Saturday, January 6, 2007

God, Family, Country, Self

In a statement following Gerald Ford's death, his wife Betty said that "His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country,"

Are you teaching your kids the love of God, family and country? I would suspect that many families prioritize God and family, but what about country? I would suspect that many families would prioritize God, Family and Sports.

I think that there is an important element missing in God, Family, Country.... Self. I do not think that you can fully love God, Family or Country if you do not love yourself.

The theme of General MacArthur's farewell speech was Duty, Honor and Love of Country. This speaks to self element.

"...The unbelievers will say they are but words, but a slogan, but a flamboyant phrase. Every pedant, every demagogue, every cynic, every hypocrite, every troublemaker, and, I am sorry to say, some others of an entirely different character, will try to downgrade them even to the extent of mockery and ridicule.

But these are some of the things they do. They build your basic character. They mold you for your future roles as the custodians of the nation's defense. They make you strong enough to know when you are weak, and brave enough to face yourself when you are afraid.

They teach you to be proud and unbending in honest failure, but humble and gentle in success; not to substitute words for action; not to seek the path of comfort, but to face the stress and spur of difficulty and challenge; to learn to stand up in the storm, but to have compassion on those who fall; to master yourself before you seek to master others; to have a heart that is clean, a goal that is high; to learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; to reach into the future, yet never neglect the past; to be serious, yet never take yourself too seriously; to be modest so that you will remember the simplicity of true greatness; the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.

They give you a temperate will, a quality of imagination, a vigor of the emotions, a freshness of the deep springs of life, a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, an appetite for adventure over love of ease. They create in your heart the sense of wonder, the unfailing hope of what next, and the joy and inspiration of life. They teach you in this way to be an officer and a gentleman....

General MacArthur 1962

I think that it is important to teach kids to love God, Family, this great Country and themselves.

Every night when I put my kids to bed, we say prayers. We start each prayer with Hi God, Hi Jesus, thanks for the great day. Then we pray for more specific things relevant to that particular day. For the last several years we have been including thoughts about the troops protecting us. And we always end each prayer by asking God to please Bless America.

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