Encouraging Word: A simple solution

By HOWARD COOP

Religion columnist

During the days of the Great Depression when I was a small boy, life was difficult on Hegira Ridge.  Neighbors I knew on that ridge worked hard to eke out a living on few acres of rough hillside land. 

During those difficult days, a neighbor asked my father, “What’re you expecting to do?” My father responded, “Nothing much of anything, I guess, ‘cause I ain’t got no education nor nothing to do sump thin with. So, what do you expect outa me?  I guess I’ll just try to keep on workin’ and do the best I can with what little I’ve got and trust the Lord.” 

My father never left a large material estate to us, but he left something more important. After the untimely death of my mother, he provided the best possible home for us. I remember that, every evening before bedtime, he read a chapter from the Bible, knelt before his chair, and prayed specifically for us, his children. His molding influence followed each of us through our adult lives with a determining effect. To be humorous, I have often put it this way: There was a peach tree just outside the kitchen door of the old house of my childhood.  My father didn’t raise any peaches, but he raised four children.

Ultimately, it’s not what we have but what we do with what we have that counts. Helen Emmons wrote, “Most of us will never be able to reform the world in any great degree, but we can build Christian homes founded upon love and righteousness. In those home we may rear children who go out to serve and bless their world.”

Who doubts that juvenile delinquency is increasing in our communities at an alarming rate? I just read a statement that attributes the rise of this serious problem to the breakdown of the home. The solution to this problem is simple. We need homes where love and moral values are present and passed on to guide children through their life experiences.