided for children, based on their needs and capacities.
As to attendance, under other circumstances, in the family pew, that
depends on whether the child is gaining an aversion to the church by the
torture and tedium often involved. Without doubt many adults acquired
the settled habit of sleeping in church because that was the only
possible relief in childhood.[34]

_Maintain the family unity by stepping into the child's ideal life.
Expect activity and use it._ Why should we assume that because the adult
finds a Sunday nap enjoyable the child will be blessed by enforced
silence? I would rather see a father playing catch with his boys on
Sunday than see the boys cowed into silence while he slept a Sabbath
sleep. Children will play. Their play is innocent; more, it may be
helpful and educative; we can insure these values in it by our
participation. That is the parent's opportunity for a closer sympathy
with his children. Playing together is the closest living, thinking, and
feeling together. Where games are shared, confidences, secrets, and
aspirations are shared, too. Besides, the participation of the adult may
tend to tone up the game and to moderate boisterousness.

_Seek the beautiful._ Speaking as one who has been under both the
puritanical regulation and the so-called "continental" freedom of Sunday
observance, nothing seems much more beautiful than the sight of an
entire family playing at home, in the park, or off in the woods or the
fields of the country. Life is strengthened, ideals are lifted, family
ties knit closer, gratitude is quickened, and courage stimulated by play
of this kind.


But because it is evidently most important that this day should be
different from other days, it is well to mark that difference in our
plays and pleasures and to follow some simple principles for Sunday

First, make it the day of the _best_ plays. The participation of parents
will tend to have this effect. Sometimes some forms of play may be
reserved for this day.

Secondly, our play should never interfere with the rights of those who
desire to be quiet or to observe the day in ways differing from ours. We
must respect the rights of all.

Thirdly, our play must not cause additional or unnecessary labor.

Fourthly, our play must not interfere with the pleasures of others. For
instance, in the city children who can use the public tennis courts
every day should keep off them on Sunday in order to give opportunity to
those who can use them only on that day.

Having said so much on play on Sundays, we must not leave the impression
that play is the principal thing. It would be the principal thing for
children compelled to work or confined in crowded tenements on all other
days. This is a day of rest. Play should not be carried beyond the rest
and refreshment stage.

Nor must we assume that a recognition of play involves neglect of
worship and instruction. Both should be cherished among the delights of
the day. Every attempt to make the day a happy one, by normal play,
associates the emphasis on worship with increased happiness in the
child's mind.


"What shall we do?" the children ask restlessly on Sunday afternoons,
and it is by no means a strange question. All the week they have their
school work, on Saturdays their play. No wonder Sunday afternoon seems
dull. Yet if we older ones use it aright this is our opportunity to give
them the best time of all the week. We can make this part of the day
really a holiday if we just take time to plan it right. There is
something wrong in the home in which the child, as he grows up, does not
look forward happily to his Sunday afternoons.

Sunday afternoon should be a family festival time. Keep it sacred to the
family. Business and social life claim us all the week, and the church
claims its share of this day; but these afternoon hours we can, if we
will, reserve for our own home life, for the closer drawing together of
children and parents. To hold this time sacred for the children and
their interests will help to solve "the Sunday afternoon problem."

1. _The child's question, "What shall I do next?"_--Children are
dynamic, perpetually active. They grow in the direction toward which
their activities are turned. Repression is impossible. We must either
find the best things for them to do, or let them chance on things good
or bad. The following outline for Sunday afternoon is given in the hope
that it may help to answer the "what next."

     1. Begin to make _The Family Book_.

     2. Give "festival name" to the day, and take an excursion in honor
     of the one for whom the day is named.

     3. Organize an exploring party to discover peoples and scenes of
     long, long ago.

     4. Get acquainted with some beautiful home thoughts.

     5. Enjoy an evening hour of song and praise.

2. _"The Family Book."_--To start _The Family Book_, mother or father
raises the question at dinner: "What was the best Sunday of all last
year, and why was it the best?" Everyone, from the oldest down to the
least, should have a chance to tell. The statements of the older ones
will encourage the younger.

That question will start another: What is the very best thing we can
remember about the year past? Let everyone take a pencil and paper and
in just ten minutes decide on and write down the one thing best worth
remembering. Perhaps the baby cannot write yet, but he or she will want
paper and pencil, too. Now, instead of making our answers known to one
another, we fold the papers and keep them till the evening meal. We will
open them then and talk it all over. Afterward we are going to copy the
answers into a new book we are going to make.

This new book is to be called _The Family Book_, and we expect to put
into it all the pleasant things we wish to record about our home and
family. Any blank book with ruled lines will do. Some time today we will
elect a keeper of the book, and before we go to bed we will see the
first entry in that book under the title, "Happy Memories of 1915." That
will make a good beginning for _The Family Book_. Next Sunday we will
discuss and set down in the book the happy memories of the intervening

3. _The festival name._--Now, we have been sitting, talking, and writing
as long as the children will care to be still. Suppose we all go
outdoors together, every one of us. What if the weather is bad? It is
seldom truly bad, and there is so much real happiness in going out in
all weathers together.

But where shall we go? There is no fun in walking simply for exercise or
health. Well, says father, we can decide where to go by naming the day.
How? We will find the most interesting birthday or anniversary that
falls today or during the next week. If one of the family has a birthday
then, that one shall choose our walk for us. If not, then when we have
chosen the national hero or heroine whose birthday falls near this time,
or the event the anniversary of which comes nearest, we will go, if
possible, where something will remind us of that person or event.

So we fall to discussing the possibilities. We search through almanacs
until we find the anniversary that suits us all. Perhaps one of the
parents has anticipated all this by looking up the matter, and has a
good name to suggest. Or the older ones may consult a dictionary of
dates. It may turn out to be the birthday of a national hero. In the
city he may have a statue; in the country may be found the kinds of
woods, flowers, or animals he loved.

4. _The exploring party._--But even after the walk it will not be long
before the little ones are asking, "What can we do next?" So we organize
the exploring party. Our object is to discover the countries, scenes,
strange peoples, and most interesting persons we have heard of in the
Bible. We are to find them in the advertising sections of old magazines.
Let each one take a magazine and go through it, looking for oriental
scenes, for pictures of incidents and of men and women that will remind
him of Bible scenes and characters. These are to be cut out, explained,
and arranged in the order of time, as they happened, every member of the
family helping. The same plan may be applied to scenes of missionary
work, using blank books for stories of heroism which children will
illustrate with the magazine pictures.

5. _Home thoughts._--"Home, sweet home," is just a corner of the
afternoon saved for the discovery and reading of selections that are
worth keeping in our memories and are also likely to help us hold our
homes in some measure of the love and reverence they deserve. There are
songs of home that ought never to be forgotten.

6. _Religious reading and songs close the day happily._--Children love
religious reading and songs, provided they are offered for their worth
and not as an exercise, or to be learned as an empty duty. Take down
your Bible and read Psalm 100, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all
ye lands"; see whether they do not all enjoy the music and majesty of
those lines. You will not find it difficult to secure their co-operation
in learning that by heart.

Then close the day with an hour of song. The children will remember
songs learned thus all their lives; therefore those worth remembering
should be chosen. For one, there is that dear old song many of us
learned at mother's knee, "Jesus loves me, this I know." That and others
that are appropriate can be found in almost every hymnbook. Many books
of school songs also have a few hymns and Sunday songs that children

Parents are puzzled, perhaps most of all, to choose appropriate stories
to read to the children on Sunday. Youngsters prefer, of course, the
told story to the read one, but if you wish to read you will make no
mistake in selecting _Christie's Old Organ_; _Aunt Abbey's Neighbors_,
by Annie T. Slosson; _The Book of Golden Deeds_, by Charlotte M. Yonge;
and _Telling Bible Stories_, by Louise S. Houghton. _Some Great Stories
and How to Tell Them_, by Richard Wyche, and _Story Telling_, by Edna
Lyman, will serve as good guides to what to tell, and how to tell it.

7. _Naming the day._--From week to week variety should enter into the
Sunday program. On the Sunday following the one described above we can
begin at the dinner table the happy task of "naming the day." We can
decide whether it shall be called after one of our own number, whose
birthday falls near this date, or after one of the anniversaries of the
week following.

Perhaps someone suggests calling it after the feast day of the church
year observed by certain churches. That should lead to discussion and
investigation of the meaning of the day.

When all are agreed on a name, write it under its date on your wall
calendar. It will be a convenient suggestion for next year, unless the
decision is for a different name when the day again comes round. It will
also call to mind some of the interesting discussions which it aroused.

After this we might call for _The Family Book_, which now contains, you
will recall, the family's decision as to the best Sunday and the
happiest occurrences of the year before. The keeper, appointed last
week, must bring it out. We can read what we wrote a week ago and decide
on the things worth entering this week. Records of birthdays, special
happenings to each of the family, the bright sayings of little ones, and
the visits of friends and relatives all should go in.

8. _"I remember" stories._--While _The Family Book_ is open is the
psychological moment for father and mother to tell stories of their
childhood. Every child likes to hear the story that begins, "I
remember," and feels a thrill of pride in belonging to something that
goes back and has a history. The old family album is a never-failing
source of delight, not so much because of the pictures as because of
what they suggest of family traditions.

Now is a good time to select some certain thing which shall be used only
on this day, such as a festival lamp or candlestick, some festival
plates or dishes--just one thing or set of things toward the use of
which we can look forward during the week. This helps to make Sunday
what we used to call "a treat."

9. _Golden deeds._--Last week we started _The Family Book_ in which to
keep a record of all the happy experiences that belong to our family.
This week we begin another book. In it we expect to place every week
just one splendid story, the account of a golden deed, some piece of
everyday kindness or heroism of which we have read or heard or which we
have witnessed. Everyone is to have a chance to contribute to this book,
all the family deciding by vote each week as to which story should be
placed on its pages.

Did you read in the paper this week of some brave or kindly deed done by
a boy or a girl, a man or a woman? Did you see someone do an act of
kindness? Cut out the account or write out the story and have it ready
for your own _Golden Deed Book_. Everyone must watch all the week for
the right kind of stories. It is wonderful how much good you will find
in the world when you are looking for it.

Sunday afternoons all the family can hear each story and talk over its
fine points of virtue and goodness. Thus may be developed an
appreciation of the human qualities that are really admirable. We can
discuss also the probability of certain of the stories and the
righteousness of the deeds.

Any blank book will do, or even a composition book. It will help to keep
hands happily occupied if you make your own covers and cut out gilt
letters for the title. Often you can find pictures to illustrate the
stories chosen; sometimes you may prefer to draw the illustrations. Keep
_The Golden Deed Book_ in a safe and convenient place, because there
ought to be something to go into it every week. For instance, did you
read the other day of the young man who jumped in front of a train to
save a young girl? He lost his life, but he saved hers. Can you find
that story and put it in the book? Perhaps you have found one that seems
even more fitting.

10. _Various plans._--Giving happiness creates it. Plan something every
Sunday for the happiness of others. Occasionally go in a body to call on
someone who will be made happy by the visit.

If you walk in the park or elsewhere, see how many things you can
discover that you have read about in the Bible or know to be mentioned

Try the game of "guessing hymns." While someone plays the familiar
tunes, each takes a turn at identifying them and the hymns to which they

Set aside twenty minutes for each one to write a letter to send to the
brother or sister, relative or friend, at a distance. Even the baby can
scratch something which he thinks is a "real enough" letter in penciled

Close the day with quiet reading and song, or with the memory exercise
in which all endeavor to repeat some simple psalm or a few verses, like
the Beatitudes. All children like to repeat the Lord's Prayer in family

     I. References for Study

     Emilie Poulsson, _Love and Law in Child Training_, chaps. i-iv.
     Milton Bradley, $1.00.

     _Happy Sundays for Children_ and _Sunday in the Home_. Pamphlets.
     American Institute of Child Life, Philadelphia, Pa.

     II. Further Reading

     _Sunday Play._ Pamphlet. American Institute of Child Life,
     Philadelphia, Pa.

     Hodges, _Training of Children in Religion_, chap. xiii. Appleton,

     III. Methods and Materials

     _A Year of Good Sundays._ Pamphlet. American Institute of Child
     Life, Philadelphia, Pa.

     IV. Topics for Discussion

     1. What is the real problem of Sunday in the family? Is it that of
     securing quiet or of wisely directing the action of the young?

     2. Recall your childhood's Sundays. Were they for good or ill?

     3. What are the arguments against children playing on Sunday? Is
     there any essential relation between the play of children and the
     wide-open Sunday of commercialized amusements?

     4. Can you describe forms of play in which practically all the
     family might unite?

     5. What characteristics should distinguish play on Sundays from
     other days? Is it wise to attempt thus to distinguish this day?

     6. Criticize the suggestions on occupations for Sunday afternoons.

     7. Recall any especially helpful forms of the use of this day in
     your childhood, or coming under your observation.


[31] See chap. xvii, "The Family and the Church."

[32] See chap. vii on "Directed Activity," and the references for study
at its end.

[33] Much may be learned by a study of Primary plans in a modern Sunday
school. See Athearn, _The Church School_, chap. vi.

[34] Since we are dealing here especially with religious education in
the family, the author refers to his more extended treatment of the
question of children in church services in _Efficiency in the Sunday
School_, chap. xv.



Shall the periods for meals be for the body only or shall we see in them
happy occasions for the enriching of the higher life? Upon the answer
depends whether the table shall be little more than a feeding-trough or
the scene of constant mental and character development. In some memories
the meals stand out only in terms of food, while pictures of dishes and
fragments of food fill the mind; in others there are borne through all
life pictures of happy faces and thoughts of cheer, of knowledge gained
and ideals created in the glow of conversation.


The family is together as a united group at the table more than anywhere
besides. Table-talk, by its informality and by the aid of the pleasures
of social eating, is one of the most influential means of education.
Depend upon it, children are more impressed by table-talk than by
teacher-talk or by pulpit-talk. They expect moralizing on the other
occasions, but here the moral lessons throw out no warning; they meet no
opposition; they are--or ought to be, if they would be effective--a
natural part of ordinary conversation and, by being part and parcel of
everyday affairs, they become normally related to life. The table is the
best opportunity for informal, indirect teaching, and this is for
children the natural and only really effective form of moral

The child comes to these social occasions with a hungry mind as well as
with an empty stomach. His mind is always receptive--even more so than
his stomach; at the table he is absorbing that which will stay with him
much longer than his food. Even if we were thinking of his food alone,
we should still do well to see that the table is graced by happy and
helpful conversation; nothing will aid digestion more than good cheer of
the spirit; it stimulates the organs and, by diverting attention from
the mere mechanics of eating, it tends to that most desirable end, a
leisurely consumption of food.

The general conversation of the family group has more to do with
character development in children than we are likely to realize, and the
table is peculiarly the opportunity for general conversation. Here, most
of all, we need to watch its character and consider its teaching
effects. Where father scolds or mother complains the children grow
fretful and quarrelsome. Where father spends the time in reciting the
sharp dealing of the market or the political ring, where mother
delights in dilating on the tinsel splendors of her social rivalries,
they teach the children that life's object is either gain at any cost or
social glory. But it is just as easy to do precisely the opposite, to
speak of the pleasures found in simpler ways, to glory in goodness and
kindness, and to teach, by relating the worthy things of the day, the
worth of love and truth and high ideals. The news of the day may be
discussed so as to make this world a game of grab, inviting youth to
cast conscience and honor to the winds and to plunge into the greedy
struggle, or so as to make each day a book of beautiful pictures of
life's best pleasures and enduring prizes.


But table-talk, helpful, cheerful, and educative, does not occur by
accident. It comes, first, from our own constant and habitual thought of
the meals in social and spiritual, as well as in physical, terms. And it
reaches its possibilities as we endeavor to create and direct the kind
of conversation that is desired. "Let all your speech be seasoned with
salt," wrote the apostle, and we might add, let your salt be seasoned
with good speech. That is the quality we must seek, the seasoning of
healthful, saving, and not insipid, speech.

One of the great advantages of "grace before meat" lies in this: it
gives a tone to the occasion. Its chief meaning is surely that we
remind ourselves of the ever-present guest who is also the giver of all
good. Where the grace is not a perfunctory act, but rather the welcoming
of such a guest, the meal has started on a high level. We cannot do
better than so to act and speak as those who take the divine presence
for granted. We need not preach about it; we need only to assume it and
move on the level of that friendship. Children will feel it; they will
seek to answer to it, and will find pleasure in the very thought which
they have perhaps never expressed in words.

The central idea of the grace suggests another means of helpful
influences at the table, by bringing into our homes, for the meals, the
friends whose lives will lift these younger ones. It is worth everything
to live even for an hour with good and broadening lives. There are
obligations to our guests to be considered, and their wishes should be
consulted, but one always feels that children are being cheated when
they are sent to eat at another table and deprived of the peculiar
intimate touch with lives that bring the benefits of travel and
experience. Ask your own memory what some persons who ate at the table
with you in childhood meant to you.

The wise hostess knows that even when she brings together the group of
mature folks, and even when they are wise and witty, she must be
prepared adroitly to inspire the conversation or it may flag at times.
How much more does the conversation need direction where we have the
same group every day composed largely of immature persons! When you have
thought of all the portions and all the plates, have you thought of the
food for the spirit?

Before suggesting methods of selection and direction, let a word of
explanation be said: food for the spirit is not confined to theology, to
hymns and the Bible; it is whatever will help us to feel and think of
life as an affair of the spirit. And this must come in very simple
terms, by the elementary steps, for young folks. It will be whatever
will in any way help us to live more kindly, more cheerfully, more as
though this really were God's world and all folks his family. Whatever
does this is truly religious.


Plan for the food of the spirit as seriously at least as for the food of
the body. Learn to recognize poisons and also indigestibles. The first
are subjects of scandal, bitterness of spirit, malice, impatience,
tale-bearing, unkindly criticism, and discontent. The second are
subjects too heavy for children: your formal theology would be one of
them, your judgments on some intricate subjects may be among them. It is
seldom wise to announce negative injunctions, but we can make up our
own minds to avoid the conversational poisons and, when they appear, it
is always easy to push them out. Even when the unpleasant subject is so
common to all and has been so impressive in the day's experience that it
threatens to become the sole, absorbing topic, we can say, "We won't
talk of it at table! Let's find something better." But we must then have
ready the something better; that will be possible only by forethought.

First, save up during the day, or between the meals, the best thoughts,
the cheering, kind, ideal, and amusing incidents. Cultivate the habit of
saying to yourself, "This is something for us all to enjoy tonight at
the table."

Secondly, expect the other members to bring their best. Ask for "the
best news of the day" from one and another. Encourage them to tell of
good things seen and done and of pleasant and ideal things heard and

Thirdly, use the incidents as the basis of discussion. Let children tell
what they think of moral situations. Often they will quote the opinions
of teachers and others. Always you will secure under these circumstances
the unreserved expression of what they actually think. A free, informal
conversation of this sort where opinions are kindly examined and
compared is the finest kind of teaching.

