Month: April 2012
THE INFLUENCE OF MOTHERS
If you had a little boy…your very own little boy…and you knew that at any time Pharaoh’s daughter could come and claim him for her own, what would you teach him?
In those few months, years or whatever time you had to spend with him, what would you try to instill in the heart and mind of that little boy? Moses’ mother had only a very short time to teach him about God and to train him in God’s will.
We do not know how long she was with Moses, (Exodus 2:7-10), and we know they weaned them at several years old back then…. but that mother surely had her values in order. She had trained him well enough in that little while that his love for God and his faith in Him was so strong that he gave up a life of prominence and luxury later on, for a life of affliction and suffering with the Lord’s people. I am persuaded this training did not come from the king’s palace.
Can we, who have as long as 18 and sometimes 19 years do as well? It depends so much on where we place our values.
Imagine with me, if you will, a huge department store where someone has mischievously misplaced the price tags: A curtain rod sells for $150.00 and a wash cloth for $ 200.00, a tea towel for $250.00, but a beautiful carpet sells for 13 cents per square yard and living room suite for 95 cents, refrigerator for $1.29.
If you can imagine anything that ridiculous can you just see what a state of frenzy we homemakers would be in? We may not stock up on many tea towels or wash cloths at that price, but we would get rather excited over the other bargains! If we could make it past the check-out counter, we would be having a ball!! Wouldn’t we?
Well, this has happened in America. No…not in material things that we can see, but in something of much more value than material things. But mothers, we are not having a ball…we are losing our children! Satan has somehow convinced us that a job outside the home is more important than the home and that things of a material nature are more important than training our children …in the way they should go. (Proverbs 22:6).
So many , many mothers leave their children in day care centers or with a baby sitter to be influenced by these people all day long. I had my first baby at age 18 and my last one at age 20, but young though I was, I thought mine too precious to leave in the care of someone else. We can count on one hand the times we left our children with someone between birth and school age, except the few times they visited their grandparents for one over night visit at a time.
Today, some parents’ concern and the concern of Christian psychologists and counselors seems to be whether that day care center is equipped with the proper learning tools for their age and things like attendant and children ratio. These are little insignificant things compared to the mother leaving that child in the first place.
Yes, Satan has really done his job well in convincing most of us. It all happened so gradually over several decades that not many seem concerned about what it is doing to our families in America. The chilling thought that comes to my mind is that we mothers in America, a land of freedom, are doing the very thing to ourselves and to our little children that the governments of some other countries are doing to the mothers and their little ones by force.
Some of the actual remarks I have heard over the years are: “I had to go to work…My child and I were getting too close” and “My working has been so good for both my son and me, because he was getting to be too close to me…and such a mama’s boy.”
This is what it is all about. How can we ever teach our children and instill in them a desire to get close to a Heavenly Father if they are not allowed to even get close to us…their parents? One of the latest and most heart-breaking remarks I have heard was: “I have the fear that someday I will look back on my life and all I will have accomplished is raising kids!”
What a sad commentary on mother-hood in America! If that is all we have accomplished but have trained them up to have favor with God, what an accomplishment! Nothing can compare to that! One of my favorite quotes is from Benjamin Franklin: “It is the eyes of other people who ruin us. If all but myself were blind, I should want neither a fine house nor fine furniture.” What a lesson in those few words! It makes us wonder how many of our children are lost because of false pride in materialism.
Parents, if you are so impressed with the material things of this life that you would rather have a lot of luxuries for your children or grandchildren (grandparents are also guilty of this) than to see them trained in the right way, then no matter how wealthy you are, you are not only poor…you are poverty-stricken. Even when some gospel preachers preach on this subject of mothers in the home, some of them say, “We are not talking about those cases where it is necessary for the mother to work to help make a living.” As though the reason will make a difference in the neglect of the children. It is better to have a much smaller living than to sacrifice your children on the altar of materialism. As long as we show this attitude, our children are going to continue growing up having a warped view of success far removed from Biblical teachings.
This quote from Benjamin Franklin makes us see that when we put material things, (yes, even necessary ones) ahead of our little ones that we are sacrificing the precious for the trivial. What a tragedy!
When our children were small and we would be traveling, my husband and I would talk about our precious cargo lying asleep in the back seat. It surely made us more aware of how careful we should be in our driving, because of those precious little lives in our care. How much more important are the souls of these little ones than their physical lives! These little ones that are born to us and that we rear up are going to spend eternity somewhere and we are responsibility to see that they are trained in God’s way, because if we don’t train them…the world will!
Young mothers and fathers, you only have one opportunity to bring your children up in God’s favor, and there is not a price or sacrifice too big for that. Don’t blow it! You can not re-do it after you see that you have failed. You may be able to salvage some things later and you should never stop trying to, but you can not un-do from the beginning and start over.
Save yourself a lot of grief later on. Your children are the most important ‘possessions’ that you will ever have control of and they need to be guarded wisely, loved abundantly and completely surrounded by the word of God while they are growing up. This can not be done by a baby sitter or by a child care center. This is done by parental influence and it must be done early. (Deuteronomy 6: 4-6). It is ironic how the special-ness of family togetherness works. If it is special because of the rarity of the times you are together as a family unit, then the special-ness will not have the end result you had hoped for.
