There is love for our Lord, love in marriage, love for family and love of country. Of course, on this 243rd anniversary of the founding of the United States of America, I think of the love those before us had for this one nation under God, particularly those that enlisted in the military after the Pearl Harbor attack – sixteen-year-olds saying they were eighteen; young working men that interrupted life to serve their country; and young marrieds that put family on hold.
We call them the greatest generation. When I asked my uncle his thoughts on being referred to as the ‘greatest generation’, he rebuked the claim. He said, “I don’t know how great we were but we were daggum sure the toughest.” Having lived through the great depression, the dust bowl and World War II, he had every right to claim that label. He loved his country and served to preserve the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What he knew was that life is not easy, liberty is not free and the pursuit of happiness is the hope unique to America.
And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. – Romans 5:2-5. The love of the Father was profoundly reflected in the Declaration of Independence. As President Calvin Coolidge stated 93 years ago at an event marking the 150th anniversary of the founding document, “…it is but natural that the first paragraph should open with reference to Nature’s God and should close in the final paragraphs with an appeal to the Supreme Judge of the world and an assertion of a firm reliance on Divine Providence. … No one can examine this record and escape the conclusion that in the great outline of its principles the Declaration was the result of religious teachings of the preceding period. … They preached equality because they believed in the fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man. They justified freedom by the text that we are all created in the Divine Image, all partakers of the Divine Spirit.” The love of the Father was indeed poured out into the hearts of the founding fathers signing the Declaration 243 years ago.
Today’s battles are quite different than those faced by previous generations. When our freedoms were under attack by a foreign nation, it was a very physical threat. Today, one key battlefront is a battle of worldviews inside the country, Christian versus secular. It seems there is an enemy force that slides in under the radar attacking marriage and families. Dads and moms need to stand firm and pass on love of our Lord and love of country. America stands on the hope that does not disappoint. God has poured out His love into the hearts of the founding fathers, the hearts of the greatest generation and the hearts of men and women today.
Prayer guide: Lord, I thank You for the hope that is Your love poured out through the Holy Spirit. Thank You for the love I am blessed with in marriage and family. And thank You for the love of our founding fathers that secured the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence. Help me never take that for granted. Through love in marriage and family and love of country, I will pass my love for You and for this great country well to the next generation. Amen.
A faithful father passes a love of country well to the next generation.