Fourthly, do not forget the grace of humor. To see the odd, whimsical,
startling side of the incident or experience trains one to see the
interplay of life, to catch a ray of light from all things, and to
moderate our tendency to permit our tragedies to pull the heavens down.

Fifthly, use this period to strengthen the consciousness of family unity
by recounting past happy experiences and discussing plans of family
life. In one family there are few meals from October to Christmas that
do not include reminiscences of the summer in the woods and by the
water, or from Christmas to June without plans for the next summer in
the same place. Then, too, if you are contemplating something new, a
piano, a chair, an automobile, talk it all over here. Let each one have
his share in the planning. The effect is most important for character;
the children acquire the sense of a share in the family community life.
They get their first lessons in citizenship in this group, and they thus
learn social living. Then when the chair, or what not, is bought, it is
not alone the parents' possession; it belongs to all and all treat it as
the property of all.

Sixthly, introduce great guests who cannot come in person. It is fine
fun to say, "We have with us tonight a man who loved bees and wrote
books." Let them guess who it was; help, if necessary, by an allusion
to _The Life of the Bee_ and _The Blue Bird_. They will want to know
more about Maeterlinck and they will joyously imagine what they would
say to him and how he would answer, what he would eat and how he would
behave. In this way we may enjoy knowing better Lincoln, Whittier,
Florence Nightingale, and an innumerable company.

Seventhly, this is the place to remind ourselves that table-manners are
no small part of the moral life. By the habituation of custom we can
establish lives in attitudes of everyday thoughtfulness for others, in
the underlying consideration of others which is the basis of all
courtesy. Children's questions on table-etiquette must be met, not only
by the formal rules, but also by their explanation in the intent of
every gentle life to give pleasure and not pain to others, so to live in
all things as to find helpful harmony with other lives and to help them
to find and be the best. It is not only impolite to grab and guzzle, it
is unsocial and so unmoral, because it is both a bad example and a
distressing sight to others. It is irreligious, because whatever tends
to make this life less beautiful must be offensive to the God who made
all things good.

If we ourselves seek to maintain beauty, order, and kindliness in the
conduct of the table, our children acquire a love of all that makes for
beauty and order and kindliness, for righteousness in the little things
of life. A clean tablecloth may be a means of grace. You have to try to
live up to it. Order and quietness in eating are not separable from the
rest of the life. To lift up life at any point is to raise the whole
level. To let it down at any point is to let all down. But to lift up
the level of conversation at the table is to raise the level of the
entire occasion and to make it more than a period of eating, to convert
it into a festival, a joyous occasion of the spirit. The meal should be
in all things worthy of the unseen guest.

How near we all come together at the table! In its freedom how clearly
are we seen by our children! Here they know us for what we are and so
learn to interpret life.

     I. Reference for Study

     _Table Talk._ Pamphlet. American Institute of Child Life,
     Philadelphia, Pa.

     II. Topics Tor Discussion

     1. The relation of mental conditions to digestion.

     2. The relation of table-etiquette to life-habits.

     3. The table as an opportunity for the grace of courtesy, and the
     relation of this grace to Christian character.

     4. Training children in listening as well as in talking at table.

     5. Do you regard table-talk and table-manners as having any
     directly religious values? Why?



Much that has been said so far has had in mind only the problems of
dealing with younger children in the life of the home. Indeed, almost
all literature on education in the family is devoted to the years prior
to adolescence. But older boys and girls need the family and the family
needs them. Many of the more serious problems of youth with which
society is attempting to deal are due to the fact that from the age of
thirteen on boys have no home life and girls, especially in the cities,
are deprived of the home influences.


The life of the family must have a place for the growing boy. It must
make provision for his physical needs; these are food, activity, rest,
and shelter. Youth is a period of physical crisis. Health is the basis
of a sound moral life. Many of the lad's apparently strange propensities
are due to the physical changes taking place in his body and, often, to
the fact that it is assumed that his rugged frame needs no care or

It will take more than tearful pleading to hold him to his home; he can
be held only by its ministry to him; he will be there if it is the most
attractive place for him. Some parents who are praying for wandering
boys would know why they wandered if they looked calmly at the crowded
quarters given to the boy, the comfortless room, the makeshift bed, and
the general home organization which long ago assumed that a boy could be
left out of the reckoning.

The boy needs a part in the family activities. He can belong only to
that to which he can give himself. It will be his home in the degree
that he has a share in its business. Begin early to confer with him
about your plans; make him feel that he is a partner. See that he has a
chance to do part of the work, not only its "chores," but also its forms
of service. But even a boy's attitude to the "chores" will depend on
whether they are a responsibility with a degree of dignity or a form of
unpaid drudgery. His room should be his own room, and he should be
responsible for its neatness and its adorning. Services which he does
regularly for all should receive regular compensation. In all services
which the home renders for others he should have a share; this is his
training for the larger citizenship and society of service.[36]

The boy is a playing animal. Not all homes can be fully equipped with
play apparatus. But no parents have a right to choose family quarters as
though children needed nothing but meals and beds. The shame of the
modern apartment building is that its conveniences are all for passive
adults. To attempt to train an active, growing, vigorous, playing human
creature in one of these immense filing-cases, where all persons are
shot up elevators and filed away in pigeonholes called rooms, is to
force him out to the life of the streets. The thoughtless
self-indulgence of modern parents, seeking only to live without physical
effort, is the cause of much juvenile delinquency.[37]

But play for the boy is more than shouting and running in the grass and
among trees; he needs books and opportunities for indoor recreation. For
the sake of the lad we had better sacrifice the guest-room if necessary,
and make way for the punching-bag and the home billiard-table or
pool-table; here is a magnet of innocent skilful play to draw him off
the street and to bring the boy and his friends under his own roof. If
possible his room ought to be the place that is his own, where his
friends may come, where he may taste the beginnings of the joys of
home-living in receiving them and entertaining them.[38]

A workbench in the attic or basement has saved many a boy from the
street. Such apparatus truly interferes with the symmetrical plan of a
home that is designed for the entertainment of the neighbors; but
families must some time choose between chairs and children, between the
home for the purpose of the lives in it and the household for the
purpose of a salon.[39]


In the religious family there is valuable opportunity to train youth to
one form of participation in the religious life. Whatever the family
gives or does for social service, for philanthropic enterprises, for the
support of the church or religious work, ought to be, not the gift of
one member or of the heads alone, but of the whole family, extending
itself in service through the community, the nation, and the world. The
form and the amount of the gifts ought to be a matter of family
conference and each member ought early to have the opportunity and the
means of determining his share in such extension. The child's gifts to
the church should not be pennies thrust into his hand as he crosses the
threshold of home for the Sunday school, but his own money, from his own
account--partly his own direct earnings--appropriated for this or for
other purposes by himself and with the advice of his parents. Family
councils on forms of participation in ideal activities, by gifts and by
service, bind the whole life together and form occasions in which the
child is learning life in terms of loving, self-giving service.[40]

The boy needs friendship. Not all his needs can be met by the schoolboys
whom he may bring into his room, nor can they all be met by his mother's
affection. He needs a father. The most serious obstacle to the religious
education of boys is that most of them are half-orphans; intellectually
and spiritually they have no fathers. The American ideal seems to be
that the man shall be the money-maker, the woman the social organizer,
and the children shall be committed to hired shepherds or left to shift
for themselves.


No one else can be quite the teacher for the boy that his father ought
to be. No man can ever commit to another, still less to some tract or
book, the duty of guiding his boy to sanity and consecration in the
matter of the sex problems.

The first word that needs to be said on this subject is that such
problems receive safe and sufficient guidance only in the atmosphere of
affection and reverence. Do not attempt to teach this boy of yours as
though you were dealing with a class in physiology. The largest thing
you can do for him is to quicken a reverence for the body and for the
functions of life. By your own attitude, by your own expressions and
opinions, lead him to a hatred and abhorrence of the base, filthy, and
bestial, to a healthy fear and detestation of all that despoils and
degrades manhood, and to a reverence for purity, beauty, and life.[41]

Be prepared to give him, on the basis of reverence, the clean, clear
facts. Be sure you have the facts. Do not think he is ignorant; he is in
a world seething with conversation, stories, pictures, and experiences
of evil. The trouble is that his facts are partial, distorted, and
unbalanced by positive errors; his knowledge is gained from the street
and the school-yard. Only a personal teacher can help him unravel the
good from the bad, the true from the false. Do not trust to your own
general knowledge; take time to read one of the simple and sane books on
this subject.[42] Be ready to lead him aright. Remember this subject has
provoked a large number of books, many of which are foolish and others
unwholesome. Do not try to deputize your duty to some doubtful book.


But the boy needs more than instruction on a special subject; he needs
personality, he needs the time and thought of, and _personal contact_
with, his father. Men who do not live with boys never know what they
lose. And alas, see what the boy misses! He has been his mother's boy up
to school age when school takes him and gives him a woman's guidance,
while the Sunday school is likely to keep him--for a while only--under
the eye of some dear sister who "just loves boys." The system is a
vicious one. The lad needs developed masculinity. If he gets it neither
in school nor in the home he will find it on the street corner, through
the vicious boy-leader of the degrading poolroom or the alleys.

The boy who finds his father eager to talk over the game, to discuss the
merits of peg-tops, to walk, row, play, and work with him, finds it as
simple and natural to talk with him over his moral and religious
questionings as it is to talk over the daily happenings. To live with
the boy is to find the youth with you. But it is hard work discovering
your young men if you lost your boys.[43]


Almost all that has been said about the boy applies to the girl of the
same years. Let _a special plea_ be entered here against the notion that
girls are favored when sheltered from a share in the activities of the
home. They desire to express their ideals as much as do boys. Much of
the so-called craze for amusements is due to the fact that the family is
so organized that there is no vent to the ideals there, no chance to
have a share in the business of life. Young folks with the sense that
"this is our home," not "our parents', but _ours_" bend their energies
to its adorning, and find in it the chance to realize some of their
passion for beauty and for service.[44]

Mothers usually do better than do fathers in the matter of sex
instruction. Yet they usually begin too late, long after the little girl
has acquired much misleading information in the school. Here, too, the
first aim must be to quicken reverence for life, to set up the
conception of the beauty and dignity of sex functions before the baser
mind of the street has had an opportunity to interpret them in terms of
the dirt.[45]

Above all, with boys and girls, the whole subject, including marriage
and the founding of a family, must ever be treated with dignity and
reverence. Foolish parents jest with their girls about their beaux and
boast that their little ones are playing at courtship. If they could
realize the wonder awakened, followed by pain and then by hardened
sensibilities and coarsened ideals, they would sacrifice their jests for
the sake of the child's soul. We wonder that youth treats lightly the
matter of social purity when we have treated the sacred relations of
life as a jest. If this family in which they now live is to be a place
of sacred associations, of real religious life, the whole matter of
marriage and the family must be treated with reverence. Their practice
will not rise above our everyday ideals as expressed in casual
conversation and in our own practice.

     I. References for Study

     THE BOY

     W.A. McKeever, _Training the Boy_, Part III. Macmillan, $1.50.

     _Boy Training_, Part IV. A Symposium. Associated Press.

     Johnson, _The Problems of Boyhood_. The University of Chicago
     Press, $1.00.


     Margaret Slattery, _The Girl in Her Teens_, chaps. iv, vii. Sunday
     School Times Co., $0.50.

     Wayne, _Building Your Girl_. McClurg, $0.50.

     II. Further Reading

     W.B. Forbush, _The Coming Generation_. Appleton, $1.50.

     Puffer, _The Boy and His Gang_. Houghton Mifflin Co., $1.00.

     Irving King, _The High School Age_. Bobbs-Merrill, $1.00.

     _Building Childhood_, A Symposium. Sunday School Times Co., $1.00.

     III. Topics for Discussion

     1. What are the special needs of the growing boy?

     2. What are the things that a boy enjoys in his home?

     3. In what way does city life interfere with the natural
     development of the child?

     4. What are some of the natural expressions of religion for a boy?

     5. How early should the sex instruction begin?

     6. What does a father owe to the boy, and what are the best methods
     of meeting the duty?

     7. What are the normal activities for girls in the home?

     8. What are their especial needs?


[35] A good brief book on the problem of the adolescent is E.T. Swift,
_Youth and the Race_; another, from the school point of view, is Irving
King, _The High-School Age_, which has much material of great value to

[36] On the various activities of boys see W.A. McKeever, _Training the

[37] See the notable report by Breckinridge and Abbott, _The Delinquent
Child and the Home_.

[38] On the gregarious instincts see J.A. Puffer, _The Boy and His

[39] See the books on manual work given in chap. vii, "Directed

[40] On the religious life of the boy in relation to society and the
church see Allan Hoben, _The Minister and the Boy_, and the author's
treatment of boys and the Sunday school in _Efficiency in the Sunday
School_, chap. xiv; also J. Alexander _et al._, _Training the Boy_, a

[41] On the attitude of reverence in this question read Dr. Cabot's fine
essay, _The Christian Approach to Social Morality_.

[42] The works of Dr. W.S. Hall, _From Boyhood to Manhood_, for parents'
guidance with boys of thirteen to eighteen; E. Lyttleton, _Training of
the Young in Laws of Sex_, is excellent for fathers; _Reproduction and
Sexual Hygiene_ is a text for older youth to be recommended; also, for
reading, N.E. Richardson, _Sex Culture Talks_, D.S. Jordan, _The
Strength of Being Clean_.

[43] For further studies of the problem of the boy parents would do well
to read: _Building Boyhood_, a symposium; W.A. McKeever, _Training the
Boy;_ W.B. Forbush, _The Coming Generation;_ W.D. Hyde, _The Quest of
the Best_.

[44] On activities see W.A. McKeever, _Training the Girl_.

[45] On the problem with young children see M. Morley, _The Renewal of
Life_; in connection with older girls see K.H. Wayne, _Building Your



Families are for the spiritual development of youth as well as of
childhood. The home is for the young people as well as for the younger
ones. But the very period when they slip from church school is also the
period when they are often lost to the real life of the family. In some
measure this is due to the natural development of the social life. The
youths go out to work, move forward into enlarging social groups which
demand more of their free time. They are learning the life of the larger
world of which they are now a part.


But the family is still the home of these young people; normally it is
still the most vital educational influence for them. Yet there is no
problem more baffling than that of family ministry for, and leadership
of, the higher life of youth.

It is a short-measure interpretation of the home which thinks of it as
only for young children and old folks. The young men and women from
sixteen to twenty and over still need training and direction; they need
close touch with other lives in affection and in an ideal atmosphere. In
a few years they, too, will be home-makers, and here in the home they
are very directly learning the art of family life.

For youth there are few effective schools, outside the home, other than
the streets and the places of commercialized amusement. Even where the
other agencies of training are used, such as college, classes, and
associations (such as the Y.M.C.A. and the Y.W.C.A.), life, at that
period, needs the restraints on selfishness that come from family life,
the refining and socializing power of the family group.


What are the special needs of youth upon which the family may base a
reasonable program for their higher needs?

First, the need of sound physical health. This is a period of physical
adjustment. Rapid bodily growth is nearly or quite at an end; new
functions are asserting themselves. The new demands for directed
activity may, under the ambitious impulses of youth, make undue drafts
on the energies. The apparent moodiness that at times characterizes this
period may be due to poor health. The moral strain of the period will
need sound muscles and good health. Parents who would sit up all
night--perhaps involuntarily--when the baby has the colic treat with
indifference sickness in youth and too readily assume that the young
man or the young woman will outgrow these physical ills. But bodily
maladjustment or incapacity has most serious character effects. To live
the right life and render high service one needs to be a whole person,
with opportunity to give undivided attention and undiminished powers to
the struggle of life.

Secondly, this is peculiarly the period of the joy of friendships. The
social nature must have its food. This young man has discovered that the
world consists of something besides things; it is full of people. He is
just learning that they are all persons like himself. He enters the era
of conscious personal relationships. He would explore the realm of
personality. He touches great heights of happiness as other lives are
opened to him. It is all new and wonderful, this realm of personality,
with its aspects of feeling, thinking, willing, and longing.


Do parents know how hungry their older children are for their
friendship? They will never tell us, for this world is too new and
strange for facile description; they are always bashful about their
hunger for persons until they find the same hunger and joy in us. We
imagine that they are indifferent to us; the trouble is we are hidden
from them. We seldom give them a chance to talk as friend to friend,
not about trifling things, but about life itself and what it means.
Perhaps at no point do parents exhibit less ability for sympathetic
reconstruction and interpretation of their own lives than here. They
recall the pleasures of childhood and provide those pleasures for the
children. Why not recall the hunger of eighteen years of age and give
these youths the very bread of our own inner selves? Or do we, when they
ask this bread, give them the stone of mere provision for their physical
needs or the scorpion of careless indulgence in things that debase the

One perplexing phenomenon must not be overlooked: it will often happen
that young people pass through a period of what appears to be parental
aversion. There will sometimes seem to be suspicion, violent opposition,
and even hatred of parents. This is no occasion for despair. It is a
stage of development. It is due to the attempt of a will now realizing
its freedom under social conditions to adapt itself to the will that has
hitherto directed it. To some degree the sex consciousness, which leads
to viewing the parents in a new light, may enter in. It may be easily
made permanent, however, if parents do not do two things: first, adjust
themselves and their methods to the new social freedom of the youth,
and, secondly, fling open the doors into their true selves now fully
understandable by these men and women.

But the family life must make provision for the wider friendships of
youth. Somewhere this insatiable appetite for the reality of lives will
feed. Groups of friends your young man and woman will find somewhere. If
they cannot bring them into your home they will go elsewhere. You can
scarce pay any price too high for the opportunity that comes when they
are perfectly free to have their friends with them and with you, when
home becomes the natural place of the social meetings of youth. If you
are afraid of the wear on the furniture you may keep your furniture, but
you will lose a life or lives. Here is the opportunity of the home to
enter a wider ministry, to be a place of the joy of friendships to many


As through friendships the youth enters and explores this wonderful
realm of personality he will find some persons more wonderful than
others. Those instincts of which he is largely unconscious will impel
him to make a selection. The same law is operative with the young woman.
Mating is normally always first on the higher levels of personalities;
it first calls itself friendship, nor does it think farther. But father
and mother, if they have the least spiritual vision, stand in awe as
they see their children taking their first evident steps toward
home-making. What an opportunity is theirs!

Yet here, as the home faces its duty toward a family yet to be, is just
where some of the most serious mistakes are made. This is no time for
teasing and jesting, still less for mocking ridicule. If you treat this
essentially sacred step as a joke it will not be strange if the young
people follow suit and take marriage as a yet larger joke. The home is
the place where the home is treated most irreverently. Of course one
must not take too seriously those "calf" courtships, prematurely
fostered by boys and girls, under the pressure of the high-school
tendency to anticipate all of life's riper experiences. But even here
jesting and teasing will only tend to confirm and make permanent what
would be but a temporary aberration. In that case either silence or
kindly, simple advice will help most of all.

