As husband of the president of RWCC, it was my pleasure (and duty) to sit at the head table with this very delightful first lady, a pleasure that provided me the opportunity to visit with Mrs. Deal prior to her speaking to the mothers and then reading to an enchanting group of children from one of her favorite children’s books.
Her experience as a mother of six and former school teacher became apparent as she spoke from her heart about the joys and challenges associated with combining motherhood and being the wife of a busy and successful businessman and elected government leader.
Her charm and tenderness with the children as she read to them was doubly apparent as she held the children’s complete attention for about 15 minutes of story reading. It was a most enjoyable day for me and a very successful gathering of RWCC members.
As I watched Mrs. Deal read to this gathering of children, pleasant memories returned of days long past watching my mother read to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It reminded me of how important those days were and how they helped shape the character of her family members — and of how important it still is for parents and grandparents to read to their offspring.
And watching the joy spread across the faces of these children again reminded me of the important role that motherhood plays in the life of each child mothers brings into this world, all as a part of God’s plan to “multiply and replenish” (Gen 1:28) the earth on which we live.
As I continued to watch this powerful and peaceful scene of a woman, a woman of high standing in Georgia society, a woman who had just told her adult audience of how the strength and stability of her traditional family had played a major role in the raising her own six children, but who was now reading to a group of children, another scripture came to mind, a scripture that if fully understood would end the current debate over what constitutes marriage, a scripture that reads “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Gen 2:24)
The Lord spoke to the need of a traditional family when he counseled fathers, through Paul, with these words in Ephesians 6:4 “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” What a powerful admonition to fathers to nurture their children with the word of the Lord.
I often wonder what would America, and the world, look like today if every child born into this world would have a father and mother who loved them, had been conceived in love, not lust, and were taught in the ways of the Lord. It would be a safer world, no 9/11s, no Boston bombings, but basic peace and tranquility. And each child would have an opportunity to ponder the words of life from the master teacher of the world in such a way that they could choose to follow in his footsteps or go aside, as did the prodigal son.
This scene, a scene created when Cherokee mothers brought their little children to hear Georgia’s first lady read to them, conjured up another powerful scene, a scene beautifully told in Luke 18:16-17, with words that read “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”
Yes, we all know every family has its own unique set of problems with many families divided and torn apart by following the examples of a secular society, a society that has rejected the foundational teachings of the world’s master teacher and then building homes on the shifting sands of secularism rather than on the master’s foundational rock.
Georgia’s First Lady demonstrated little children love being read to, especially by someone who truly loves them — like their mothers.
Donald Conkey is a retired agricultural economist in Woodstock.