Family togetherness needs to be so often and so common place that nothing special is noted at the time. It is later on when it all unfolds and it is this kind of family where appreciation abounds from your children when they have grown up and fond memories will linger with them all through life. Don’t let opportunities pass. We all make mistakes when our children are growing up. No parent is perfect, but God knows this, and still gives the command to train them in the way they should go…If you will pray for wisdom and pray that you will raise them up to be pleasing to God, then He will cause your mistakes to become stepping-stones to greater teaching opportunities for your little ones. ©Edna L. Ingram
Freedom is a gift from God and one of the greatest blessings that man can possess. Our founding father’s understanding of the importance of the God-given gift of freedom is depicted in the words of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Our founding fathers were children and grandchildren of immigrants who had fled the oppression of the tyrannical governments of Europe. These immigrants had fled to this new land at great financial cost and risk to their own lives and the lives of their families. They came to this land in search of a better life and the most precious blessings they were seeking was freedom…freedom to worship God according to their own conscience, freedom to speak and print their personal views on religious and political issues, freedom to own property, freedom to operate a business, freedom to raise and educate their children as they saw fit.
So precious to them was the blessing of freedom, they were willing to risk their lives to pursue it, and when their freedom was threatened, they were willing to give their lives to defend it and preserve it for future generations. Our founding fathers also understood that the principles that produce and maintain freedom are the principles found in the Bible. This is made evident in so many of the quotes of the founders and early leaders of our nation. John Adams, 2nd president of the United States, in a letter to his wife on July 4, 1776 stated: “The general principles upon which the fathers achieved independence were principles of Christianity.” After being elected president, John Adams stated: “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
In a letter written in 1790, Benjamin Rush (one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence), wrote: “I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them…We neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government…that is the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible…By withholding the knowledge of the Scriptures from children, we deprive ourselves of the best means of awakening moral sensibility in their minds.”
We have now been a free and independent nation for more than 235 years. Most of us are the descendants of several generations that have enjoyed the freedoms and prosperity of this great nation and it is so easy for us to take our freedoms and prosperity for granted. Having never experienced the oppression and lack of freedom that had been experienced by the families of our founders, it is difficult for us to fully understand just how precious this gift of freedom really is.
I want to remind each of us that freedom must be continually maintained and that it is the responsibility of each generation to maintain the blessings of freedom for the generations that follow. I want to remind us that it is not material wealth or military might, but it is righteousness that exalts a nation (Proverbs 14:34). The most patriotic thing we can do is preach, teach and live the principles set forth in God’s Word. -Wendell Ingram
When Wendell was 5 1/2 and Cara Lynn 3 1/2, Bobby and I decided that I needed to go to college and get a degree. So I decided my major (English and Literature, my loves since highschool) and went and enrolled for the summer term.
We didn’t have to have a baby sitter because Bobby kept them all summer himself. The sitter situation was going to have to be for Cara Lynn…when the fall semester started. He took them to the barber shop every morning and it worked out fine. That summer was good for them. They have memories that are very special to them, that they would not have had if I had not started back to school.
Bobby took them to the store next to the shop and had the butcher (his uncle owned the store) cut them each a piece of bacon and he put strings on it for them, and they went out behnd the store and barber shop and ‘crawdad fished’. Bobby said they had crawdads running all over that barber shop! They still talked about that summer after they were grown.
But that is as far as God let it go. That fall after Wendell started to school, and before I enrolled for the fall semester… he woke up one morning and his stomach was very swollen. We took him to the doctor and they ran tests on him and a couple of days later we heard the bad news. He had nephritis. We were devastated! This is a disease of the kidneys and the body loses its protein into the urine as waste. So there was a period of time that Wendell didn’t grow. (He made up for it later. LOL )
The doctor told us that it was in the acute stage and if it went into the chronic stage that he would not live but about 6 more years. He had to stay in bed for 3 months…and that was the end of my college career, which was a bad idea to begin with.
Wendell took a ton of pennicillin (for about a year and a half) and recovered completely. During the three months of being bedfast, Cara Lynn would stand his toy soldiers up on the end of his bed and he would shoot them off with his little gun. She would go stack them back up for him to shoot down again.
When a family really wants to put God first and take the best care of their family…and are ignorant in how to go about it….God knows how to step in and take charge of the situation….and I am so glad He does. Wendell’s illness turned out to be a great blessing over time, like so many other unpleasant things that have happened!
We knew that a mother needs to be home with her children, and that children definitely need a full time mother, but after seeing results of some families, we know it even better now.
Bobby told me that some mothers would not have let that illness of their child stop them from pursuing what they wanted to do. How can that be? What they don’t realize and what I didn’t realize is, that in doing such, we are trading pure gold for flimsy tinsel. That is not a good trade off.
That is why I feel so strongly about writing about the home and family. I’d rather our children grow up faithful to God and putting Him first in their lives, with fond memories of their mother being about them…than to have all the degrees and money this world can offer. I don’t know what we were thinking at that time. I am so ashamed that I ever even wanted to do that and it is very hard to admit. I am glad they had that summer with their dad though.
LATE NOTE: When I told Bobby that I was writing about this and we were discussing it, he said we were not going to have a baby-sitter for our little girl. He was going to keep her with him instead of doing that. Well…I love and appreciate him for that but even that wasn’t what God wanted for our family, evidently. I am thankful!
87. The gist of it is all about love.
Each little palm print on the wall
Each trinket on the stair,
Remind us daily of the ones…
Who proudly left them there.
Someday the wall will be so clean
The stairs a safer place,
But in the meantime do make sure
They learn to run The Race!
So enjoy each little thing they do
While in your house they stay;
And help them grow with faith in God
Who’ll lead them all the way.
©Edna L. Ingram, July 30, 2011