To young people who think at all courtship has its times of vision, when
they stand trembling before the unknown future, when they, with youth's
idealism, make high vows and stand on high places. Give them at least
the opportunity to enter your inmost self, to find there all the light
you can give them and all the memory of your own joys and hopes. Make
them feel, though you need not say it, that they are at the threshold of
a temple. If to you this is an affair of the spirit it will be a matter
of religion to them.

Approached in such a temper, many of the practical problems of courtship
settle themselves. Take the case of the young man at home. If he knows
that you think with him of the high meaning of this experience he will
not hesitate to bring the young woman to the home. She will feel your
attitude. Upon this level questions of times and seasons, hours in the
parlor, and all the matters of their relations will settle themselves.
If you treat courtship as a matter of the spirit he will do just what he
most of all wants to do, treat this woman who is to be his mate as a
person, a spirit, with reverence and love that lifts itself above lust.
This is the only ground upon which you can appeal to either in matters
of conduct at this time. The conventions of society they will despise;
but the inner law speaks to them when the outer letter has no meaning.


We must expect our children to go out into their larger world. The
beginning of adolescence is the normal time of their social awakening,
their conversion from a nature that turns in upon itself to one that
moves out into a world of persons. For them, now, the home group ought
to be seen as a society as well as a family, as the social group
gathering about a definite ideal and mission into which they should
delight to project themselves. The appeal of religion is peculiarly
vivid just now, for it involves a recognition of one's self as a person
with the power of personal choices and with the opportunity to find
association with other persons. The family must aid its young people to
see the opportunity which the church offers for ideal social
relationships which direct themselves to high and attractive service.


What should the family do about the question of the amusements of young

Healthy young persons must have recreation. They will seek it on its
highest level first and find their way down the facile descent of
commercialized amusements only as the higher opportunities are denied
them. They would always rather play than be played to; they would
rather, where early labor has not sapped vitality, play outdoors than
sit in a fetid atmosphere watching tawdry spectacles. But play, the
idealization of life's experiences, they will find somewhere. To this
need the home must minister by the provision of space, time,
opportunity, and the means of play. If through either sloth,
selfishness, preoccupation, or a mistaken idea of an empty innocence of
life you make recreation and social intercourse impossible in the
family, the young people will find it on the street or in the crowd. In
the family that plans for recreation and provides facilities and time
for young people to play the problem is a minor one.

But young people will naturally desire to project themselves into the
social amusements of the larger groups. Then we ought to know what those
amusements are; we must be able to advise, from actual knowledge, not
from hearsay or prejudice, as to the healthful and worth while. The home
must insist on the provision in the community for the safe socialization
of amusements. The thousands of young girls in the cities, who tramp the
pavements down to dance halls, primarily are only seeking the
satisfaction of a normal craving; and they, on their way to the dance
halls, pass the splendid plants of the schools and the churches,
standing dark and idle. Families must develop a public opinion that will
demand, for the sake of their young people, a provision for amusement
and recreation that, instead of poisoning the life, shall strengthen,
dignify, and elevate it. If the demand for clean drinking-water is a
proper one, is the demand for healthful food for the life of ideals less

There can be no doubt of the attitude of any home with the least
conscience for character toward all forms of public amusements in which
young people are herded promiscuously for the mere purpose of killing
time in trivialities. The "white cities" with their glittering lights
and baubles are often moral plague colonies. The amusements debase the
intellect, blunt the moral sensibilities, and appeal to the baser
passions. They are the low-water mark, we may hope, of commercialized
amusement. But they remind us that young people demand company and
change from the monotony of the day's toil. They ask us as to the
provision we are making for young people and challenge us to use their
inclinations for good.

But besides these "shows" there are many dignified forms of social
recreation. Good music is to be heard and good plays are to be seen.

The theater, whether of the regular drama or of the motion-picture type,
offers a perplexing problem, principally because, in the first place,
American people have been too busy conquering a new soil and making a
living to give careful thought to the social side of aesthetics and
recreation, and, secondly, because the ministry of social recreation has
fallen almost entirely under the dominance of the same trend; it has
been thoroughly commercialized. We cannot cut the puzzling knot by
simply prohibiting all forms of public theatrical entertainment. For one
reason, these forms shade off imperceptibly from the church service to
the extremes of the vaudeville. But the simple fact is that we no longer
indiscriminately class all theaters as baneful and immoral; we are
coming to see their potentialities for good. If the young will go, as
they will--and ought--to the theater, and if the theater can lift their
ideals, parents would do well to guide their children in this matter and
to enlist the aid of the theater.

It is worth while to come to a sympathetic understanding of the place of
the drama and the opera, to see what they have meant in the education of
the race and what is the significance, to us, of the fact of the strong
dramatic instinct in childhood. Naturally the subject can only be
mentioned here and the suggestion be offered that parents take time to
cultivate an appreciation of good orchestral and concert music and of
the drama.

The social life will find outlet in other directions. Young people need
our aid to find social groups which will inspire and develop them,
especially groups that are serviceful.


This is the period when ideals begin to give direction to the hitherto
undirected activity of childhood and youth. Young people are idealists.
They see no height too giddy, no task too hard, no dream too roseate,
and no hope unattainable. If the times are out of joint they believe
they were "born to set them right." Whatever is wrong or imperfect they
would take a hand in setting it right. We know we felt that way, but we
are loath to believe our children also cherish their high hopes. And so
the tendency of the adult is to treat with cynicism the dreams of youth.
Often we sedulously endeavor to pervert him to our blasé view of the
world; we would have him believe it is a fated heap of cinders instead
of an almost new thing to be formed and made perfect. In the home those
ideals must be nourished and guided. See that at hand there are the
songs and essays of the idealists. Give them Emerson and forget your
Nietzsche. Renew your own youth. Get some of Isaiah's passion and let it
breathe its fervor on them. Feed by poem, song, story, essay, and
conversation the life of ideals.

Stop long enough to see the life that like an engine with steam up is
surely going somewhere and help it to find an engineer. We call this the
period of sowing wild oats. Wild oats are simply energies invested in
the wrong places. The dynamic of youth must go somewhere and do
something. Fundamentally it would rather go to the good than the bad. We
know that this was true of us at that time; why should we assume less of
others? Hold to your faith in youth. Fathers who with open eyes and
active minds--not with sleepy fatalism--believe in their boys, have boys
who believe in them.

They wait for leadership. If you have dropped into the easy slippers of
indifference to social reform and other types of ideal service, get
back into the fight again beside this new man of yours.

They wait for friendship in this matter of their ideals and their
service. At any cost keep open house of the heart.

They wait for a life-task. This is the period of vocational choice. It
will make a tremendous difference to this life whether his work shall be
merely a matter of making a living or shall be his chance to invest life
in accordance with his new ideals. Shall he go out to be merely one of
the many wage-earners or salary-winners to whom life is a great orange
from which he will get all the juice if he can, regardless of who else
goes thirsty? Or shall he see an occupation as his chance to pay back to
today and tomorrow that which he owes to yesterday? as his chance to
give the world himself? He need not be a minister or a missionary to
make his life a ministry; he will find life, he will be a religious
person in no other way than as his dominating motive shall be to find
the fulness of life in order to have a full life to give to God's world.
The answer will depend on what life means to you, how you are
interpreting it, and how you aid him in thinking of it and making his
high choice. You will have abundant opportunity to show what it is to
you--as you have been doing all along--by your daily attitude; you will
have abundant opportunity to talk it all over, for he will certainly
discuss his trade or profession with you. The family must give to the
life of the new day makers of families to whom life means a chance to
realize the God-vision of the world.

     I. References for Study

     H.C. King, _Personal and Ideal Elements in Education_, pp. 105-27.
     Macmillan, $1.50.

     E.D. Starbuck, _The Psychology of Religion_, chaps., xvi-xxi.
     Scribner, $1.50.

     II. Further Reading

     1. ON YOUTH

     C.R. Brown, _The Young Man's Affairs_. Crowell, $1.00.

     Wayne, _Building the Young Man_. McClurg, $0.50.

     Swift, _Youth and the Race_. Scribner, $1.50.

     Wilson, _Making the Most of Ourselves_. McClurg, $1.00.


     L.C. Lillie, _The Story of Music and the Musicians_. Harper, $0.60.

     Gustav Kobbe, _How to Appreciate Music_. Moffat, $1.50.

     P. Chubb, _Festivals and Plays_. Harper, $2.00.

     _Dramatics in the Home, Children in the Theater, Problems of
     Dramatic Plays_, monographs published by the American Institute of
     Child Life. Philadelphia, Pa.

     L.H. Gulick, _Popular Recreation and Public Morality_. American
     Unitarian Association. Free.

     M. Fowler, _Morality of Social Pleasures_. Longmans, $1.00.

     Addams, _The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets_. Macmillan,

     The moving-picture or cinema presents a problem to parents; see
     Herbert A. Jump, _The Religious Possibilities of the Motion
     Picture_ (a pamphlet) and _Vaudeville and Moving Pictures_, a
     report of an investigation in Portland, Ore. _Reed College Record,
     No. 16._

     III. Topics for Discussion

     1. What are the reasons why young people leave home?

     2. Where do the young men and young women whom you know spend their
     evenings? Why is this the case?

     3. Mention the special needs of young people in the family.

     4. What are the difficulties in maintaining the friendship of our
     young people?

     5. Have you ever seen evidences of the phase mentioned as aversion
     to parents?

     6. What are some common mistakes of treating the subject of

     7. What are the special social needs of young people?

     8. What is the religious significance of the period of social

     9. What are the special dangerous tendencies in public amusements?

     10. How does the social instinct express itself in social service?

     11. What of the relation of "wild oats" to directed work?

     12. What may be done for vocational direction in the family?



If the family is engaged in the development of religious character
through its life and organization, it ought somehow to find very close
relations with the other great social institution engaged in precisely
the same work, the church. Both churches and homes are agencies of
religious education. In a state which separates the ecclesiastical and
the civil functions, where freedom of conscience is fully maintained,
these two are the only religious agencies engaged in education.

As the family is the child's first society, so the local church should
be the child's second, larger, wider society. The home constitutes the
first social organization for life, the one in which growing lives
prepare for the wider social living. Then should come the next forms of
social organization, the school and the church, each grouping lives
together and preparing them, by actual living, for wider circles of


Many of the perplexing problems which arise in the family, as an
institution, in respect to its relations to the church, and as to the
developing relations of children to the church, would be largely solved
if we could get an understanding of the fundamental relations of these
two institutions. The institutional difficulties occur because these
relations appear to be competitive. Here is the family with its
interests in bread-winning, comforts, recreations, and pleasures, and on
the opposite side, making apparently competing claims for money, time,
interest, and service, stands the church. That is the picture
unconsciously forming in many minds. There is more or less feeling that
money given to the church is taken from the family and impoverishes it
to that degree, that time given to the church is grudgingly spared from
the pleasures of the home, that it is always a moot question which of
the two institutions shall win in the conflict of interests.

But the family must take for granted the church as its next of kin. The
home must not by its attitude and conversation assume that the problems
of the relationship of children to the church arise largely from the
opposite concept, as though these were rival institutions. We carelessly
think of the children as those who, now belonging to us, are to be
persuaded to give their allegiance to another institution, the interests
of which are in a different sphere. We think of the church as an
independent thing and therefore feel quite free to discuss its merits or
shortcomings and to criticize it if it fails to meet our standards,
just as we would criticize the baker for soggy or short-weight bread; to
our minds, the church is something set off in society, separate from the
homes, as much so as the schools or the library or a fraternal lodge.

This thought of the church as a separate something, having an existence
independent of ourselves and our families, leads us farther astray and
makes yet more difficult the development of right relations between the
church and the children. If the church is a thing apart we can analyze
its imperfections as we might stand and ridicule a regiment of raw
recruits. It marches by while we stand on the curb. But here, surely, is
one of the simplest and most easily forgotten truisms: the church is no
more than our own selves associated for certain purposes. If the church
fails in an adequate ministry for children, shall we condemn it as we
would a bridge that failed to carry a reasonable load? We do but condemn
ourselves. If my church is not fit to send my children to, then I must
help to make it fit. Before falling back on the lazy man's salve of
caustic ridicule, before taking the seat of the scornful, before setting
in the child's mind an aversion to this institution, based on my
opinion, let me be sure I have done all that lies in my power to better
it. True, I am only one; but surely, where so many family tables are
each Sunday devoted to finding fault with the church and its services,
I can find many others who will aid in at least stimulating a sense of
personal responsibility for any incompleteness in the church.

The family cannot afford to take the attitude of hostile criticism, for
it is thus fighting its first and most natural ally, the one other
institution engaged in its own special work. If the forces for spiritual
character be divided, how easily do the opposing forces enter in and
occupy! The family needs the support of the wider public opinion of the
church, insisting on the supremacy of righteousness. The family needs
the co-operation of the church in its task of developing religious
lives. The family needs the power of this larger social body controlling
social conditions and making them contributory to character purposes.
The family needs the stimulus which a larger group can give to children
and young people.

This does not mean that we must never criticize the church. It is not
set off in a niche protected from the acid of secular tongues and minds.
Ministers of the gospel are unduly resentful of criticism, perhaps
because, after they leave the seminary, no one has a fair opportunity to
controvert their publicly stated opinions. But the church needs the
cleansing powers of kindly, wise, creative criticism. Anyone can find
fault, but he is wise who can show us a better way. This church is the
family's ally; it is our business to aid her to greater effectiveness.
The new church for our own day awaits the services of the men of today.

The purpose of the family is the basis of alliance with the church. As
in every other relation and purpose of the home, so here: the dominant
factor is the conscious function of the home and family. If the home is
really a religious institution it will seek natural alliance with all
other truly religious institutions. Ideally, what is a church but a
group of families associated for religious purposes? Is not the church
simply a number of families co-operating in the ideal purposes of each
family, the development of the lives of religious persons and the
control of social conditions for the sake of that purpose? Without
entering into disputation as to the relationship of little children to
the church, is there not just this relation to the human society called
the church, that it is a grouping of families for the purpose of the
divine family?


Would there be any question as to the naturalness of the relation of our
children to the church if the family ideal so controlled our thinking as
to saturate theirs? Is not this the present need, that both family and
church shall conceive the latter in family terms? By this is meant, not
simply that we shall think of what is called "a family church," a church
into which we succeed in projecting our families in a fair degree of
integrity, but that we shall think of the organization and mission of
the church in terms of family life and of the ideal of the divine
family. Keeping in mind the general definition already given of a family
as persons associated for the development of spiritual persons, let us
hold the church to that same ideal; the lives of persons associated in
the broadest fellowship that includes both God and man for the purposes
of spiritual personality. The church then should be the expression of
that family of which Jesus often spoke, the family that calls God Father
and man brother.

Closer and more helpful relations between family and church follow where
the principles of the family prevail in the latter. The family is an
ideal democracy because it exists primarily for persons. It places the
value of persons first of all. So with the true church; it will exist to
grow lives to spiritual fulness, and to this end all buildings,
adornments, exercises, teachings, and organizations will be but as
tools, as means serving that purpose. As the family sees its house,
table, and activities designed to personal ends, so will the church. In
an institution existing to grow lives, the great principle of democracy
and of the family will prevail, viz., that to the least we owe the most.
Just as the home gives its best to the little child, so will the church
place the child in the midst. Just as the home exists for the child and
thus holds to itself all other lives, so will the church some day exist
for the little ones and so hold and use all other lives.

The prime difficulty of relating the children in our families to the
average church lies in the fact that they are children, while the church
is an adult institution. Its buildings are designed for adults--save in
rare and happy exceptions;[46] its services are designed for adults; it
has a more or less extraneous institution called a school for the
children. The church spends its money for adults; it compasses sea and
land to make one proselyte and coerce him back in old age, and allows
the many that already as children are its own to drift away. It often
fails to see that if it is to grow lives it must grow them in the
growing period. There still remain many churches that must be converted
from the selfishness of adult ministry and entertainment to self-giving
service for the development of spiritual lives and, especially, for the
development of such lives through childhood and youth. They must hear
again the Master's voice regarding "these little ones," regarding the
significance of the child. And all must be loyal to his picture of his
Kingdom as a family and must, therefore, do what all true families do,
become child-centric. A church in which children occupy the same place
that they hold in an ideal family will have no difficulty in finding a
place for the children. It will be a natural and unnoticed transition
from the family life in the home to the family life in the church.


The family may help directly toward the realization of this ideal by an
insistence on the family conception and the family program in the
church. Bring the children with you to the church and seek to find there
a place for each as natural as the place he occupies in the home. If the
church makes no such provision, if it has no place for children, in the
name of our wider spiritual family relationships we must demand it. Let
the voice of the family be heard insisting on suitable buildings and
specially designed worship for child-life--suitable forms of service and
activity. Let the thought that goes to furnish these in the home be
carried over to provide them in the church.

Parents may help their children to find right relations with the church
by their attitude toward it as the larger family group. To think and act
toward this institution as our home, the wider home of the families, is
to establish similar habits of thought in children. Such a concept is
not always easy to maintain; the church includes many of different
habits of thought from ourselves, divergent tastes and habits of general
life. Here one must exercise the family principle of responsibility
toward the weaker and immature. This family, the church, just like our
own family, exists, not to minister to our tastes, but that we may all
minister to others.

The principal service which the family may render to the church is,
then, to foster an interpretation and view of the latter which will
relate it more closely to the home and will make it evidently natural
for child-life to move out into this wider social organization for
religious culture and service. Surely this should be the attitude toward
membership in the church, whether that membership begins theoretically
in infancy or in maturer years; the child is trained to see the church
as his normal society, the group into which he naturally moves and in
which he finds his opportunity for fellowship and service. The family
may well hold that relationship steadily before its members. In
childhood the child is in the church in the fellowship of those who
learn. The Sunday school is the spiritual family in groups discovering
the way of the religious life and the art of its service. The fellowship
grows closer and the sense of unity deepens as the child's relationship
passes over from the passive to the active, from the involuntary to the
voluntary--just as it does in the home--and develops, as the child comes
into social consciousness, into a recognition of himself as belonging to
a social organization for specific purposes.


At some time every child of church-attending parents will want to know
whether he "belongs to the church." One must be very careful here,
regardless of the ecclesiastical practice, to show the child that he is
essentially one with this body, this religious family. He may be too
young to subscribe his name to its roll, but he belongs at least to the
full measure of unity appreciable by his mind. He must not be permitted
to think of himself as an outsider. Indeed, no matter what our theology
may hold, every religious parent believes that his children belong to
God. Do they not also belong to the church in at least the sense that
the church is responsible for their spiritual welfare?

