Notebook > Lifestyle

What children live by

"What children live by" Continued...

Issue: "Race to the finish," Nov. 3, 2012

In Tolstoy’s “What Men Live By,” the angel eventually witnesses God’s provision for the motherless babies: When he sees them grown into happy and healthy children because of a compassionate neighbor, he is ready to return to heaven.

The story I’ve told here is a secular one, but remember her friend’s belief that Jones’ children would suffer from their mother’s absence after school? Let’s look at the results thus far: Her older son is 25 and a 2011 graduate of Muskingum University. Her daughter, 23, has been in the Navy for four years, is married, and has a son. Her younger son, 22, had some college and is now working. (One problem to note: He is an unmarried father.)

Several months ago Jones saw her friend who remained on welfare for the sake of the children, but the two did not talk long because “the vibe wasn’t really pleasant.” Jones says one of her friend’s sons was killed on the D.C. streets. Jones said her own move off welfare helped her children “tremendously. They’re not in jail, they’re productive members of society, and they’re responsible. … I remember being on public assistance and I would have to go and re-certify. I never took them. Not that I was hiding it from them, but that’s not the picture that I wanted them to have when they got older—that this is how things are supposed to be.”

—with reporting by WORLD intern J.C. Derrick

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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