By Edna Ingram, written in 1977 before my dad died the next year.
Not until I grew up and had two little ones of my own, did I fully understand and appreciate my dad and his striving to fulfill the need of a “father-mother” figure in the lives of three little ones…ages eight, five and three.
Being the youngest and (the biggest responsibility) when our mother died, I would not have had much choice, had my dad decided to “dole” us out to relatives as they had tried to persuade him to do. He would not even consider the thought of it!
I am made even more aware of his struggle to provide a normal home for us as I sadly observe the modern home where the father is much too busy, and the mother leaves her children in the care of others, in order to provide things for her children and herself that will perish with time. They do not realize, until it is too late, the importance of things that will prepare their children for eternity.
I feel most fortunate that my childhood memories do not consist of being left to the care of other people, but of being with my daddy. The lovely, nostalgic fragrance of burning leaves and wood…brings back memories of late fall, the year that I was four. My daddy cut wood to earn money to carry us through the winter and we walked to the woods together. Sometimes it was cold enough that he would build a fire and let me sit close by while he cut wood and kept a watchful eye on me. He always made sure that we left in plenty of time to be home when my brother and sister came in from school. I see few homes today where the children get as much attention from two parents as we did from only one. My dad has had a vast amount of influence in the career that I chose…Mother-hood. Mother-hood has to be a career!
I don’t remember having much in material things, but what we had was far above and beyond anything that is of a material nature. In one hundred years, no one will even know or care that we did not have the best clothes, toys and houses; however what my dad instilled in my heart and mind will go with me into eternity. He influenced my life so greatly that it saddens me very much to see our mothers of America neglect their children in order to have more of this world’s goods. I like the words of the late beloved Mary Oler, who said: “We need to be content with a smaller loaf of bread.”
Although my dad was not a Christian back then, he taught us respect for the Father in heaven, not even bringing himself to call Him, God, but with a deeper reverence, “The Good Lord”. These are the memories I have of my daddy during my childhood days.
My husband and I were taught the gospel of Christ and were baptized into Him, when our first child was two months old. Beginning then I prayed that I could show my daddy the way to Christ and salvation. So with what little time we had to spend with him through the years, we planted the seed of the gospel a little at a time and strove to be good examples by putting God first in our lives.
My heart would ache when our visit would end and we had to travel the one hundred and fifty miles back home. It seemed like so little seed was sown and I would pray that we would have other opportunities to win him to Christ.
Well it was a very happy day in September of 1977, that my dad called to let us know that he and his good wife had both been baptized into Christ. It just happened to be the same time that our first-born turned twenty-one years old.
My story would just not have been complete without the preceeding information, but the point I hope to have made is this: If a daddy can be so much of a “mother figure” that his influence carried over into the lives of other generations, how much greater influences can we mothers be? We who can stay in our God-given places can train and mold young lives in a way that “…when they are old, they will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Even when a mother makes it her full time job, it is difficult in eighteen years to instill in a child the characteristics that please God. It is work! Especially is it difficult and almost impossible to raise them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, if she puts this great task second in her life.
Mothers….think about it! Time is running out for many of our children. The adult years are fast approaching…the moldable years will soon be gone!
©Edna L. Scott Ingram, Christian Woman Magazine,
Written in memory of Arthur Young Scott