The sense of unity must be developed. Writing the child's name on the
"Cradle Roll" of the church school may help. Assuming, as he develops,
that he is a part of this spiritual family, naturally expecting that he
will have an increasing share in its life, will help more. Parents who
dedicate their children to God pass on to them the stimulus of that
dedication. A church service of dedication is likely to impress them
with a feeling of unity with the church; seeing other children so
dedicated they know that a similar occasion occurred in their own early

The forms of relationship must develop with the nature of the child. The
church needs not only a graded curriculum of instruction but a graded
series of relationships by which children, step by step, come into
closer conscious social unity, each step determined by their developing
needs and capacities.

It is easy to say that the responsibility lies with the church to
provide these methods of attachment. But the church we have been
sketching is a congeries of families, after all, and it will do just
what these families, particularly the parents in them, stimulate it to


But what of those instances in which parents are convinced that the
church does not furnish a normal and healthy atmosphere for the child's
spiritual life? There are churches where the Sunday school is simply a
training school in insubordination, confusion, and irreverence, or where
religion is so taught as to cultivate superstition and to lead
eventually either to a painful intellectual reconstruction or to a
barren denial of all faith. There are churches of one type so devoted
to the entertainment of adults, to the ministry to the pride of the
flesh and the lust of things, that a child is likely to be trained to
pious pride and greed, or of another type, in which religion is a matter
of verbiage, tradition, and unethical subterfuge.

Parents must be true to their responsibilities. The family is the
child's first religious institution. Fathers and mothers are not only
the first and most potent quickeners and guides in the religious life,
but they are primarily responsible for the selection of all other
stimuli to that life. Under the drag of our own indifference we must not
withhold from the child the good he would get even from the church we do
not particularly enjoy; neither dare we, for fear of criticism or
ostracism, force the child under influences which, in the name of
religion, would chill and prevent his spiritual development, would
twist, dwarf, or distort it. Responsibility to the spiritual purpose of
the family is far higher than any responsibility to a church. The
churches are ordered for the souls of men.

What shall we do in the family when the sermon is always tediously dull?
Don't try to force children to go to sleep in church; they will never
get over the habit. Insist that there shall be a service suitable for
them parallel to the adult service of worship.[47] Next, try to
overcome the present popular obsession regarding the sermon. The church
is more than an oratory station. The sermon is only one incident. Many
criticisms of the sermon indicate that the critic measures the preacher
by ability to entertain, that he attends church to be entertained. If
that is essentially your attitude, you cannot complain if your children
are dissatisfied unless they too are entertained according to their
childish appetites. When the sermon is poor, put it where it belongs
proportionately and enlarge on the many good features of church
fellowship and service.

In a word, let the church be to the family that larger home where
families live together their life of fellowship and service in the
spirit and purpose of religion and where there is a natural place for

     I. References for Study

     H.W. Hulbert, _The Church and Her Children_, chaps. i-v. Revell,

     H.F. Cope, _Efficiency in the Sunday School_, chaps. xiv-xvi.
     Doran, $1.00.

     George Hodges, _Training of Children in Religion_, chap. xiv.
     Appleton, $1.50.

     II. Further Reading

     A. Hoben, _The Minister and the Boy_. The University of Chicago
     Press, $1.00.

     E.C. Foster, _The Boy and the Church_. Sunday School Times Co.,

     G.A. Coe, _Education in Religion and Morals_, Part II. Revell,

     III. Topics for Discussion

     1. What are the special common interests of church and family?

     2. What are the fundamental relationships of the two?

     3. What conception of the church ought to be fostered in the
     children's minds?

     4. When is criticism of the church unwise?

     5. What changes might be made in church life for the sake of the

     6. What changes would bring the church and the home closer

     7. What should be the children's conception of unity with the

     8. Should children attend, in family groups, the church service of

     9. Does the plan of a short service for children meet the need?


[46] See a pamphlet on _Church School Buildings_ (free) published by the
Religious Education Association; also H.F. Evans, _The Sunday-School
Building and Its Equipment_.

[47] See the author's suggestion for the Sunday school in _Efficiency in
the Sunday School_, chap. xv.



Wise parents will know the character of the influences affecting their
children at all times. At no time can their responsibility be delegated
to others. There is a tendency to think that when children go to school
the family has a release from responsibility. But the school is simply
the community--the group of families--syndicating its efforts for the
formal training of the young. Every family ought to know what the
community is doing with its children. The school belongs to all; it is
not the property of a board, nor a private machine belonging to the
teaching force; it belongs to us and we owe a social duty as well as a
family obligation to understand its work and its influence on the

Parents ought to visit the school. Wise principals and teachers will
welcome them, setting times when visits can best be made. The visitors
come, not as critics, but as citizens and parents. The principal
benefits will be an acquaintance with the teachers of our children and a
better understanding of the conditions under which the children work for
the greater part of the day. By far the larger number of teachers most
earnestly desire character results from their work. It will help them
to know that we are interested in what they are doing.


Parents and teachers, both desiring spiritual results, can find means of
co-operation. Parent-teacher clubs and associations have done much to
bring the home and the school together. Meeting regularly in the
evening, so that fathers, too, can attend, gives opportunity to work out
a common understanding to raise the spiritual aims of the school, and to
discover means by which the families may aid in securing better
conditions for school work.

One of the most important considerations relates to the moral effect of
the school life and environment. We are committed in this country to the
principle that the public school cannot teach religion, but this by no
means relieves it of responsibility for moral character. The family
needs this ally. Children expect instruction in the school and they feel
keenly the power of its ideals and the standards established by its
methods and requirements. The family and the school greatly need to
co-ordinate their efforts here to the end that there may be under way in
both an orderly program for the moral training of children.


The school may help the home if arrangements are made for parents to
meet regularly and receive instruction in those forms of moral training
which can best be given at home. This is one method of solving the vexed
question of sex instruction. Many hesitate as to the wisdom of such
instruction in schools; but no one doubts that it ought to be and could
be given in families but for the fact that parents are both ignorant of
what to tell and indifferent to the matter. It may be that some day the
state will not only say that the child must go to school, but also that
every parent intrusted with children must either prove ability to train
and instruct in these and other matters or go to school to obtain the
necessary training. The state would not go beyond its province if it
required ignorant parents--and that means most of us in matters of moral
training--to go to school and learn our business. And without waiting
for such compulsion the school may now offer opportunity for all parents
to obtain the desired information. Teachers are especially trained to an
understanding of child-nature and to methods of pedagogy; they are
prepared to teach many things we ought to know; why should not the
family obtain the advantage of such expert knowledge?

The school would also be within its province if it undertook to
stimulate the indifferent parents, both rich and poor, to an
appreciation of the educational task and opportunity of the home. Each
institution greatly needs the other. The school reaches all the children
of all the people; might it not be made a larger means of helping all
the parents of all the children to quickened moral responsibility and to
greater educational efficiency?


The family ought to know the conditions at the school outside the
recitation or working hours. Few parents have any conception of the
power of the playground over moral character. Perhaps a smaller number
realize how dangerous are some of the elements at work there. Play of
itself is immensely valuable, but play means playfellows, and some of
these are simply purveyors of indecency and moral contagion in
conversation and act. We are required to send our children to school; we
have a right to demand freedom from moral contagion. Do you know what
goes on in secret places on the grounds? Do you know that the vilest
ideas and phrases are current in pictures, cards, on scraps of paper,
and in handwriting on walls, not only in the high schools, but often
among children of from six to twelve years of age? This is too large a
subject to be developed properly here. It is one familiar to all
wide-awake school men and women and ought to be equally so to the
parents of children. Where the school combats this evil the home should
intelligently aid; where the school is indifferent the family dare not
rest until either the indifference is quite dispelled or the indifferent

Do not expect to get the facts concerning these suggested conditions by
inquiry among your children. They are reticent, naturally, on such
matters when talking with adults; besides, the sense of school honor
holds them to silence. If they tell you voluntarily, you are happy in
their free confidence. Do not betray it; simply let it lead you to make
further inquiry at the school from the authorities and stimulate you to
insist that, for the sake of the spiritual good of the young, the school
must furnish conditions of moral health.

     I. References for Study

     Ella Lyman Cabot, _Voluntary Help to the Schools_, chaps. vii,
     viii. Houghton Mifflin Co., $0.60.

     W.A. Baldwin, "The Home and the Public Schools," _Religious
     Education_, February, 1912. $0.65.

     II. Further Reading

     M. Sadler, _Moral Instruction and Training in Schools_. 2 vols.

     John Dewey, _The School and Society_. The University of Chicago
     Press, $1.00.

     Smith, _All the Children of All the People_. Macmillan, $1.50.

     G.A. Coe, "Virtue and the Virtues," _Religious Education_,
     February, 1912.

     III. Topics for Discussion

     1. What ought parents to know about public-school life?

     2. In visiting a school what may the parent do to acquire
     information in the proper way?

     3. How may the home co-operate with the school?

     4. What degree of instruction in morals ought the school to give?

     5. In what way does the school best help in moral training?

     6. What do you know about the conditions on the playgrounds of your
     own school?



Moral crises arise in every family. Deeply as we may desire to maintain
an even tenor of character-development, in harmony and quietness,
occasions will bring either our own imperfections or those of our
children--or of our neighbors' children--to a focus and throw them in
high relief on the screen. Progress comes not alone in perpetual
placidity. When temper slips from control, when angry passions rule,
when the spirit under discipline rebels, when a course of petty
wrongdoing comes to a head, when secret sins are discovered, and when we
suddenly find ourselves confronted with a tragic problem in the higher
life, it is still important to remember that the crisis is just as truly
a part of the educational process as is the orderly, gradual method of

A moral crisis is an experience in which our acts are such, or have such
results, that they are thrown out in a white light that reveals their
inner meaning, so that they are sharply discerned for their spiritual
and character values. Then in that light courses of conduct have to be
valued anew, reconsidered, and determined.

Two courses are open in times of moral crisis in the family. One is to
bend our efforts to settle the situation, to proceed on the policy of
getting through with the crisis as quickly as possible, to seek to
remove the pain rather than to cure the ill. The other is to regard the
crisis as a revealer of truth, to use it as a valuable opportunity, one
in which moral qualities of acts are so easily evident, so keenly felt,
as to make it a time of spiritual quickening, a chance for the best sort
of training.


The perfect child is the one unborn; shortly after his birth he begins
to take after his father. The perfect character does not exist in a
child. It is as unreasonable to expect it as it would be to look for the
perfect tree in the sapling. _Character comes by development_; it is not
born full-blown. Childhood implies promise, development. Therefore
parents must not be surprised at evidences that their children are
pretty much like their neighbors' children. Outside of the old-time
Sunday-school-library book the child who never lied, lost his temper,
sulked, or made a disturbance never existed and never will, except in a
psychopathic ward in some hospital. Could anything be sadder than the
picture of the anemic, pulseless automaton who is always "good"?

When parents speak of the "natural depravity" of their children, they
are commonly using terms they do not understand. What they mean is the
natural immaturity of their children, a condition of imperfection in
which they may rejoice, as it shows the possibility of development. The
child is in the world to grow to the fulness of all his powers. The
powers of the higher life are to develop as truly as those which we call
physical and mental. The family is the great human culture-bed for the
development of those powers, their training-field and school.

Does someone say, concerning a little child, "But we thought he had the
grace of God in his heart, that he had been born again and would no more
do wrong"? True, he may be born again, but there is a world of
difference between being born and being grown up. From one to the other,
in the realm of character, is a long and tedious process, with many a
stumble, many a fall, many a hard knock, and many a lesson to be
learned. Every moral crisis is part of the struggle, the experience and
training that may make toward the matured life. You have no more right
to expect your child to be a mature Christian than you had to expect him
to be born six feet tall.

A moral crisis is a lesson. The important consideration for the parent,
then, is to see the wrongdoing of the child as an experience in his
moral upward climb; not as a fall alone, but as part of the acquisition
of the art of standing upright and walking forward. Dealing with such an
occasion one may well say to himself or herself, "This is my chance to
guide, to make this experience a light that shines forward on the way
for the child's weak feet and to strengthen him to walk in it." For is
it not true with us that practically all we really know has come by the
organizing of our different experiences? Think whether it is so or not.
And is it not to be the same with the child?

We can study here only a few typical moral crises, perhaps those that
give greatest perplexity to parents. They cannot be successfully met as
isolated instances, but must be seen as a part of the whole educational
process. Those to whom the development of character is a reality will
watch tendencies and train them before they focalize in crises.


Parenthood presents tremendous moral strains; it is rife with
temptations. It offers a little world for autocracy to vaunt itself. The
martinets command, often totally blind to the changing nature of the
subjects as they pass from the submissive to the rebellious. One day the
parents wake up to realize that they are not the only ones possessed of

When to your Yes the child says No, while you may not applaud, you ought
to rejoice; you have discovered a will, you have found developing in
your child the central and essential quality of character. Forgiveness
will be hard to find and recovery still more difficult if you make the
mistake of attempting to crush that will. The child needs it and you
will need its co-operation. The power to see the possibility of choice
of action, to know one's self as a choosing, willing entity, able to
elect and follow one among many courses of action, is a distinctive,
Godlike quality. The opposition of wills is like the birth of a new
personality, a new force thrown out into the world to meet and struggle
and adjust itself with all other persons.

When the collision comes, take a few long breaths before you move; take
time to think what it means. _Keep your temper._ Do not break before the
other will by an exhibition of chagrin that your authority is defied.
From now on the basis of any real authority is being transformed from
force and tradition to a moral plane.

Therefore, first, be sure you are right in your direction or request.
You cannot afford to make the child think that authority is more
important than justice, that might makes right in the social order of
the home. If you do he will accept the lesson and practice it all his

Remember the right has many elements. There is the child's side to
consider. As soon as he can decide on courses of action his ideas of
justice are developing. To do him an injustice is to help make him an
unjust man.

Secondly, help him to see the right. This will involve sympathetic
explanations of your reasons which you may have to give in the form of
simple arguments or of a story, perhaps from your own experience, or by
an appeal or reference to the wider knowledge of the older children. It
may be necessary to let him learn in the effective school of experience.
Other means failing, allow him to discover the pain and folly of his own
way when it is wrong. Of course this does not apply if he is minded, for
instance, to imbibe carbolic acid. But even in such circumstances it
would be better to prove his unwisdom by demonstration--as a drop of
acid on a finger tip--than to let the issue rest on blind authority. One
such demonstration gives a new, intelligible basis to your authority in
other cases.

Thirdly, help him to will the right. Help him to feel that he must
choose for himself, to recognize the power of the will and the grave
responsibilities of its use. He is entering the realm of the freedom of
the will. Every act of deliberate choice, with your aid, in a sense of
the seriousness of choice, goes to establish the character that does not
drift, is not dragged, and will not go save with its whole selfhood of
feeling, knowing, choosing, and willing.

§ 3. ANGER

An angry child is a child in rebellion. Rebellion is sometimes
justifiable. Anger may be a virtue. You would not take this force out of
your child any more than you would take the temper out of a knife or a
spring. Anger manifested vocally or muscularly is the child's form of
protest. But, established as a habit of the life, it is altogether
unlovely. Who does not know grown-up people who seem to be inflexibly
angry; either they are in perpetual eruption or the fires smoulder so
near the surface that a pin-prick sets them loose. Usually a study of
their cases will show either that the attitude of angry opposition to
everything in life has been established and fostered from infancy or
that it was acquired in the adolescent period.

The angry, antisocial person is most emphatically an irreligious person;
there can be no love of his brother man where that spirit is. The home
is the place where this ill can best be met and cured, for it deals most
directly with the infant, and for the adolescent it is the best school
of normal social living.

Let no one think the angry demonstrations of little children are
negligible or that they have nothing to do with the religious character
of the child or the adult. They are important for at least two reasons,
first, as furnishing the angry one opportunity to acquire self-control,
to master his own spirit, and, secondly, because they disturb the peace
and interfere with the well-being of others.

It is possible to set up habits of anger in the cradle. In the first
instance the infant encountered opposition in the cradle and proceeded
to conquer it by yelling, and so, day after day, he found anger the only
route to the satisfaction of his desires. He grew to take all life in
terms of a bitter struggle and every person became his natural enemy.

In the case of the adolescent it sometimes happens that a boy or a girl
will make a very tardy passage through the normal experience of social
aversion, the time when they seem to suspect all other people, to flee
from social intercourse and to sulk, to want to be off in a corner
alone. This is a normal phase of adolescent adjustment, coming at
thirteen or fourteen, but it ought to pass quickly. A few allow this
period to become lengthened; they fail to regain social pleasure and
soon drift into habits of social enmity. This may be due to scolding at
this period, or to a lack of healthful friendships.


It is evident that talking, lecturing, or arguing with the angry infant
will not help the case. He may feel the emotion of your anger but
misses any shreds of your logic. Parents ought first to ask, Why is an
infant angry? With the infant, with whom there are no pretensions or
affections, there is commonly a simple cause of his rebellion. The baby
yelling like an Indian and looking like a boiled lobster is neither
possessed of an evil spirit nor giving an exhibition of natural
depravity; he is lying on a pin, wearing the shackles of faddish infant
fashions, or he is trying to tell you of disturbances in the department
of the interior. Furnish physical relief at once and you put a period to
the display of what you call temper; try to subdue him by threats and
you only discover that his lungs are stronger than your patience; you
yield at last and he has learned that temper properly displayed has its
reward, that the way to get what he wants is to upset the world with
anger. That is one of life's early lessons; it is one of the first
exercises in training character.

_Consider the future._ Each family is a social unit, a little world.
Within this world are in miniature nearly all the struggles and
experiences of the larger world of later life. It is a world which
prepares children for living by actually living. The qualities that are
needed in a world of men and women and affairs are developed here. When
young children exhibit anger parents must ask, How would this quality,
under similar circumstances, serve in the business of mature life?
Anger is an essential quality of the good and forceful character.
Somehow we have to learn to be angry and not sin. Anger is the emotional
effect of extreme discontent and opposition. For the stern fight against
evil and wrong, life needs this emotional reinforcement. But it must be
purified, it must be controlled. Like the dynamic of steam, it must be
confined and guided. Love must free it from hatred; self-control must
guide it.

When children are angry, help them to think out the causes for the
feeling. Instead of denouncing or deriding them, stop to analyze the
situation for yourself. It may be that they are entirely justified, that
not to be angry would be an evidence of weakness, of base standards of
conduct or conditions, or of weak reactions to life's stimuli. Always
help the child to see why he is angry. Perhaps the situation is one he
may remedy himself. Is he angry because the top-string is tangled? Stay
with him until he has learned that he can remove the cause of his own

Step by step, dealing with each excitement of anger, _train him in
self-control_. Self-mastery is a matter of learning to direct and apply
our own powers at will. It is developed by habitual practice. It is the
largest general element in character. The temper that smashes a toy is
the temper that kills a human being when it opposes our will, but it is
the same temper that, being controlled, patiently sets the great ills of
society right, fights and works to remove gigantic wrongs and to build a
better social order. That patience which is self-control saves the
immensely valuable dynamic of the emotions and harnesses them to Godlike
service. And that patience is not learned at a single lesson, not
acquired in a miraculous moment; it is learned in one little lesson
after another, in every act and all the daily discipline of home and
school and street.

