Know Your Bible

VOL. 14                                                                                                                         March 12, 2017                                                                                                                            NO. 52



Part 3

by Donnie Radar

Role As A Mother


Was raising your children in a preacher's family more difficult than for other mothers? 

I've been told many times that is more difficult. Now, I don't know. I've never tried any other situation. But, I had only daughters and very obedient daughters. They were both easily trained. I never had big problems. My little girls and I spent 24 hours a day together. We were talking together. We were doing things together. I taught them deep respect for their father. What he says this is law. This is order. I taught them that they must keep in mind that your father is in the public. The world sees everything that he does. Whatever you do is going to reflect on him. Therefore, you live a model life so that your life doesn't reflect on his work.

What would you tell a man and his wife or a mother about raising children? What kind of advice would you give to a young couple starting a family?

Keep a close, close relationship with them. Start early teaching them Bible stories. The constant association with your children I think is such an important thing. Don't ever let them get out from under your influence. Know what your children are doing. Know always where your children are. And let them know always where you are. So there is constant communication.

How have you been successful in passing the gospel on to your children?

They just never knew anything else. I brought them up the way I was brought up. They don't know when they started hearing these stories. They were too young. And then just constant, constant talking. There was never time for other things. Sandra used to say, "Children say, 'I don't have anything to do.' When do they have time to look for something to do?" Our time was so full. We went to so many services in which my husband preached.

How does the family unit differ from earlier days?

There is no unity now. Each one goes his own separate way. There is so little home life. Very few families actually sit down together and eat meals together. They are so busy in the morning. Half the families don't even eat breakfast. If they do, they just eat it on the run. There is no social life in the family. There is no visiting together. This one doesn't know what that one is doing.

And, families are so separated now that we've lost the influence of the older generation on the younger ones. They are not together.

What's your perception of the day-care centers?

I have very, very little use for the average day-care center. It is a necessary part of our modem society, I suppose. But, there is a grave danger in it. The children end up not even knowing their own parents. And since they don't know their parents, their parents don't know them. They are closer to the one who cares for them in the day care centers than they are their parents. But, I'm not qualified to actually talk about them because I don't know much about them. But, I'm just seeing some of the product that comes out. I appreciate godly women who keep children in their homes and are trying to influence some for good. But, I think the average day-care center is a detriment to the family.

What guidelines would you give parents with teen-agers entering the dating years?

That's such a bad time. If they have waited until they are teen-agers and ready to date before they do much instructing on the matter, well they've waited entirely too late. The instruction on dating should start when they are old enough to know anything at all. Children should be taught, "Now you're going to be Christians and you must associate, as near as possible, with Christians. And, you are to marry Christians." Now, that doesn't guarantee in our modem society that they will have good homes all their lives, because we're seeing so many Christian homes breaking up. But, if you start off with too many strikes against you, why it's hard to deal with . . . the more you have in common the better.

My mother always said you're not going to marry one that you never date. Therefore, you date only one that there would be no sin in your marrying. You cannot date one who has been married. In fact, she had married out of the church. She knew the heartaches connected with that. She absolutely forbade one of her daughters to date a non-Christian.         


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A few months before I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small Tennessee town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me the word of God, Dad taught me to obey it but the stranger was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries, and comedies.

If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to her room and read her books (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity was not allowed in our home...not from us, our friends, or any visitors. Our longtime visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears, made my dad squirm, and my mother blush.

My Dad was a teetotaler who didn't permit alcohol in the home, not even for cooking. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked... and NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you were to walk into my parent's den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures. His name?…. We just call him, “TV."

He has a younger sister now. We call her, “computer."


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