Throughout my life, I have ever been on the lookout for wise advice. How blessed the young woman who received the following gift of love which is n’er too late to take to heart:
(Prior to his daughter’s marriage, Mr. Richmond put into her hands a paper of directions for her future conduct, which, for simplicity, affection, and sound practical wisdom—may be considered one of the best dowries that a Christian parent could bestow on his child.)
My much-loved daughter,
When your sister Mary left her paternal roof, I gave her a paper of admonitions, which I requested her to read often. I do the same for you, in the form of a friendly string of maxims, to regulate your conduct in your new and very responsible situation.
1. Aim at keeping a devoted heart for God in the least and most common transactions of every hour—as well as in those events which may seem to call the loudest for manifestations of Christian prudence and principle.
2. Pray regularly and frequently, not seldom and occasionally—for grace to live by.
3. Remember the Christian principles and examples of your father’s house, and everywhere endeavor to preserve its character, by consistency in conduct, conversation, and temper. Keep in constant recollection—the wise, prudent, and conscientious example of your dear mother.
4. Form no hasty friendship; and none whatever, but such as may promote seriousness of heart, tongue and life.
5. Beware of cheerfulness degenerating into levity. Let no natural vivacity of temper, no occasionally indulged sallies of humor and jocularity—throw a shadow over the exercise of solid principle. Little foolish things give a color to character, and are more easily imitated, than serious and good sentiments.
6. Guard against hasty judgments of character, and above all against uttering hasty opinions, and making remarks to the disparagement of others. Particularly avoid making the errors, failings, faults, or follies of others—the subject of rash and unguarded remarks. Be known for charity, forbearance, and kindness. Be slow to judge—rather than swift to speak.
7. Wherever you are, in the first place, remember that God’s eye is upon you; and then imagine also that your husband and father are present. It may be a fanciful—but it is a profitable supposition.
8. Keep Christ’s golden rule, “Do unto to others—as you would have them do unto you” in perpetual remembrance. It is the panacea for most of the social evils of life.
9. Be conscientious towards all; friendly with few; confidential with fewer still; strictly intimate with fewest of all.
10. When you think of your father, bear with his infirmities and pardon his faults—but remember his principlesand instructions, so far as they have been agreeable to the Word of God.
11. Do not be content with anything short of deep, sincere, diligent, and decided piety.
12. If you and your husband happen to differ in opinion or feeling on any point—remember whom you have promised to love, honor, and obey—and this will settle all things.
13. Of your husband’s warm affections towards you, I entertain no doubt—strive to preserve them by daily elevation of character; and not so much by fondness—as by prudence and dignity. May you both learn to raise a home of marital happiness—by mutual wisdom and love.
14. Observe great simplicity and plainness in dress. You should be a pattern to others in this respect. There is a just complaint made of many females who profess to be pious—that they are far too showy and mirthful in their outward apparel. Remember the apostle Peter’s injunction, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
15. Christ has been made known to you fully and freely; let Christ be your all in all, both now and forever.
Receive my parting advice in love, and be assured, my beloved child, that it comes from the affectionate heart of your dear father.”
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:10-12