Children must learn to qualify and govern temper by love in order to
save it from hatred. When the irritating object is a personal one the
rights, the well-being, of that one must gain some consideration. There
will be but little feeling of altruism in children under thirteen; we
must not expect it; but egoism is one way to an understanding of the
rights, the feelings, and needs of others. The child can put himself in
the other's place. He is capable of affection; he loves and is willing
to sacrifice for those he loves, and when he is angry with them, or with
strangers, he must be helped to think of them as persons, as those he
loves or may love. He also can be aided to see the pain of hatred, the
misery of the life without friends, the joy of friendships.

Anger against persons is the opportunity for learning the joy of
forgiveness and, if the occasion warrants, the dignity and courage of
the apology. The self-control, consideration, and social adjustment
involved must be learned early in life. It is part of that great lesson
of the fine art of living with others. Little children must be
habituated to acknowledging errors and acts of rudeness or temper with
suitable forms of apology. Above all, they must, by habit, learn how
great is the victory of forgiveness.[48]

     I. References for Study

     _The Problem of Temper._ Pamphlet. American Institute of Child
     Life, Philadelphia, Pa.

     E.P. St. John, _Child Nature and Child Nurture_, chap. v. Pilgrim
     Press, $0.50.

     J. Sully, _Children's Ways_, chap. x. Appleton, $1.25.

     II. Further Reading

     Patterson Du Bois, _The Culture of Justice_, chaps. i-v. Dodd, Mead
     & Co., $0.75.

     E.H. Abbott, _The Training of Parents_. Houghton Mifflin Co.,

     M. Wood-Allen, _Making the Best of Our Children_. 2 vols. McClurg,
     $1.00 each.

     H.Y. Campbell, _Practical Motherhood_. Longmans, $2.50.

     III. Topics for Discussion

     1. What special opportunities are offered in the rise of moral

     2. Do we tend to expect too high a development of character in

     3. How early in life do we have manifestations of a conscious will?

     4. What constitutes the importance of early crises of the will?

     5. What are probably the causes when children habitually defy

     6. Is anger always a purely mental condition?

     7. What importance have the angry demonstrations of infants?

     8. What is the relation of the control of temper to the rightly
     developed life?


[48] See Gow, _Good Morals and Gentle Manners_, chap. viii.




A child who never quarrels probably needs to be examined by a physician;
a child who is always quarreling equally needs the physician. In the
first there is a lack of sufficient energy so to move as to meet and
realize some of life's oppositions; in the other there is probably some
underlying cause for nervous irritability.

It is perfectly natural for healthy people to differ; in childhood's
realm, where the values and proportions of life are not clearly seen,
where social adjustments have not been acquired, the differences in
opinions, as in possessions, lead to the expression of feeling in sharp
and emphatic terms. Rivalry and conflict are natural to the young
animal. Children do not wilfully enter into conflicts any more than
adults; they are only less diplomatic in their language, more direct,
and more likely to follow the word with attempts at force.

In few things do parents need more patience than in dealing with
children's quarrels. First, seek to determine quietly the merits of the
cause; but do not attempt to pronounce a verdict. It is seldom wise to
act as judge unless you allow the children to act as a jury. But
ascertain whether the quarrel is an expression somewhere of anger
against injustice, wrong, or evil in some form. Sometimes their quarrels
have as much virtue as our crusades. It is a sad mistake to quench the
feeling of indignation against wrong or of hatred against evil. A boy
will need that emotional backing in his fights against the base and the
foes of his kind. While rejoicing in his feeling, show him how to direct
it, train him to discriminate between hatred of wrong and bitterness
toward the wrongdoer. Help him to see the good that comes from loving
people, no matter what they do.

Our methods of dealing with a quarrel will do more to develop their
sense of justice than all our decisions can. Be sure to get each one to
state all the facts; insist on some measure of calmness in the recital.
Keep on sifting down the facts until by their own statements the quarrel
is seen stripped of passion and standing clear in its own light. Usually
that course, when kindly pursued and followed with sympathy for the
group, with a saving sense of humor, will result in the voluntary
acknowledgment of wrong. The boys--or girls--have for the first time
seen their acts, their words, their course, in a light without
prejudice. They are more ready to confess to being mistaken than are we
when convinced against our wishes.

When no acknowledgment of wrong is proffered voluntarily, we must still
not offer a verdict. Put the case to the contestants and let them settle
it. Listen, as a bystander, coming in only when absolutely necessary to
insist on exact statements of fact. That course should be excellent
training in clear thinking, in the duty of seeing the other man's side,
in the deliberation that saves from unwise accusations and the serious
quarrels of later life. Teach children to think through their

The perpetually petulant child, bickering with all others, should be
taken to a physician. Get him right nervously, physically, first. He is
out of harmony with himself and so cannot find harmony with others. When
the condition of habitual bickering seems to afflict all the children in
the family, it cannot be settled by attributing it to a mysterious
dispensation of natural depravity. The probability is that the home life
is without harmony and full of discord, that the parents are themselves
petulant and more anxious to assert their separate opinions than to find
unity of action. Nothing is more effective to teach children peaceful
living than to see it constantly before them in their parents. A
harmonious home seldom has quarrelsome children. Such harmony is a
matter of organization and management of affairs as much as of our own

Some children are educated to a life of quarrels by being trained in the
family that spoils them. The single child is at a great disadvantage; he
occupies the throne alone. His home life becomes a mere series of spokes
radiating from himself. When he finds the world ordered otherwise, he
quarrels with it and tries to rearrange the spokes into a new,
self-centric social order. Whatever the number of children may be, each
one must learn to live with other lives, to adjust himself to them.
Neighboring social play and activities are the chance for this. Do not
try to keep Algernon in a glass case; he needs the world in which he
will have to live some day.


The best of men are likely to have a secret satisfaction in their boys'
fights, and the bravest of mothers will deplore them. The fathers know
how hard are the knocks that life is going to give; the mothers hope
that the boys can be saved from blows. A man's life is often pretty much
of a fight, every day struggling in competition and rivalry; we have not
yet learned the lesson of co-operation, and we still tend to think of
business as a battlefield. Something in us calls for fighting; we have
to use the utmost strength at our command to fight the evil tendencies
of our own hearts; often we rejoice in life as a conflict. It feels good
to find causes worth fighting for. If all this is true of the man, it
is not strange that the small boy, scarce more than a young savage, will
find opportunities for conflict. He is more dependent on the weapons of
force than is his father. He cannot cast out the enemy with a ballot,
nor with a sneer or biting sarcasm, nor by some device or strategy of
business or affairs. He can only hit back. Taken altogether, boys settle
their differences as honestly at least as do men.

Moreover, children's fights are not as cruel as they seem to be; even
the bloodshed means little either of pain or of injury. A boy may be
badly banged up today and in full trim tomorrow; it is quite different
with the wounds bloodlessly inflicted by men in their conflicts.

Does all this mean that boys should be encouraged to fight? No; but it
does mean that when Billy comes home with one eye apparently retired
from business, we must not scold him as though he were the first
wanderer from Eden. That fight may have been precisely the same thing as
a croquet game to his sister, or any test of skill to his big brother,
or a business transaction to his father; it was a mere contest of two
healthy bodies at a time when the body was the outstanding fact of life.
The fight may give us our chance, however, to aid him to a sense of the
greatness of life's conflict, to a sense of the qualities that make the
true fighter. It may leave him open to the appeal of true heroism. We
must make light of the victory of brute strength, just as we may make
light of his wounds and scars, and glorify the victory of the mind and

The boy who fights because he lacks control of temper needs careful
training. He gets a good deal of discipline on the playground and
street, but it is not always effective; the beatings may only further
undermine control. But the lack of self-control will manifest itself in
many ways and must be remedied at all points. The discipline of daily
living in the family must come into play here.


The matter of self-control is not separable into special features; one
cannot learn control under one set of moral circumstances without
learning it for all. The boy who strikes without thinking is simply one
who acts without thinking. He tends to throw away the brakes of the
will. The regain of control comes only through training at every point
in deliberation of action.

Probably there is no other point at which children so frequently and
readily learn control as in the matter of speech. The family where all
speak at once, where a babel of sounds leads to a rivalry of vocal
organs, is not only a nuisance to the neighbors, it is a school of
uncontrolled action to the children. Just to learn to wait, even after
the thought is formed into words, until it shall be my turn or my
opportunity to speak is a fine discipline of control. To do that every
day, year after year, tends to break up the hair-trigger process of

Control is gained also by the acquisition of the habit of thought
regarding general courses of action. We can hardly expect meditation on
the part of little children. But those who are older, those entering
their teens, may and should be able to think things out, to plan out the
day's actions, to determine their own ways of conduct. Children who have
the custom of quiet, private prayer often develop ability to see their
conduct in the calm of those moments. They get a mental elevation over
the day and its deeds.


The evident danger of undue deliberation of action must be met by
another cure of the personal-conflict spirit; that is, the substitution
of games of rivalry and skill for the unorganized rivalry and "game" of
fighting. The transition from the bloody arena to the excitement of a
game is very easy and natural. But the game is the boy's great chance to
learn life as a game to be played according to the rules. All that the
fight calls for--courage, endurance, skill, quickness of action, and
grim persistence--comes out in a good game. Here is a suitable youthful
realization of the fight that is worth waging. Our participation in the
youths' games, our appreciation of their points, our joy in honestly won
success, is the best possible way to lead up to their taking life in
terms of a good fight, a grand game, a real chance to call out the
heroic qualities. Turn every fighting instinct into the good fight that
will clarify and elevate them all.

     I. References for Study

     W.L. Sheldon, _Ethics in the Home_, chaps. xi, xii, xiii. Welch &
     Co., $1.25.

     E.A. Abbott, _Training of Parents_, chap. v. Houghton Mifflin Co.,

     II. Further Reading

     Ella Lyman Cabot, _Every Day Ethics_. Holt, $1.25.

     M. Wood-Allen, _Making the Best of Our Children_. 2 vols. McClurg,
     $1.00 each.

     III. Topics for Discussion

     1. Do all children quarrel? Should one punish for small quarrels?

     2. What are the facts which ought to be ascertained regarding any

     3. What special opportunities do children's differences offer?

     4. What are the causes of habitual petulance? What are the dangers
     of this habit of mind?

     5. Is fighting necessarily wrong? What part does it play in the
     lives of men?

     6. What are the dangerous elements in boys' fights?

     7. What special quality of character needs development in this

     8. What are the valuable possibilities in the fighting tendency?



§ 1. LYING

Parents are likely to be wilfully blind to the faults of their children.
But some faults cannot be ignored; they must surely quicken the most
indifferent parent to thought. We suffer a shock when our own child
appears as a wilful liar.

"What shall I do when I catch the child in an outright lie? Surely he
knows that is wrong and that he is wilfully doing the wrong!"

First, be sure whether he is "lying." Lying means a purposeful intent to
deceive by word of mouth or written word. When Charles Dickens wrote
_Oliver Twist_ he described a burglary that never happened, so far as he
knew. He intended the reader to feel that it was true. Was he lying? No;
because he simply used his imagination to paint a scene which was part
of a great lesson he desired to teach the English public. Even had he
had no great moral purpose, it would still not have been a lie, just as
we do not accuse the writer of even the most frivolous novel of lying.
He is simply creating, or imitating, in the field of imagination.

Imagination is the child's native world. When the little girl says, "My
dolly is sick," she is saying that which is not so, but instead of
reproving her for lying, you prepare an imaginary pill for the doll.
Many children's lies are simply elaborations of their doll- and
plaything-imaginings. When my little daughter told me, and insisted upon
it, that she had seen seven bears, of varied colors, on the avenue,
should I have reproved her for lying? Was it not better to humor her
fancy, to draw it out, to give it free play, being careful gradually to
let her know that I knew it was fancy? I entered into the game with her
and enjoyed it so long as we all understood it was only fancy. It is a
crime to crush a child's power of creating a world by imagination, a
fair world, set in the midst of this world where things are imperfect,
jarring, and disappointing, a world in which everything is always "just

But one must also carefully aid the child in distinguishing between the
world of fancy and the world of fact. This takes time and patience. We
must not rob the life of fancy nor must we allow the habits of freedom
with ideas to pass over into habits of carelessly handling realities.
Along with the development of fancy we must train the powers of exact
observation and statement of facts. The child who saw seven bears, red,
green, yellow, etc., must go to see real bears and must tell me exactly
their colors and forms. Daily training in exactitude of statements of
real facts is the best antidote for a fancy that has run out of its
bounds. It establishes a habit of precision in thinking which is the
essence of truth-telling.


But there is another form of lying which is frequently met in some form.
It may be called protective lying. Ask the little fellow with the
jam-smeared face, "Have you been in the pantry?" and he is likely to do
the same thing that nature does for the birds when she gives them a coat
that makes it easier to hide from their enemies. He valiantly answers
"No, Mother." He would protect himself from your reproof. There has been
awakened before this the desire to seem good in your eyes and he desires
your approbation most of all. The moral struggle with him is very brief;
he does not yet distinguish between being good and seeming good; if his
negative answer will help him to seem good he will give it.

What shall we do? First, stop long enough to remember that appetites for
jam speak louder than your verbal prohibitions. The jam was there and
you were not. It can hardly be said that he deliberately chose to do a
wrong; he is still in the process of learning how to do things
deliberately, just as you still are, for that matter. Consider whether
your training of the anti-jam habit has been really conscientious and
sufficient to establish the habit in any degree. It were wiser to ask
these things of yourself before putting the fateful question to him. It
would be better not to ask a small child that question. It demands too
much of him. Besides, you are losing a chance to establish a valuable
idea in his mind, namely, that acts usually carry evidences along with
them. Better say, "I see you've been in the pantry." That will help to
establish the habit of expecting our acts to be known. Then would follow
with the little child the careful endeavor to train him to recognize the
acts that are wrong because harmful, greedy, against the good of others,
and against his own good.

Just here parents, especially many religious parents, meet the
temptation thoughtlessly to use God as their ally by reminding the child
that, though they could not see him in the pantry, God was there
watching him. In the vivid memory of a childhood clouded by the thought
of a police-detective Deity, may one protest against this act of
irreverence and blasphemy? True, God was there; but not as a spy, a
reporter of all that is bad, anxious to detect, but cowardly and cruel
in silence at all other times! Let the child grow up with the happy
feeling that God is always with him, rejoicing in his play, his
well-aimed ball, his successes in school, his constant friend, helper,
and confidant. I like better the God to whom a little fellow in Montana
prayed the other day, "O God, I thank you for helping me to lick Billy
Johnson!" The child of the pantry needs to know the God who will help
him to do and know the right.


But protective lying presents a more serious problem with older
children. The school-teacher and parent meet it, just as the judge and
the employer meet it in adults. The cure lies early in life.
Truth-telling is as much a habit as lying is. Perhaps it is more easily
practiced; its drafts are on the powers of observation and memory rather
than on those of imagination. Along with the child's imaginative powers
there must be developed the powers of exact observation and description.
Exact observation and description or relation are but parts of the
larger general virtue of precision. Help children at every turn of life
to be right--right in doing things, right in thinking, in saying, and in
execution. Precision at any point in life helps lift the life's whole
level. Truth-telling is not a separable virtue. You cannot make a boy
truthful in word if you let him lie in deed. You cannot expect he will
speak the truth if you do not train him to do the truth, in his play, in
ordering his room, in thinking through his school problems, and in
thinking through his religious difficulties. Truth-telling is the verbal
reaction of the life which habitually holds that nothing is right until
it is just right.

Two things would, ordinarily, make sure of a truthful statement, instead
of a protective lie, in answer to your question: first, that the young
person has been trained to the habit of seeing and stating things as
they are--and that you really give him a chance so to state them, and,
secondly, that to some degree there has been developed a recognition of
considerations or values that are higher than either escape from
punishment or the winning of your approbation. He will choose the course
that offers what seems to him to be the greater good; he will choose
between punishment, with rectitude, a good conscience, a sense of unity
with the higher good, of peace with God his friend, a greater
approximation to your ideal, on the one side, and, on the other, escape
from punishment.

Everything in that crisis will depend on how real you have made the good
to be, how much the sense of the reality of God and his companionship
has brought of joy and friendship, and how high are his values of the
actual, the real, the true.


But what shall we do as we meet the lie on the lips of the child? First,
as already suggested, do not wait until you meet it. Train the child to
the truthful life. Second, be sure you do not make too heavy moral
demands. Remember the instinct to protect himself from immediate
punishment or disapprobation is stronger than any other just then. Do
not ask him to do what the law says the prisoner may not do, incriminate
himself. We have no right to put on our children tests harder than they
can bear. Often we put those which are harder than we could face. What
you will do just then depends on what you have been doing for the
training of the child or youth. Do not expect him to solve problems in
moral geometry if you have neglected simple addition in that realm.

Punishment by the blow or the immediate sentence will be futile. The
offender must know he has trespassed in a realm beyond your
administration and rule; he has done more than commit an offense against
you. Whatever consequences follow--such as your hesitation to accept his
word--must evidently be a part of the operation of the entire moral law.
Help him to see that lying strikes at the root of all social relations
and would make all happy and prosperous living, all friendship, and all
business impossible by destroying social confidence.

Facing the crisis, do not demand more than your training gives you a
right to expect. Often, instead of the direct categorical question as to
guilt, we must gradually draw out a narrative of the events in question;
we must patiently help the child to state the facts and to see the
values of exactitudes. Without preaching or posing we must bring the
events into the light of larger areas of time and circles of life, help
him to see them related to all his life and to all mankind and to the
very fringes of existence, to God and the eternal. That cannot be done
in a moment; it is part of a habit of our own minds or it is not really
done at all. At the moment we can, however, make the deepest impression
by insistence on the importance of the actual, the real, the exactly

     I. References for Study

     E.L. Cabot, _Every Day Ethics_, chaps. xix, xx. Holt, $1.25.

     W.B. Forbush, _On Truth Telling_. Pamphlet. American Institute of
     Child Life, Philadelphia, Pa.

     J. Sully, _Children's Ways_, pp. 124-33. Appleton, $1.25.

     II. Further Reading

     G.S. Hall, "A Study of Children's Lies," _Educational Problems_, I,
     chap. vi. Appleton, $2.50.

     E.P. St. John, _A Genetic Study of Veracity_. Pamphlet.

     J. Sully, _Studies in Childhood_.

     E.H. Griggs, _Moral Education_. Huebsch, $1.60.

