Sunday, September 21, 2008

What Are Your Children Breathing?

Horace Bushnell said in Christian Nurture:

"[A Child's] character is forming under a principle, not of choice, but of nurture. The spirit of the house is breathed into his nature, day by day. The anger and gentleness, the fretfulness and patience-the appetites, passions and manners- all the variant moods of feeling exhibited round him, pass into him as impressions and become seeds of character in him; not because his parents will, but because it must be so, whether they will or not. They propagate their own evil in the child, not by design, but under a law of moral infection. ...The spirit of the house is in the members of the children by nurture, not by teaching, not by any attempt to communicate the same, but because it is in the air the children breathe...Understand that it is the family spirit, the organic life of the house, the silent power of domestic godliness, working as it does, unconsciously and with sovereign effect-this it is which forms your children to God."

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