Tuesday, May 24, 2011

John Adams on Manners

If you've read Bringing Up Girls by Dr. James Dobson then you are familiar with this quote from John Adams, the second president of the United States. I find the truth in these words so powerful.

"From all that I had read of history of government, of human life, and manners, I [have] drawn this conclusion, that the manners of women [are] the most infallible barometer, to ascertain the degree of morality and virtue in a nation. All that I have since read and all the observation I have made in different nations, have confirmed me in this opinion. The manners of women, are the surest criterion by which to determine whether a republican government is practicable, in a nation or not. The Jews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Swiss, the Dutch, all lost their public spirit, their Republican principles and habits, and their Republican forms of government when they lost the modesty and domestic virtues of their women...

The foundations of national morality must be laid in private families. In vain are schools, academies and universities instituted if loose principles and licentious habits are impressed upon children in their earliest years. The mothers are the earliest and most important instructors of youth."

May the lasting importance of all the little things we moms do every single day weigh on us in a Godly way. Our work may go unnoticed but it is not insignificant.

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