"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"

2 Corinthians  6:14 


Whetting The Appetite 

For Worldliness

Agatha M. Thrash, M.D.

Preventive Medicine

Satan has a very carefully laid trap for parents, teachers, and church leaders to induce us to develop an appetite for worldliness in our children. The three biggest problem areas are found in recreation, diet, and education.

Recreation and Amusement

When man was created, our Creator appointed the dressing and training of plants in the garden as his recreation. Man was given the work of harnessing the resources of the earth and having dominion over its forces. This represented purposeful labor for Adam and Eve. No provision was made for parties, teas, or dances, but to the first couple was given the privilege of attending the Creator’s classes in the “cool of the day.” We are led to believe these simple activities helped Adam and Eve to develop a happy lifestyle. They were probably the happiest couple who ever lived.

True recreation today still includes such activities as keeping the house and garden, the purposeful labor of planting and training flowers, cooking, sewing, cleaning, and caring for our premises. Even visiting the neighbors is spoken of only as part of the social period of religious meetings or for evangelistic purposes. We may supplement these activities by volunteer nursing work, missionary activities, religious exercises, and certain other things. Most children get their greatest happiness from playing doctor, fireman, or teacher. There are non-competitive sports such as birding, hiking, camping, etc. that require no expensive equipment and can be beneficial to introduce to children. Satan leads parents and teachers to feel that these activities will not keep their children happy and that they must plan socials or expensive vacations, or the children will become dissatisfied and leave home. The truth is that these are the very activities that cause the children to become stimulated, lose a taste for the simple joys of life, and to feel that there are wonderful things to do in the world under the name of amusements or recreation that will give them the thrill of a lifetime. They subconsciously recognize that their parents are going to a lot of trouble to try to give them a small innocent taste of something that only the grownup or the strong and brave can handle in quantity.

Many a disillusioned boy or girl has said, “Is that all there is to it?” after experiencing some long-anticipated lure of the world. Yet, these experiences have been built up so much to be the proper thing that the youth often continues them for a long time even though disappointed.


If parents themselves had a meager upbringing, they may want to provide “the best” for their children. The parents provide dainties which in their childhood could not be afforded. These foods taste good but are often rich and unhealthful. Many children are encouraged to overeat, and become overweight. Food is offered at any time of the day or night without regard for the delicate digestive organs. Gradually, there is the adoption of the surfeiting habits of the world until little difference can be distinguished between the diet of the Christian and the diet of the worldling.

While recognizing that something special should be provided for the family on the Sabbath, one should not fall into the trap of unhealthful treats. The Sabbath can never be what it was created to be with even a small serving of an unhealthful dessert. The “something special” could be olives, almonds, a fresh pineapple, or some other treat not served every day. Ice cream and cake are both unhealthful and should not be prepared. We should study this matter, and give thought to what would be both appropriate and delightful.

“Especially at parties of pleasure is the appetite indulged with but little restraint. Rich dinners and late suppers are partaken of, consisting of highly seasoned meats with rich gravies, rich cakes, pies, ice cream, etc.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 332.

“Our children should be taught to deny themselves of such unnecessary things as candies, gum, ice cream, and other knickknacks, that they may put the money saved by their self-denial into the self-denial box.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 329.

“Many make a mistake in drinking cold water with their meals. Food should not be washed down. Taken with meals, water diminishes the flow of the saliva; and the colder the water, the greater the injury to the stomach. Ice water or ice lemonade, taken with meals, will arrest digestion.” Counsels on Health, p. 119.

Many look on attendance at fellowship dinners as a duty, if not a special blessing. Such dinners often teach our children that it is proper to eat a small amount of ten or more dishes at one meal, that stuffing oneself at church is certainly sanctioned, if not actually promoted, and that the dessert table will be as liberally loaded (and sampled) as that for the fruits, vegetables, and grains. This training is not from above.


We train our children to have a disregard for manual labor by allowing them to feel that every activity they engage in as youngsters should be something from which they can get “an educational experience.” They should be taught that every experience of life should be one that gives an opportunity for service to others, not a way to get something for oneself. Many a young person will inquire what he will get from a certain position or assignment, and feel disdain if asked to do any kind of manual labor or dirty task. Such a child will come to believe that the world owes him everything. We should spare no pains to teach our children the pleasure to be obtained from a duty well done. We should encourage our children to believe that all of their labors should be a service to someone, and that nothing should be done for the sole purpose of giving him an educational experience.

Many parents have been told that they should give their children a generous dose of “peer group exposure.” The mingling with other children is supposed to give a child a symmetrical development of the personality. It is a rare child who has a pure heart. Generally, when children are together, they tend to have a downward influence rather than an upward influence on one another. If they are not actually impure in their conversation and actions, they are trivial, jovial, or trite. Their minds rarely consider sober or religious themes. Their plans and their actions are on small matters.

It has been shown that when a child has the privilege of being reared and schooled mainly with adults until he is in his teens, when he is put with his peers he automatically assumes a leadership role. When children are reared and schooled in a peer program, they are more likely to assume a follower’s role when put in a group of peers, even if the child is from a family providing leadership. Many studies have shown that first children in the family generally have a higher IQ than subsequent children. It is felt that the quality of the companionship for the first child is superior to that of all subsequent children. The parents are the chief teachers and companions of the first child, but the older children are the companions of the younger children. We should recognize children as young adults to be treated and taught as people from infancy up, not as toys or household pets.