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Graduates 1981

Proverbs 4: 23; 25-26

Queen Victoria was officiating one day at the Royal Academy of Sciences.
Somewhat overwhelmed by these brilliant students, she turned to her Prime Minister, John Bright, and whispered,
"Where do all these learned men come from?"

John Bright replied, "From babies, your Majesty!"

Brilliant men do come from babies, but so do all kinds of men.
For good or bad, our destiny is shaped in large measure in our homes.

The most important decisions determine a person's basic character structure are usually decided upon by age 2 or 3.
Most of the rest occur by age 6, while other decisions may be made through adolescence and some even later.
Before the age of 6, a child may gather inappropriate fears, anxiety, a deeply rooted sense of guilt,
inferiority, overdependence, obsessions, strange worries.

By carrying these through the years the abundant life is regressed, thwarted, submerged, and so the abundant life
is almost impossible.

We need Christian homes!

Home, with Jesus Christ in it, is a place where members of the family find resources for venturing.
We always make our best adventures into the unknown from a dependable base of love and trust.
Young people push out into the wide world with confidence when they know their base is secure.

The mother of a small boy was planning a trip.
"If you go, "he said to his mother, "who will I show my homework to."

The boy was able to do his homework, but there was a need for someone who cared to approve his work.
It added something to his security and confidence.

So, our youth leave the nest with rejoicing, but their rejoicing is conditioned by the possibility of returning.
We must always remember that our business is to make our children adequate to stand on their own feet
without fear of failure or defeat.
As parents, it is our task to provide resources of spirit, love and faith for great venturing.

We wish for each of you graduates -- great ventures!

Home, with God in it, is a place where members of the family lay foundations for the future.
The ideas and attitudes, prejudices, and feelings that grow in our homes inevitably shape the future.

Unfortunately, we have a way of indoctrinating our children with the ideas and opinions that are native
to our particular generation, often confusing abiding values with passing opinions.
We pass on our prejudices, quite intact, as if they were ultimate truths.

What is more, we often are scandalized when our children are exposed to ideas that are at variance with our own.

And yet, our task is not to make our children think the way we do.
Rather, our task is to make them think and to arrive at their judgments in the light of abiding standards,
which shine in the person of Jesus Christ.

We must never forget that Jesus broke with many of the traditions of His time in the name of freedom under God.
Old Customs and systems are dissolving around us like sand castles in the rising tide of new things,
but we still need enduring principles to guide us.

Our task is to teach the abiding principles of Christ and His love to our children, and as they come to this place
where these graduates are that they may truly have God's guiding principles and Person within them.

What a task we have in our homes!
Mother, father, and children sustaining each other in love, learning to support the values that last,
providing a springboard into a wider world for great venturing, and laying foundations for a worthy future.

How difficult this task!

In a society that is deeply and widely immoral where the social pressures make Christian morality seemingly impossible,
where entertainment conspires against Christian chasitity, where young people have a degree of freedom for which
they are not prepared, where the meaning of the word, ";love," is too largely determined
by unchristian influences, where commercial interests attempt to seduce young people to careless
and harmful indulgences -- against such odds, we call upon ourselves, the mothers and fathers of our land to communicate
the ideas and practices of Christ to our children.

This cannot be done without Christ in the hearts of mothers and fathers.

Parents who accept this responsibility have a glory.
Let all good men and good women follow.

"So long as there are homes to which men turn at close of day;
So long as there are homes where children are, where mothers stay --
If love and loyalty and faith to be found across those sills --
A stricken nation can recover from
Its gravest Ills.

As long as there are homes where fires burn and there is bread;
So long as there are homes where lamps are lit and prayers are said;
Although people falter through the dark -- and nations grope --
With God Himself back of these little homes
We have sure hope

Proverbs 4: 23, 25-26:

"Keep your heart with all vigilance;
for from it flow the springs of life.

Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.

Take heed to the path of your feet,
then all your ways will be sure.

Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
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