     III. Topics for Discussion

     1. Are there degrees of lying?

     2. When is a lie not a lie?

     3. How can we discriminate among the statements of children?

     4. How can we help them to recognize the qualities of truth?

     5. In what ways are parents to blame for forcing children to
     protective lying?

     6. What of the relation of the thought of God to the demands for

     7. Would you punish a child for lying and, if so, in what way?




Many parents appear to think that the child's concepts of property
rights and of fair dealing are without importance. Habits of pilfering
are permitted to develop and success in cheating wins admiration. Low
standards are accepted and religion is divorced from moral questions.
The family attitude practically assumes that all persons cheat more or
less and that it is necessary only to use wisdom to insure freedom from

Responsibility lies at home. We shall never have an honest generation
until we have honest men and women to breed and train it. It is folly to
think we can lay on the public schools the burden of the moral education
of the young. Much is already being attempted there; yet little seems to
be accomplished because the home, having the child before and after
school and for a longer period each day, furnishes no adequate basis in
habits, ideals, and instruction for the moral work of the school. If
parents assume that one cannot succeed with absolute integrity, that
dishonesty in some degree is necessary to prosperity, then children will
learn that lesson despite all that may be said elsewhere. Honest
children grow where, in answer to the false statement, "You will starve
if you do business honestly," parents say, "Then we will starve."

But the very home life itself can be a teacher of dishonesty. Is it
largely a matter of sham and pretense for the sake of social glory? Does
it prefer a cheap veneer to a slowly acquired genuine article? Is the
front appearance that of a dandy while the backyard looks like a
slattern? Is the home striving for more than it deserves? Is it trying
to get more out of life than it puts in? Evading taxes, avoiding duties,
a community parasite, does it commend to children the arts of social
cheating and lying? Such homes teach so loudly that no voice could be
heard in them.

Given the atmosphere, ideals, and practices of the honest life in the
home itself, the problems of conduct, in the realm of these rights, are
more than half solved. Here in the home the real training for the life
of business takes place. Not for an instant can we afford to lower
standards here, nor to lose sight of the life-long power of our ideals,
our habits, and our attitudes on the conduct of the next generation. Do
parents know that the problems of lying, cheating, quarreling are the
great, vital questions for their children, much more important than
industrial or professional success in life; that on these all success is
predicated? If they do, surely they cannot regard the problems which
arise as mere incidents; surely they will provide for the culture of the
moral life as definitely as for the culture of the physical or the


But children also acquire habits from their playmates. Whenever the act
of pilfering appears, the wrong must be made clear. Some sense of
property rights is necessary; not the right, as some assume, to do what
you will with a thing because you have it, but the right to enjoy and
usefully employ it. Help children to see the difference between mine and
thine. Slovenly moral thinking often comes from too great freedom in
forgetful borrowing within the family. In this little social group the
members must first acquire the habits of respect for the rights of
others. Through toys, tools, and books the lesson may be learned so
early that it becomes a part of the normal order of things.

Children can learn that the game of life has its rules and that the
breach of these rules spoils the game and prevents our own happiness.
They can learn, too, that these are not arbitrary rules; they are like
the laws of nature; they are the conditions under which alone it is
possible for people to live together and to make life worth while.
Gambling is wrong because it is unsocial; it is the attempt to gain
without an equivalent giving. Cheating is wrong, no matter how many
practice it, just as surely as cheating is wrong in the game on the

Children are really peculiarly sensitive to the social consciousness. In
school under no circumstances will they do that which the school custom
forbids or the older boys condemn. In the home, despite contrary
appearances, the opinion of elders, brothers, sisters, and parents is
the recognized law. Every small boy wants to be like his big brother.
Children's conduct may be guided by an understanding of the social will
outside the school and home. Help them to know that all people
everywhere in organized society condemn cheating and dishonesty.[49]

Sentiment and emotional feeling must back up all teaching of conduct.
Your stories and readings should be selected with this in mind. The
approbation of parents and of the great Father of all enters as an
effectual motive.

But parents seldom understand these problems; they attempt to deal with
each one as it arises until they are weary of the seemingly endless
procession and abandon the task. Their endeavors are based on faint
memories of such problems in their own youth or on rule-of-thumb
proverbial philosophy about morals and children. Does not the
development of moral ability and culture deserve at least as much
attention as any other phase of the child's life? After all, what do we
most of all desire for all our children--position, fame, ease? or is it
not rather simply this, that, no matter what else they do, they may be
good and useful men and women? Then what are we doing to make them good
and useful?

A clear view of the need for moral training, a belief that is possible,
will surely lead to serious attempts to learn the art of moral training.
In this they need not be without guidance. There is a number of good
books on character development in the child.[50] The foundation for all
such training of parents ought to be laid in an understanding of what
the moral nature is, and then of the laws of its development. Later the
specific problems may be separately considered.


Teasing is the child's crude method of experimentation in psychological
reactions; the teaser desires to discover just how the teased will
respond. It degenerates, by easy steps, into a thoughtless infliction of
pain in sheer enjoyment of another's misery, and then into brutal
bullying. When only two children are together mere teasing will not
last long; either the teaser will tire of his task or his teasing will
turn to that lowest of all brutalities, delight in inflicting pain on
weaker ones.

But teasing is a serious problem in many families; the whole group
sometimes lives in an atmosphere of ridicule, derision, and annoyance.
Teasing is likely to appear at its worst wherever a group is gathered,
for the guilty ones are under the stimulus of the praise of others; they
inflict mental pain for the sake of winning approbation.

Teasing has a pedagogical basis. A certain amount of ridicule acts
healthfully on most persons. Even children need sometimes to see their
weaknesses, and especially their faults of temper, in the light of other
eyes, in the aspect of the ridiculous. But children are seldom to be
trusted to discipline one another; freedom to do so is likely to develop
hardness, indifference to the sufferings of others, and arrogance from
the sense of lordship. The corrective of ridicule is safe only as it is
a kindly expression of the sense of humor. The ability to see and to
show just how foolish or funny some situations are will turn many a
tragedy of childhood into a comedy. Whenever children laugh at the
distresses or faults of others, help them to laugh at their own.
Cultivate the habit of seeing the odd, the whimsical, the humorous side
of things. A sound sense of kindly humor often will save us all from
unkind teasing.


Help the habitual and unkind teaser to see how cowardly the act is, to
see how it is against the spirit of fair play. Call on him to help the
weaker one. If he is teasing for some fault of temper or some habit,
show him the chance that is afforded to do the nobler deed of helping
another to overcome that fault.

Let the cowardly teaser reap the consequences of his own act; he must
bear the burden of the critic, the expectation of perfection. Teasing
him for his own shortcomings will sometimes cure him, but usually he
loses his temper quickly. Make him feel the injustice of the teaser's
method. If he is a bully he needs bullying. If ever corporal punishment
is wise it is in such a case. He who inflicts pain simply because he can
deserves to endure pain inflicted by someone stronger. But one must be
careful not to confirm him in the coward's code. The injustice of it he
must see, see by smarting under it. If ever punishment before others is
wise it is in this case; for surely he who delights in humiliating
others must be humiliated. But though justice suggests this course,
experience shows that it does not always work; the bully only bides his
time, and, cherishing resentment, he wreaks it on the weaker ones.

The best cure for brutal teasing will take a longer time than is
involved in a thrashing. Besides, the teaser will get his thrashings
very soon from other boys. It requires time to change the habits that
make bullying possible. Try gradually helping him to see the beauty and
pleasure of helpfulness. Give him a chance to give pleasure instead of
pain. Help him to taste the joy of praise, the praise that helps more
than all teasing criticism. Help him to see that it is more truly a mark
of superiority to help, to cheer, to do good, than to oppress and tease.
Take time to habituate him in helpfulness.

In dealing with teasing in the family, two other things are worth
remembering: First, the teased must be taught the protective power of
indifference. Teasers stop as soon as their barbs fail to wound; the fun
ends there. Laugh at those who laugh at you, and they will soon cease.
Secondly, the atmosphere and habit of the family determine the course of
teasing. Where carping criticism and unkindly ridicule abound, children
cannot be blamed for like habits. Where the sense of humor lightens
tense situations, where we sacrifice the pleasure of stinging criticism
for the sake of encouraging those who most need it, children are quick
to catch those habits too. The teasing child usually comes out of a
family of similar habits. On seeing our children engaged in teasing
others, our first thought ought to be as to the extent to which we may
have been their example in this respect. Constant watchfulness on our
part against the temptations to tease will have an effect far more
potent than all attempts to talk them out of the habit; it will lead
them out.

     I. References for Study

     1. HONESTY

     P. Du Bois, _The Culture of Justice_, chaps. iii, x. Dodd, Mead &
     Co., $0.75.

     E.P. St. John, _Child Nature and Child Nurture_, chap. viii.
     Pilgrim Press, $0.50.

     2. TEASING

     W.L. Sheldon, _A Study of Habits_, chap. xvii. Welch & Co.,
     Chicago, $1.25.

     II. Further Reading


     Sneath & Hodges, _Moral Training in School and Home_. Macmillan,

     E.O. Sisson, _The Essentials of Character_. Macmillan, $1.00.

     H. Thisleton Mark, _The Unfolding of Personality_. The University
     of Chicago Press, $1.00.

     Paul Carus, _Our Children_. Open Court Publishing Co., $1.00.

     III. Topics for Discussion

     1. Of what importance is the child's sense of possession?

     2. What are the first evidences of a consciousness of property

     3. How do homes train in dishonesty?

     4. What is the relation between cheating and dishonesty?

     5. What is a child seeking to do when he teases another?

     6. What are the unfortunate features of teasing?

     7. What is the relation of teasing to bullying?

     8. What cures would you suggest for either?


[49] Parents will be helped by the practical discussions of cheating,
cribbing, and other boy problems in Johnson, _Problems of Boyhood_.

[50] See "Book List" in Appendix.



Whoever will stop to review his early educational experience will be
impressed with the instantaneous and vivid manner in which certain
teachers spring into memory. They are seen as though actually living
again. We have difficulty in recalling even the subjects they taught,
while of the particulars of their teaching we have absolutely no
recollection. But they continue to influence us; they are like so many
silent forces leading our lives to this day. The teacher is always
greater than his lesson, and what he is, is greater than what he says.
The religious education of the young depends more on the gift of
persons, on contact with lives, than on anything else.

There are instructors and there are teachers; the former impart
information, the latter convey personality; the former deal with
subjects, the latter teach people. The greatest factor in education as a
process of developing persons is the power of stimulating personality.
The power of the family as an educational agency is in the fact that it
is an organization of persons for personal purposes. When you take the
persons away you remove all educational potencies.

The depersonalized home is the modern menace. We have come to think that
provided you throw furniture and food together in proper proportions you
can produce a capable life. So we depend on the home as a piece of
machinery to do its work automatically, forgetting that the working
activity is not the home but the family, not the furniture but people.
Life can only come from life, and lives can only come from lives.
Personality alone can develop personality. By so much as you rob the
family life of your personal presence, as mother or as father, you take
away from its reality as a family, from its force as an educational
agency, from its religious reality.


All that is said here about fathers might well be applied to mothers,
save that they are not as flagrant sinners in this respect, and,
besides, it comes with better grace for a father to speak on the sins of

There are too many fathers who are financial and physiological fathers
only. A good father easily grows as crooked as a dollar sign when he is
nurtured only on money. Many, both fathers and mothers, take parenthood
wholly in physiological terms, imagining--if they think about it at
all--that they have fully discharged all possible obligations if only
they know how to bear, feed, and clothe children properly. True, such
duties are fundamental, but no father can be rightly called "a good
provider" who provides only _things_ for his family, no matter with what
generosity he provides these things. Our homes need more of ourselves
first of all.

He makes a capital error of setting first things in secondary places who
willingly permits business to interfere with the pleasure of being with
his children. Our social order fights its own welfare as long as any
father is chained to the wheels of industry through the hours that
belong to his home. But there are just as many who are not chained, but
who enslave themselves to business, and so miss the largest and best
business in the world, the development of children's characters.

Many a good father goes wrong here. Love and ambition prompt him to
provide abundantly for his children; he enslaves himself to give them
those social advantages which he missed in youth.

But it is a short-measure love that gives only gifts and never gives
itself. The heart hungers, not for what you have in your hand, but for
what you are. "The gift without the giver is bare." No amount of
bountiful providing can atone for the loss of the father's personality.
It is easy for the hands to be so engrossed in providing that the home
is left headless and soon heartless. If we at all desire the fruits of
character in the home we must give ourselves personally.

It is not alone the habitué of the saloon or the idler in clubs and
fraternities who is guilty of stealing from the home its rightful share
of his presence. He who gives so much of himself to any object as not to
give the best of himself to his family comes under the apostolic ban of
being worse than an infidel. _A father belongs to his home more than he
belongs to his church._ There have been men, though probably their
number is not legion, who have allowed church duties, meetings, and
obligations so to absorb their time and energy that they have given only
a worn-out, burned-out, and useless fragment of themselves to their
children. Some have found it more attractive to talk of the heavenly
home in prayer-meeting or to be gracious to the stranger and to win the
smile of the neighbor at the church than to take up the by-no-means-easy
task of being godly, sympathetic and cheerful, courteous and kind among
their children and in their homes. No matter what it may be, church or
club, politics or reform organization, we are working at the wrong end
if we are allowing them to take precedence of the home.


The father owes it to his family _to give himself at his best_, that is,
as far as possible, when his vitality is freshest and his powers
keenest to answer to the young life about him. He owes it to his family
to conserve for it the time to think of its needs, time to listen to the
wife's story of its problems, time to sit and sympathize with children,
time to hear their seemingly idle prattle, time to play with them. Have
you ever noticed this great difference between the father and the
mother, that while the latter always has time to bind up cut fingers and
to hear to its end the story of what the little neighbor, Johnny Smith,
did and said, somehow father's ear seems deaf to such stories and he is
often too busy to sympathize? It might work a vast change in some
families if the "children's hour" had a call to the father as well as to
the mother. Of course we are crowded with social engagements and life is
at high pressure under the enticing obligation of uplifting and
reforming everybody else, yet one hour of every evening held sacred for
the firelight conversation, one in which the children could really get
at our hearts, might be worth more to tomorrow than all our public

Fathers owe their brains as well as their hands to their families.
Competent and efficient fatherhood does not come by accident. We are
learning that children cannot be understood merely by loving them, that
two things must be held in balance: the scientific and the sympathetic
study of childhood. Is there any good reason why, while so readily
granting that mothers should belong to mothers' clubs, study child
psychology, the hygiene of infancy, domestic science, and eugenics, we
should assume that fathers may safely dispense with all such knowledge?
There are men who sit up nights studying how to grow the biggest
radishes in the block, there are men who toil through technical
handbooks on the game of golf, who would look at you in open-eyed wonder
if you should suggest the duty of studying their children with equal
scientific patience. They of course desire to have ideal children but
they are not willing to learn how to grow them.


It takes intelligence and burns up brain power to keep the confidence of
your boy so that he will freely talk of his own life and needs to you.
Those much-to-be-desired open doors are kept open, not by accident, nor
by our sentiments or wishes alone. A boy changes so fast that a man has
to be alert, thinking and trying to understand and sympathize all the
time. The boy sees through all sleepy pretenses of understanding. We
keep the open door of confidence only as by steady endeavor we keep in
real touch with the boy's world.

Fathers are ignorant of the problems of family training; they oscillate
between the wishy-washy sentimentality that permits anarchy in the home
and the harsh, unthinking despotism that breeds hatred and rebellion.
Fathers criticize the public schools but never take the time to go and
look inside one. They laugh at women's clubs because they are too lazy
to make a like investment in the patient study of some of their
problems. They affect indifference to the parent-teacher clubs while
remaining ignorant of the significant things they have already
accomplished for the schools. If we were to make an inventory of what
the women, the mothers, have accomplished by study, agitation, and
legislation for social, civic, ethical, and religious betterment, we
proud lords of creation would, or ought to, hang our heads in shame.

Fatherhood is our chance to become. It is our chance to grow into our
finest selves. The measure of its gains to us depends upon the measure
of our gifts to its opportunities and duties. It is our chance to be
what we should like our children to be, our chance to find ourselves.
All that it costs, all the self-denial, labor, and often pain it must
mean, is just the process of developing a fine, rich life. Now, that
life is just the greatest gift that any man can make to his home and his
world. We can never give any more than ourselves or any other than
ourselves, and this pathway of sacrifice, this costly way of
home-making, is a man's chance to become Godlike. The race has come
upward in this way. It needs the masculine in its ideal self as well as
the feminine. There is no race salvation without constant individual
self-giving. That self-giving must be balanced equally on the part of
the man and the woman. Fatherhood, like motherhood, is just our chance
to learn life's best lesson, that there is a certain short path to
happiness which men have called the way of pain and God calls the way of

Motherhood is a sacred portion, but so is fatherhood. Its calls are just
as high, its service just as holy, its opportunities just as large, its
meaning just as divine. How worse than empty are all our pratings about
divine fatherhood if we illustrate its meaning only degradingly or
misleadingly! And just as the life of the spirit is the gift of that
divine fatherhood, so for us the gift of our lives, ourselves, is the
largest and richest contribution we can make to the religious lives of
our children.

The father as a teacher teaches by what he is. The classes in the home
have no set lessons, for the text is written in lives and the word is
spoken and taught in personality. You effect the religious education of
your children in the degree that you give yourself as a simple religious
person to them.

     I. References for Study

     Hodges, _Training of Children in Religion_, chap. vii. Appleton,

     K.G. Busby, _Home Life in America_, chaps. i, ii. Macmillan,

     II. Further Reading

     E.A. Abbott, _On the Training of Parents_. Houghton Mifflin Co.,

     Allen, _Making the Most of Our Children_. 2 vols. McClurg, $1.00

     Wilm, _The Culture of Religion_, chap. ii. Pilgrim Press, $0.75

     III. Topics for Discussion

     1. Which do you remember best, your teachers or your lessons? Why?

     2. Describe, from your memory, some of the influences of

     3. Are these influences greater or less with parents on children?

     4. What are the causes that separate parents and children?

     5. How shall we define duties to business, to society, and to the

     6. Under what circumstances is one justified in refusing time to
     the church for the sake of the family?

     7. What are the best times and opportunities for the strengthening
     of the personal bonds between children and parents?

     8. How shall we overcome the apparent difficulty of maintaining the
     confidence of children?



Whether we can remedy the ills of family living today or not, we can
determine the character of the family life of the future. The homes of
tomorrow are being determined today. The children who swing their feet
in schoolrooms and play in our gardens will control family living very
soon. We can do little to reconstruct the old order; we can do
everything to determine the new. When the mountain sides have been made
bare, forest conservation cannot save the old trees, but it can prepare
for new growths. Ours is the larger opportunity because we can determine
the ideals of our children. Today we can determine that they shall not
suffer from false conceptions, shall not bruise themselves in the blind
ignorance that compelled us to find our own way. We shall see that,
first, in the education of our children we can save the homes of
tomorrow by training the children of today to set first things first. If
family life has been neglected in America, it has been because we have
submerged its real values of character and affection in a flood of
things, of materialism.


