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Live for Future Generations

October 12, 2011

     In the movie “John Adams,” Mr. Adams makes a statement to the pleasure loving French one evening at the dinner table.  “I must study politics and war so that my sons will have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.  My sons must study navigation, commerce and agriculture so that their children will have the right to study painting, poetry and music.”

     John Adams made this statement to a group of people who did not understand his passion for his cause, the cause of liberty for the colonies.  They only understood pleasure and self gratification.  When I first saw this movie, that speech stayed with me and changed my vision.

     Sadly, I feel that we resemble the French more than the self sacrificing Adams and other founding fathers.  They gave their lives for a cause, for this nation.  They were not guaranteed the benefits of their labor in their life times.  They did what they did sacrificially for future generations.

     John Adams spent many years abroad, missing years with his wife and the childhood of his own children.  But his mindset was not like our own today.  He lived for future generations.

     I know that you are hard working diligent Mamas.  You have laid down your lives for the future of your children.  Today I want to commend you but also encourage you.  In the midst of laying down your life for your children make sure they also learn to lay down their lives.  The world cannot revolve around them.  If we stop living for future generations and only seek to fulfill our own desires, our society will fail.  Our society will not offer hope to our future generations.

     One of the greatest dangers of our busy lifestyle is the message we send our children.  Have we sent them the message that their needs and desires are of prime importance, or do they know how to deal with disappointment and denial?

     When we choose the activities that we fill our days with, above all we must consider the character we are developing in our children.  For example, do we let them play sports because they expect it, because all their friends participate?  Do we expect obedience and contribution to the family before sporting practice?  Do we allow the play of the game in spite of disciplinary issues and bad attitudes?  If character development does not come before the sport or activity, we harm our children and our society.

     As Christians we are to live our lives to glorify God.  The Bible tells us our lives are not our own.  Have we taught our children this principle?  Or are they the kings and queens of their universe and the family schedule rotates around them?

     You may feel that you do not struggle with any of these issues.  I would just caution you to watch for and be aware of subtle manipulation.  We as humans always struggle against our own desires no matter how old we get or how much we want to do otherwise.  Our children can easily fall prey to their own desires and they lack the maturity to restrain their own selves.  Actually even many of us adults lack that maturity.  Be cautious that the schedule you have chosen does not feed only their flesh.     

     A couple of years ago when I originally heard that line on the John Adams movie, I was in a place of searching.  I was nearing 50 and wanted my life to count for something.  I wanted to make a difference in this word, make my mark.  It was then that I really began to get a clearer picture of living for those who will come behind me and not so much for my self.  We today benefit from the countless sacrifices of others who have paid a price before us; our founding fathers, the pioneers, veterans of our wars and most importantly, Christ.  We have great liberty and freedoms.  Ones we have not earned ourselves.

     We must be cautious as we give our children every opportunity that we ourselves did not have.  Let them work for and earn the right to be carted everywhere.  Then teach them that their gifts and talents are not for their own promotion in life but for the service of others and for the kingdom of God.


If you like this blog, you may also like yesterday’s entry by John Rosemond.  Also check out, “The Last Standing Sandcastle” on August 23.  Remember to comment on this blog and receive a chance to win the book, “Simplify.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Bobbi permalink
    October 12, 2011 9:53 am

    I love this! It reminds me of the old song, “Find Us Faithful”.

  2. Diana permalink
    October 12, 2011 12:46 pm

    So true…mine are all grown and gone. However, my grandchildren need me to live for them.

  3. Cynthia L Hampton permalink
    October 13, 2011 6:54 am

    I am touched this morning on many levels. I had only heard a piece of that speech before today. It actually puts into clarity a few things for me. Thank you so much because you write what we think!

  4. October 17, 2011 8:25 pm

    Building these thoughts into the heart of our children are so important. what you are saying is something all mom’s and dad’s need to stop and think on. good job. Jody

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