The Power of a Family Maxim

Family and Kids, Spirituality

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. ~ Philippians 4:13
In the thirteenth century a man named William Wallace became the instrument of freedom from England’s tyranny over Scotland. A very wicked king ruled England. A tragedy in the life of William Wallace launched him into living for this cause. Initially his cause was revenge, but soon his cause turned to something bigger than himself – freedom for a nation. When he challenged the commoners to fight for this freedom, they responded that the enemy was too great and that they might die on the battlefield. They also refused to fight for the nobles, the knights and leaders who had a vested interest in gaining more land for themselves versus a pure cause of freedom. Wallace’s response: “Yes, we might die. We will all die sooner or later. But we will die for a cause worth dying for. So that our children and their children might live in freedom.” This story was popularized in the movie Brave Heart (Sherman Oaks, California: Paramount Pictures, 1995).
Today we find many Christian believers living a status quo relationship with God that is more characterized as “business as usual” than a life demonstrating God’s power. Our focus is often more concerned with improving our standard of living than improving the Kingdom of God through our circle of influence. God has called each of us to live for a cause greater than ourselves – a life that is dependent on His grace and power to achieve things we never thought possible through our lives. This is His plan for your life.
The apostle Paul prayed that He might experience the power of the resurrection in his life. This power is available to you and me to live for a cause greater than ourselves.
How often do we live for a cause greater than ourselves with our family? Yes, we may be the protector and provider for the family, but to what end? What’s the point of putting a roof over the family’s head and food on the table other than barely surviving? Or we may be the nurturer and primary caregiver for the children, but why?
What is your family maxim or motto?
Are you living for a cause greater than yourself in your marriage? In your parenting?
If you have kids in the home, what do you hope to teach them before they head off to college? What do you want them to know about God, life, love, passion, joy?
For me, I want my children to see God in the things around them. Nature. People. Sunrises and sunsets. I want them to experience God by being a servant, both for and with others. I want them to see a world beyond our hometown. Ultimately, my wife and I hope to have our children participate in a service project on every major continent before they go off to college.
But this family maxim also applies to every day life. I want to dance with my wife and my children every chance I get. I want to be on the floor with them as they leap into the air and land squarely on my stomach. I want to laugh with my wife. I want to sit on the deck and feel the summer breeze.
I came across a saying the other day: smile, breathe, go slowly. What a beautiful way to go through the day.
This is a glimpse into my world. What’s your world going to be?
The beautiful thing about God and His grace, we have a lot of room to make our world whatever we desire. Enjoy life, we only get one shot at this. One of my professors put it this way, don’t take life so seriously, none of us are getting out of it alive.

The first two paragraphs are are adapted from Os Hillman of