The future higher efficiency of the family depends on an extension of a
conscience for character through all our thinking on the family. We are
really half-ashamed to talk of character. We blush for ideals but we
have no shame in boasting of commerce and factories; we are ashamed of
the things of beauty and we love only the useful. So we have become
ashamed of the ideals of the home. Not only do we passively acquiesce in
the popular attitude of indifference or derision, but we voice it
ourselves. We join in the jest at marriage; we joke over marital
infelicities. We would be ashamed to be caught singing "Home, Sweet
Home." What is more important, we show that, as a people, we have less
and less the habit of regarding the home as any other than a commercial
affair. The tendency is to determine domestic living wholly by economic
factors. The literature on the "home" is overwhelmingly economic; its
heart is in the kitchen. High efficiency on the physiological, sanitary,
culinary, and mechanical sides makes the modern home so convenient that
you can lie on a folding bed, press a button to light the grate fire,
turn on the lights, start the toaster, and wake the children. Homes are
places to hide in at night, to feed the body, arrange the clothes, and
start out from for real living. They are private hotels.

If we would save the family we must save the child from losing sight of
the primacy of human values; we must strengthen his natural faith that
people are worth more than all besides, leading him into the faith that
moral integrity, truth, honor, righteousness, are the glory of a life.
More, these young lives must be trained to habitual and efficient
right-doing. In a word, the conservation of the home is simply a program
of beginning today ourselves to set first things first, to conserve the
human factors that will make homes, to make education everywhere in
school and church and home count first of all for character. And that
broader education we ourselves must test first of all by this, whether
it makes youth competent to live aright, cultivates the love of worthy
ideals, and makes him willing and able to pay the price of a trained
life consecrated to the service of his world, to the love of his
fellows, and to the making of a new world.

We shall need, first, to safeguard the primary motives that enter into
the founding of families. Those motives begin to develop early. They are
in the making in childhood. Somehow we must plan the education of youths
so that they will think of homes and of marriage in new terms. Possibly
the public school will not only teach the physiology of marriage and the
bare physical facts of sexual purity, but will teach new ideals of
family life; it will count it at least as much a duty to cultivate a
love of home as it is to cultivate a love of country. It can set so
clearly the final objective of character that even children shall see
that life has higher ends than money-making and the family greater
purposes than garish social display.


Certainly the church must seek to quicken and develop new ideals of
family life; it must bring religion to our hearths and homes; it must
worry less about a "home over there," and show how truly heavenly homes
may be made here. It must not only get youth ready to die, it must
prepare them to live; to live together on religious terms. It will do
this, not only by general discussions in the pulpit, but by special
instruction in classes. No church has a clear conscience in regard to
any young person contemplating the duties of a family whom it has not
directly instructed in the duties of that life.

It is a strange spectacle, if we would stop long enough to look at it,
of the church proclaiming a way of life but scarcely ever teaching it.
In any church there is a large number of young people under instruction;
what are they learning? Usually a theological interpretation of an
ancient religious literature. Some still are learning to hate all other
persons whose religion differs from the brand carried in that
institution. In a few years these youths will be bearing social burdens,
facing temptations, taking up duties; does their teaching relate at all
to these things? No, indeed, that would be "worldly"; it would seem to
be sacrilegious to teach them how actually to be religious. The business
of the church school is still largely that of filling minds with
theological data rather than training young, trainable lives to become
religious schoolboys, religious voters, religious parents. How many have
been at all influenced by Sunday-school teaching when they stepped into
a polling-booth, when they chose a life-mate, when they guided or
disciplined their children? If religious education does not at all
influence us in the great events of life, of what value is it to us?
Must it not be counted a sheer waste of time?

If we would conserve the human values of the family we must train youth
to a religious interpretation of the home. If we cannot do that in the
church we might as well confess that the church cannot touch the sources
of human affairs.


No matter what the breadth of the interests of the public school, youth
will still need training for family living given under religious
auspices and with the religious aim. The day school may give courses in
domestic economy, but family living demands more than ability to sweep a
room or cook an egg. In fact, no one can be competent to meet its higher
demands unless at least two things are accomplished, first, that he, or
she, is led to see the family as essentially a religious, spiritual
institution because it is an association of persons for the purpose of
developing other persons to spiritual fulness; secondly, that he, or
she, is moved to willingness to count the work of the family, its
purpose and aim, as the highest in life and that for which one is
willing to pay any price of time, treasure, thought, and endeavor.

This means that the fundamental need is that our young people shall grow
up with a new vision and a new passion for the home and family. That
passion is needed to give value to any training in the economics or
mechanics of the home; and that training is precisely the contribution
which the church should make to all departments of life today. It is the
prophet, the interpreter, revealing the spiritual meanings of all daily
affairs and quickening us to right feeling, to highly directed passion
for worthy ideals.

From the general teaching, the high message of the church, directed to
this special problem, there must be formed in the mind of the coming
generation a new picture of the family, a new ethics of its life, a new
evaluation of its worth. That can come in part by the prophetic message
from the pulpit, but it will come more naturally and readily by regular
teaching directed to the actual experiences and the coming needs of the
young people who are to be home-makers. The soaring ideals pass over
their heads, but when you teach the practice, the details of the life of
the family in the spirit of these ideals, as interpreted and determined
by the higher conception, then they catch the vision through the

We need two types of classes in church schools in relation to the life
of the family: First, classes for young people in which their social
duties as religious persons are carefully taught and discussed. Perhaps
such courses should not be specifically on "The Family," but this
institution ought, in the course, to occupy a place proportionate to
that which belongs to it in life. The instruction should be specific and
detailed, not simply a series of homilies on "The Christian Family,"
"Love of Home," etc., but taking up the great problems of the economic
place of the family today, its spiritual function, questions of choice
of life-partners, types of dwelling, finances and money relations in the
family, children and their training, and the actual duties and problems
which arise in family living.

All topics should be treated from the dominant viewpoint of the family
as a religious institution for the development of the lives of
religious persons. The courses should be so arranged as to be given to
young people of about twenty years of age, or of twenty to twenty-five.
They should be among the electives offered in the church school.

The second type of class would be for those who are already parents and
who desire help on their special problems. Many schools now conduct such
classes, meeting either on Sunday or during the week.[51] Work on
"Parents' Problems," "Family Religious Education," and similar topics is
also being given in the city institutes for religious workers. No church
can be satisfied with its service to the community unless it provides
opportunity for parents to study their work of character development
through the family and to secure greater efficiency therein. Such
classes need only three conditions: a clear understanding of the purpose
of meeting the actual problems of religious training in the family, a
leader or instructor who is really qualified to lead and to instruct in
this subject, and an invitation to parents to avail themselves of this

The value of such a class would be greatly enhanced if it should be held
in close co-ordination with similar classes or clubs conducted by the
public schools.[52] Here all the parents of the community meet in the
school building, not to discuss how the teachers may satisfy parental
criticism, but to learn what the school has to teach on modern
educational methods applied to the life of the child, especially in the
family, and mutually to find ways of co-operation between the home and
the school for the betterment of the child.

     I. References for Study

     Articles in _Religious Education_, April, 1911, VI, 1-77.

     Helen C. Putnam in _Religious Education_, June, 1911, VI, 159-66.

     George W. Dawson in _Religious Education_, June, 1911, VI, 167-74.

     Cabot, _Volunteer Help in the Schools_, chap. vii. Houghton Mifflin
     Co., $0.60.

     II. Further Reading

     Forsyth, _Marriage, Its Ethics and Religion_. Hodder & Stoughton,

     Lovejoy, _Self-Training for Motherhood_. American Unitarian
     Association, $1.00.

     Pomeroy, _Ethics of Marriage_. Funk & Wagnalls, $1.50.

     III. Topics for Discussion

     1. In how far are home problems due to the ignorance of parents?

     2. What do you regard as the essentials in the training of parents?

     3. Where can the necessary subjects best be taught?

     4. What are the difficulties in the way of teaching these subjects
     to young people?

     5. In how far can we direct the reading of young people toward sane
     and helpful knowledge of family life and duties?


[51] Pamphlets on plans for parents' classes: _The Home and the Sunday
School_, Pilgrim Press; _Plans for Mothers' and Parents' Meetings_,
Sunday School Times Co.; _How to Start a Mothers' Department_, David C.
Cook Co.; _The Parents' Department of the Sunday School_, Connecticut
Sunday School Association, Hartford, Conn.

[52] See pamphlet published by the National Congress of Mothers: _How to
Organize Parents' Associations and Mothers' Circles in Public Schools_.




This book is designed for individual reading or for use in classes. It
is not a textbook of the same character as a textbook in mathematics or
history, but the material is arranged so as to be both easily readable
and of ready analysis for classes. There are two methods of following
the course: one by work conducted under a regular teacher in a class,
and the other by private or correspondence study.


The class should be composed of parents and other adults, inasmuch as
the work is designed for them. It may be a class in connection with the
Sunday school in a church, a class conducted by a mothers' club or
congress or by a parent-teacher association, or it may be organized
under other auspices. Or it might be organized by a group of parents in
any community. The class need not consist of either fathers or mothers
alone, as the work is planned for both. In any case the work of teaching
will be facilitated if, in addition to the customary officers of the
class, the teacher will appoint a librarian, whose duties would be to
ascertain for the members of the class where the books for study and
for reference may be obtained, that is, whether they are in the public
library, church library, or in private collections, and also, whenever
it is desired to purchase books, where they may best be secured.


The primary requisite for the teacher will be an eagerness to learn, a
sufficiently deep interest in the subject to lead to thorough study. No
one can teach this class who already knows all about the subject. A
spirit sympathetic with the child and the life of the family and a mind
willing to study the subject will accomplish much more than facile
rhetorical familiarity with it. The best teacher will not often be "an
easy talker" on the family; class time is too precious to be occupied
with a lecture. While, naturally, one who is a parent will speak with
greater experience than another, the ability to teach this subject
cannot be limited to fathers and mothers; physiological parenthood is
less important than spiritual parenthood. The teacher must have, then,
willingness to study the subject, ability to teach as contrasted with
mere talking, sympathy with parenthood, and a passion for the religious
personal values in life.


The teacher's aim will be to make this course definitely practical. The
book is not concerned so much with theories of the family as with the
present problems of the family, and especially with those that relate to
moral and religious education. There must be a sense of definite
problems to be concretely treated in all lessons. The teacher will
therefore encourage discussion, but will also avoid the tendency to
drift into desultory conversation. Direct the discussion to avoid
tedious détours on side issues. Direct the discussion to avoid the
tendency to treat superficially all the subject at one session. It will
be necessary frequently to insist that attention be focused upon the
immediate problems suggested by the lesson for the day, and to ask the
class to wait until the subjects which they in their eagerness suggest
shall come in their due order.

Encourage personal experiences as sidelights and criticisms on the text,
but remember that no single experience is conclusive. Beware of the
over-elaboration and detailed narration of experiences.

_Insist on a thorough study of the text._ Students should be so prepared
as to make a lecture superfluous and to allow discussion to take the
place of review and explanation. The greatest danger in parents' classes
is that the members do not study; class work becomes indefinite and soon
loses value. Again, the members of the class often are unwilling to be
governed by the schedule of lessons, and the class drifts into aimless
conversation. Adult students especially need to be turned from the
tendency to regard educational experience as having come to an end with
their school days. The members of this class will need encouragement;
they must be stimulated patiently until they have re-formed some habits
of study and rediscovered the pleasures of systematic thinking. The best
stimulus will be a teacher so convinced of the supreme importance of the
subject to be studied as to lead the members to recognize its importance
and the insignificance of any price they may pay for efficient spiritual


At the first session teach chap. i, which is introductory. Draw out
discussion on the points suggested therein, and assign this chapter and
the one following for the next session. The first lesson will give the
teacher opportunity to explain and illustrate the method of study,
presentation, and discussion.

Assign the work carefully each week, calling especial attention to the
"References for Study." Secure promises from as many as possible to read
at least one of these references and to prepare a written report, on one
sheet of paper, for presentation at the next session. Ask others to look
into the special points which will be found in the references given
under the heading "Further Reading."

In beginning a lesson it will be wise to call to mind first the
principle running through the book, that the great work of the family is
the development of religious persons in the home; then call to mind the
application of this principle in the last lesson. Make your review very

Next, bring out the leading topic of the lesson for the day. This should
be done so as to present a vital issue and a live topic to the class.
Very often the best way of doing this is to state a concrete case
involving the issue discussed. The presentation of a definite set of
circumstances or a fairly complete experience involving the fundamental
principles under discussion is an instance of teaching by the "case
method." If the teacher will consider how the law student is trained by
the study of _particular cases_, the advantage of the method will be
clear. Be sure that the "case" selected will include the principles to
be taught. Prepare the statement of the case beforehand. This should be
done in a very brief narrative, so giving the instance as to enable the
class to see the reality of the question. Be sure that your instance is
itself vital and probable. A class of adults will especially need such
points of vital contact. By announcing the topic in advance the teacher
will often be able to obtain definite cases in point from the members.

With the case thus presented take the points in the text and apply them,
first to the special case alone, but with the purpose of developing the
principles involved in that and similar cases. Beware of the special
danger of the case method, namely, that the class may discuss the
specific instances rather than the principles.

_Teaching is more than telling_; it is stimulating other minds to see
and comprehend and state for themselves. Therefore the teacher must
first comprehend and be able to state for himself. Avoid repeating the
phrases of the text. Get them over into your own language and see that
the class does the same. Do not fail to call for the brief reports on
reading, and to make them a real part of the subject of discussion.

_Questioning_ is the natural method of stimulating minds. Use the
question method, but do not confine yourself to "What does the author
say on this?" Direct your questions to the points stated and the issues
raised so as to compel students to think on the topics and so as to draw
out the results of their thinking. Form your own judgments and help the
class to form theirs too. Remember that the purpose of the class is to
get people thinking on the great subjects discussed. The text is not
written in order that groups of students may learn the author's
statements, but that they may be led to think seriously on all these
matters and stimulated to do something about them.

Use the "discussion topics" given at the end of each lesson. They are
not designed to furnish a syllabus of the lesson, but to suggest
important questions for discussion, some of which may barely be
mentioned in the text. They may be used in assigning the advance work,
giving topics to different students, and they may be used in your review
of the previous lesson.

A syllabus of each lesson will be helpful, provided it be prepared by
the students themselves. Encourage the careful reading of the lesson by
every member of the class, letting the syllabus grow out of this.

Notebooks will have their largest value if used at home for two
purposes: first, to set down the student's analysis of the book as he
reads, secondly, to record the student's observations on definite
problems and on practice in the home. Note-taking in the class will have
very little value unless it is backed up by study at home.

_Generalization._ Have clearly in your own mind a definite concept of
the general principle underlying each section. Read through each section
until you can state the principle for yourself. Bring your teaching into
a focus at the point of that principle before the lesson ends. Try to
get the members of the class to state the principle in their own words.

_In action:_ The principles will have little value unless translated
into practical methods; direct your teaching to their actual use in
families. Your generalization is for guidance into application. Urge
that the plans described be actually tried. Expect this and call for
reports on plans tested in the daily experience of families. If a number
of students would try, for example, the plan of worship suggested for
two or three weeks and report their experiences in writing, together
with the accounts of any other plans tried, a valuable budget of helpful
knowledge could thus be gathered.[53]

_Conference plan:_ Some classes will be able to meet twice a week,
taking the lesson at one session and at another spending the time in
conference. At the conference period the program might provide for (1)
brief papers by members of the class on topics personally assigned, (2)
abstracts or summaries of assigned readings, (3) discussion on the
particular points raised in the papers, and (4) conference on unsettled
questions from the lesson for the class period preceding.

_Club work:_ A parents' club might be organized, either in a church or
in connection with a school, which would use this textbook, follow the
study work with conferences, and would secure for its own use a library
of the books listed after each chapter. Such a club would be able to put
into practice some of the plans advocated and could encourage their
application in groups of families.


[53] The teachers are especially invited to secure records of actual
experiments of this character. Accounts of tried methods of family
worship, especially those with new features, which should be given in
some detail as to the exact plan, the circumstances, the material used,
and the results, should be sent to the author in care of the publishers.
Perhaps in this way material which may be valuable to large numbers may
be gathered.



The following books would be found useful for the working library of a
class or club following the study of this text or for a section of the
church library on the home and family. The books marked with an asterisk
are the ones which may be regarded as of first practical value to
parents and others studying the development of character in the life of
the family.

In addition to the titles mentioned below, the the references at the end
of each chapter in this book will furnish a list of other sources of
valuable material.

     I. the Institution of the Family

     C.F. and C.B. Thwing, _The Family_. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, $1.60.
     A historical survey of the family with a special study of its
     modern dangers and needs.

     P.T. Forsyth, _Marriage, Its Ethics and Religion_. Hodder &
     Stoughton, $1.25. An important, popular statement of the ethics of
     marriage as the foundation of family life.

     *W.F. Lofthouse, _Ethics and the Family_. Hodder & Stoughton, $2.50
     net. The most important recent book on the family; traces its
     historical development, the ethical ideals involved in the
     institution, and discusses its present problems and perplexities.

     Katherine G. Busby, _Home Life in America_. Macmillan, $2.00 net. A
     popular statement of the outstanding characteristics of life in
     American homes; entertaining and informing.

     *Clyde W. Votaw, _Progress of Moral and Religious Education in the
     American Home_. Religious Education Association, $0.25. A careful
     and comprehensive survey, of great value.

     Charles A.L. Reed, _Marriage and Genetics_. Galton Press,
     Cincinnati, Ohio, $1.00. A surgeon's message on eugenics,
     especially on the aspects indicated in the title. A study of the
     laws of human breeding.

     II. Child Nature

     *E.P. St. John, _Child Nature and Child Nurture_. Pilgrim Press,
     $0.50. A textbook dealing with the nature of the child and with
     problems of his training in the home.

     *Irving King, _The High School Age_. Bobbs-Merrill & Co., $1.00
     net. A study of the nature and needs of boys and girls in the first
     period of adolescence. Written for all who are alive to the
     problems of this period as well as for school people; gives
     constructive suggestions for educational problems.

     Elizabeth Harrison, _A Study of the Child Nature_. Chicago
     Kindergarten College, $1.00. Long recognized as a standard for
     parents in the study of the development and functions of the

     George E. Dawson, _The Right of the Child to Be Well Born_. Funk &
     Wagnalls, $0.75. A plain study of eugenics, non-technical and
     helpful; includes a chapter on eugenics and religion. To be
     commended to parents.

     George E. Dawson, _The Child and His Religion_. The University of
     Chicago Press, $0.75. The religious nature and needs of the child
     with some suggestions as to method.

     *W. Arter Wright, _The Moral Conditions and Development of the
     Child_. Jennings & Graham, $0.75. An important and valuable book on
     the newer views of the religious development of the child-life.

     Frederick Tracy and J. Stempfl, _The Psychology of Childhood_. D.C.
     Heath & Co., $1.20. Gathers up the general results in the field of
     child psychology.

     *W.G. Koons, _The Child's Religious Life_. Jennings & Graham,
     $1.00. From the modern point of view, dealing with some of the
     interesting problems of the relation of the child to religious life
     and the development of his religious ideas.

     Thomas Stephens, _The Child and Religion_. Putnam, $1.50. A series
     of short papers by English writers, particularly on the question of
     child conversion.

     George A. Hubbell, _Up through Childhood_. Putnam, $1.25. A good
     general review with special reference to religious problems and
     religious institutions.

     Edith E.R. Mumford, _The Dawn of Character_. Longmans, Green & Co.,
     $1.20. A very important book, dealing especially with the moral
     development of young children.

     III. Training in the Home

     William B. Forbush (ed.), _Guide Book to Childhood_. American
     Institute of Child Life, Philadelphia, Pa. Very valuable as a guide
     to reading on the many problems of child-training.

     LeGrand Kerr, _The Care and Training of the Child_. Funk &
     Wagnalls, $0.75. A good, general, brief study of the nature of the
     child and the method of education.

     William J. Shearer, _The Management and Training of the Child_.
     Richardson, Smith & Co. A popular and practical statement of many
     problems and their treatment in the home and school.

     John Wirt Dinsmore, _The Training of Children_. American Book Co.
     While written for school-teachers, this is one of the best studies
     which parents could possibly read.

     A.A. Berle, _The School in the Home_. Moffat, Yard & Co., $1.00.
     Contains much valuable suggestion to parents who really desire to
     take advantage of the educational opportunities of the home.

     John Locke, _How to Train Up Your Children_. Sampson, Low, Marston
     & Co., London. Written over two hundred years ago, and yet of very
     great value in many parts to day.

     *William B. Forbush, _The Coming Generation_. D. Appleton & Co.,
     $1.50. Discusses the various aspects of child-training in the light
     of the social consciousness of today. Many of the public agencies
     for child betterment are carefully discussed.

     *William A. McKeever, _Training the Girl_. Macmillan, $1.50.

     *----, _Training the Boy_. Macmillan, $1.50. These two books
     constitute one of the best collections of material, most practical
     and helpful. They view girls and boys as active factors and all the
     phases of home and community life are studied with reference to
     their needs.

     IV. Special Religious Training in the Home

     *George Hodges, _The Training of the Child in Religion_. D.
     Appleton & Co., $1.50. One of the few books dealing in any modern
     manner with the special problems of the religious life of the

     Rev. William Becker, _Christian Education or The Duties of
     Parents_. B. Herder, St. Louis, $1.00. Recent and interesting
     sermons on the duties of parents in the religious education of the
     Catholic child; a striking example of messages that ought to be
     heard from every pulpit.

     John T. Faris, _Pleasant Sunday Afternoons for the Children_.
     Sunday School Times Co., $0.50. A number of practical plans are

     *George A. Coe, _Education in Religion and Morals_. Fleming H.
     Revell Co., $1.35. A book which all parents ought to read for its
     valuable guidance on the general principles of religious education.

     Elizabeth Grinnell, _How John and I Brought Up the Children_.
     American Sunday School Union, $0.70. A popular statement in a
     simple form of methods of dealing with many of the problems of
     religious training.

     V. Moral Training

     Edward H. Griggs, _Moral Education_. B.W. Huebsch, $1.60. One of
     the best-known books on this question, readable and helpful at many

     Ennis Richmond, _The Mind of the Child_. Longmans, Green & Co.,
     $1.00. One of the most helpful books because of its new and
     refreshing point of view.

     *Edward O. Sisson, _The Essentials of Character_. Macmillan, $1.00.
     A book on the broad principles and ideals; one dealing with the
     outstanding elements of character.

     Ernest H. Abbott, _On the Training of Parents_. Houghton Mifflin
     Co., $1.00. A bright statement of some of the most perplexing
     problems of family life.

     *Mary Wood-Allen, _Making the Best of Our Children_. First and
     Second Series. A.C. McClurg & Co., $1.00 each. Takes one after
     another of the different situations in child-training.

     *Patterson DuBois, _The Culture of Justice_. Dodd, Mead & Co.,
     $0.75. An important contribution, as it calls attention to some
     frequently neglected aspects of moral training especially
     applicable to the home.

     Walter L. Sheldon, _Duties in the Home_. W.M. Welch & Co. A
     textbook, the thirty sections of which would furnish an excellent
     basis for parents' discussions of home discipline.

     VI. General Reading in the Home

     John Macy, _Child's Guide to Reading_. Baker & Taylor Co., $1.25. A
     discussion of reading and the education of children thereby, with
     suggestions and criticisms of suitable books in different
     departments of reading.

     W.T. Taylor, _Finger Posts to Children's Reading_. A.C. McClurg &
     Co., $1.00. A practical discussion of suitable reading for
     children, with a list of books.

     *G.W. Arnold, _A Mothers' List of Books for Children_. A.C. McClurg
     & Co., $1.00. The books are arranged by ages and topics, making
     this one of the most useful collections available.

     Edward P. St. John, _Stories and Story Telling_. Eaton & Mains,
     $0.35. A textbook, for parents' classes. It contains much valuable

     E.M. Partridge, _Story Telling in School and Home_. Sturgis &
     Walton, $1.35. One of the best discussions of the principles and
     methods of story-telling, with a number of good stories.


Activity in relation to character, 75

Amusement of young people, 190

Anger, Dealing with, 224

Bible, Methods of using the, 121

Bible, The, in the home, 119

Blessing at table, 133

Book list on the family, 290

Books and reading, 113

Boy, The, in the family, 173

Boys' play, 175

Bullying, 253

Character, A constructive policy for, 269

Child nature, Books on, 291

Child unity with the church, 207

Child welfare, Religious meanings of, 3

Childhood characteristics, 53

Christian family, The, as a type, 41

Church, The, and the children, 204

Church, The, and the family, 198

Church, The, and the program of the home, 271

Citizenship, Training for, 96

Class work, Plans of, 281

Community, The, in relation to the home, 88

Community service, 91

Conversation, Religious, 62

Courtship, 188

Dishonesty, 249

Economic development of the home, 13

Educational function, The, of the family, 46

Educational process, The, 49

Factory system, The, and the home, 14

Family as an institution, Books on the, 290

"Family Book," 155

Family defined, 5

Family ideal in the church, 202

Family life, Dominating motive of, 27

Family worship, 126

Family worship, Methods of, 133

Father, The, and the boy, 177

Father, The, and the family, 263

Fighting among children, 234

Function of the family, 46

Future of the family, 268

Girl, The, in the family, 180

God, The consciousness of, 64

Grace at table, 133

Hebrew family life, 39

Home and school co-operation, 213

Home, is it passing? 10

Home, Religious interpretation of, 1

Home versus family, 18, 22

Honesty, Training in, 249

Hymns for children, 102

Jesus' teaching on the family, 42

Loyalty as the basic principle, 31, 54

Loyalty, The organization of, 57

Lying and the moral problem, 240

Meals, Conversation at, 165

Moral crises, Dealing with, 218

Moral life, religious roots in the family, 31

Moral teaching, 70

Moral training, Books on, 294

Motive, Religious, in the family, 2

Music in the family, 105

Organization of home, Purpose of, 19

Parental aversion, 186

Parenthood and religious training, 260

Parents' classes, 274

Parents trained in schools, 214

Petulancy in children, 233

Play activity, 107

Play, A policy of, 150

Play on Sunday, 149

Prayers, Children's, 135

Prayers, Family, 137

Quarrels of children, 231

Questions, Children's, 69

Reading, Developing taste for, 115

Religious character of the family, 46

Religious development of the child, 52

Religious education in the family, Books on, 293

Religious education, Meaning of, 47

Religious growth of the child, 55

Religious history of the family, 37

Religious ideas of children, 60

Religious service, 78, 80

School, The home as a, 87

Schools, Public, and the home, 212

Self-control, Developing, 227, 236

Social life of youth, 189

Social qualities to be developed, 28

Social training, 29, 82, 92

Socialization of the home, 16

Song and story, 101

Spiritual values, Place of, 30

Stories and reading, 110

Story-telling, 110

Sunday afternoon problem, 154

Sunday in the home, 145

Sunday play, 149

Table, Ministry of the, 164

Table-talk, 169

Teasing and bullying, 253

Will, Training the, 221

Work and character, 76

Worship in the family, 126

Worship, Outlines of, 139

Youth in the home, 183



The Constructive Studies comprise volumes suitable for all grades, from
kindergarten to adult years, in schools or churches. In the production
of these studies the editors and authors have sought to embody not only
their own ideals but the best product of the thought of all who are
contributing to the theory and practice of modern religious education.
They have had due regard for fundamental principles of pedagogical
method, for the results of the best modern biblical scholarship, and for
those contributions to religious education which may be made by the use
of a religious interpretation of all life-processes, whether in the
field of science, literature, or social phenomena.

Their task is not regarded as complete because of having produced one or
more books suitable for each grade. There will be a constant process of
renewal and change, and the possible setting aside of books which,
because of changing conditions in the religious world or further advance
in the science of religious education, no longer perform their function,
and the continual enrichment of the series by new volumes so that it may
always be adapted to those who are taking initial steps in modern
religious education, as well as to those who have accepted and are ready
to put into practice the most recent theories.

As teachers profoundly interested in the problems of religious
education, the editors have invited to co-operate with them authors
chosen from a wide territory and in several instances already well known
through practical experiments in the field in which they are asked to

The editors are well aware that those who are most deeply interested in
religious education hold that churches and schools should be accorded
perfect independence in their choice of literature regardless of
publishing-house interests and they heartily sympathize with this
standard. They realize that many schools will select from the
Constructive Studies such volumes as they prefer, but at the same time
they hope that the Constructive Studies will be most widely serviceable
as a series. The following analysis of the series will help the reader
to get the point of view of the editors and authors.


The kindergarten child needs most of all to gain those simple ideals of
life which will keep him in harmony with his surroundings in the home,
at play, and in the out-of-doors. He is most susceptible to a religious
interpretation of all these, which can best be fostered through a
program of story, play, handwork, and other activities as outlined in

     _The Sunday Kindergarten_ (Ferris). A teachers' manual giving
     directions for the use of a one- or two-hour period with story,
     song, play, and handwork. Permanent and temporary material for the
     children's table work, and story leaflets to be taken home.


At the age of six years when children enter upon a new era because of
their recognition by the first grade in the public schools the
opportunity for the cultivation of right social reactions is
considerably increased. Their world still, however, comprises chiefly
the home, the school, the playground, and the phenomena of nature. A
normal religion at this time is one which will enable the child to
develop the best sort of life in all these relationships, which now
present more complicated moral problems than in the earlier stage.
Religious impressions may be made through interpretations of nature,
stories of life, song, prayer, simple scripture texts, and handwork. All
of these are embodied in

     _Child Religion in Song and Story_ (Chamberlin and Kern). Three
     interchangeable volumes; only one of which is used at one time in
     all three grades. Each lesson presents a complete service, song,
     prayers, responses, texts, story, and handwork. Constructive and
     beautiful handwork books are provided for the pupil.


When the children have reached the fourth grade they are able to read
comfortably and have developed an interest in books, having a "reading
book" in school and an accumulating group of story-books at home. One
book in the household is as yet a mystery, the Bible, of which the
parents speak reverently as God's Book. It contains many interesting
stories and presents inspiring characters which are, however, buried in
the midst of much that would not interest the children. To help them to
find these stories and to show them the living men who are their heroes
or who were the writers of the stories, the poems, or the letters, makes
the Bible to them a living book which they will enjoy more and more as
the years pass. This service is performed by

     _An Introduction to the Bible for Teachers of Children_
     (Chamberlin). Story-reading from the Bible for the school and home,
     designed to utilize the growing interest in books and reading found
     in children of this age, in cultivating an attitude of intelligent
     interest in the Bible and enjoyment of suitable portions of it.
     Full instructions with regard to picturesque, historical, and
     social introductions are given the teacher. A pupil's homework
     book, designed to help him to think of the story as a whole and to
     express his thinking, is provided for the pupil.


Children in the fifth, sixth, and seventh grades are hero-worshipers. In
the preceding grade they have had a brief introduction to the life of
Jesus through their childish explorations of the gospels. His character
has impressed them already as heroic and they are eager to know more
about him, therefore the year is spent in the study of

     _The Life of Jesus_ (Gates). The story of Jesus graphically
     presented from the standpoint of a hero. A teacher's manual
     contains full instructions for preparation of material and
     presentation to the class. A partially completed story of Jesus
     prepared for the introduction of illustrations, maps, and original
     work, together with all materials required, is provided for the

In the sixth grade a new point of approach to some of the heroes with
whom the children are already slightly acquainted seems desirable. The
Old Testament furnishes examples of men who were brave warriors,
magnanimous citizens, loyal patriots, great statesmen, and champions of
democratic justice. To make the discovery of these traits in ancient
characters and to interpret them in the terms of modern boyhood and
girlhood is the task of two volumes in the list. The choice between them
will be made on the basis of preference for handwork or textbook work
for the children.

     _Heroes of Israel_ (Soares). Stories selected from the Old
     Testament which are calculated to inspire the imagination of boys
     and girls of the early adolescent period. The most complete
     instructions for preparation and presentation of the lesson are
     given the teacher in his manual. The pupil's book provides the full
     text of each story and many questions which will lead to the
     consideration of problems arising in the life of boys and girls of
     this age.

     _Old Testament Stories_ (Corbett). Also a series of stories
     selected from the Old Testament. Complete instructions for vivid
     presentation are given the teacher in his manual. The pupil's
     material consists of a notebook containing a great variety of
     opportunities for constructive handwork.

Paul was a great hero. Most people know him only as a theologian. His
life presents miracles of courage, struggle, loyalty, and
self-abnegation. The next book in the series is intended to help the
pupil to see such a man. The student is assisted by a wealth of local

     _Paul of Tarsus_ (Atkinson). The story of Paul which is partially
     presented to the pupil and partially the result of his own
     exploration in the Bible and in the library. Much attention is
     given to story of Paul's boyhood and his adventurous travels,
     inspiring courage and loyalty to a cause. The pupil's notebook is
     similar in form to the one used in the study of Gates's "Life of
     Jesus," but more advanced in thought.


In the secular school the work of the eighth grade is tending toward
elimination. It is, therefore, considered here as one of the high-school
grades. In the high-school years new needs arise. There is necessary a
group of books which will dignify the study of the Bible and give it as
history and literature a place in education, at least equivalent to that
of other histories and literatures which have contributed to the
progress of the world. This series is rich in biblical studies which
will enable young people to gain a historical appreciation of the
religion which they profess. Such books are

     _The Gospel According to Mark_ (Burton). A study of the life of
     Jesus from this gospel. The full text is printed in the book, which
     is provided with a good dictionary and many interesting notes and
     questions of very great value to both teacher and pupil.

     _The First Book of Samuel_ (Willett). Textbook for teacher and
     pupil in which the fascinating stories of Samuel, Saul, and David
     are graphically presented. The complete text of the first book of
     Samuel is given, many interesting explanatory notes, and questions
     which will stir the interest of the pupil, not only in the present
     volume but in the future study of the Old Testament.

     _The Life of Christ_ (Burgess). A careful historical study of the
     life of Christ from the four gospels. A manual for teacher and
     pupil presents a somewhat exhaustive treatment, but full
     instructions for the selection of material for classes in which but
     one recitation a week occurs are given the teacher in a separate

     _The Hebrew Prophets_ (Chamberlin). An inspiring presentation of
     the lives of some of the greatest of the prophets from the point of
     view of their work as citizens and patriots. In the manual for
     teachers and pupils the biblical text in a good modern translation
     is included.

     _Christianity in the Apostolic Age_ (Gilbert). A story of early
     Christianity chronologically presented, full of interest in the
     hands of a teacher who enjoys the historical point of view.

In the high-school years also young people find it necessary to face the
problem of living the Christian life in a modern world, both as a
personal experience and as a basis on which to build an ideal society.
To meet this need a number of books intended to inspire boys and girls
to look forward to taking their places as home-builders and responsible
citizens of a great Christian democracy and to intelligently choose
their task in it are prepared or in preparation. The following are now

     _Problems of Boyhood_ (Johnson). A series of chapters discussing
     matters of supreme interest to boys and girls, but presented from
     the point of view of the boy. A splendid preparation for efficiency
     in all life's relationships.

     _Lives Worth Living_ (Peabody). A series of studies of important
     women, biblical and modern, representing different phases of life
     and introducing the opportunity to discuss the possibilities of
     effective womanhood in the modern world.

     _The Third and Fourth Generation_ (Downing). A series of studies in
     heredity based upon studies of phenomena in the natural world and
     leading up to important historical facts and inferences in the
     human world.


The Biblical studies assigned to the high-school period are in most
cases adaptable to adult class work. There are other volumes, however,
intended only for the adult group, which also includes the young people
beyond the high-school age. They are as follows:

     _The Life of Christ_ (Burton and Mathews). A careful historical
     study of the life of Christ from the four gospels, with copious
     notes, reading references, maps, etc.

     _What Jesus Taught_ (Slaten). This book develops an unusual but
     stimulating method of teaching groups of students in colleges,
     Christian associations, and churches. After a swift survey of the
     material and spiritual environment of Jesus this book suggests
     outlines for _discussions_ of his teaching on such topics as
     civilization, hate, war and non-resistance, democracy, religion,
     and similar topics. Can be effectively used by laymen as well as
     professional leaders.

     _Great Men of the Christian Church_ (Walker). A series of
     delightful biographies of men who have been influential in great
     crises in the history of the church.

     _Christian Faith for Men of Today_ (Cook). A re-interpretation of
     old doctrines in the light of modern attitudes.

     _Social Duties from the Christian Point of View_ (Henderson).
     Practical studies in the fundamental social relationships which
     make up life in the family, the city, and the state.

     _Religious Education in the Family_ (Cope). An illuminating study
     of the possibilities of a normal religious development in the
     family life. Invaluable to parents.

     _Christianity and Its Bible_ (Waring). A remarkably comprehensive
     sketch of the Old and the New Testament religion, the Christian
     church, and the present status of Christianity.

It is needless to say that the Constructive Studies present no sectarian
dogmas and are used by churches and schools of all denominational
affiliations. In the grammar-and high-school years more books are
provided than there are years in which to study them, each book
representing a school year's work. Local conditions, and the preference
of the Director of Education or the teacher of the class will be the
guide in choosing the courses desired, remembering that in the preceding
list the approximate place given to the book is the one which the
editors and authors consider most appropriate.

For prices consult the latest price list. Address

The University of Chicago Press
Chicago    Illinois

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