“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” With that final sentence and fifty-six signatories, the Second Continental Congress unanimously declared independence from English rule 245 years ago. Representatives from the thirteen colonies determined that separation from England was worth their lives, fortunes and sacred honor.
The concept of “Truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” provided the sound doctrine needed for a new model of government. In his article, “Perspectives on the Constitution: A republic, if you can keep it”, Dr. Richard Beeman references Benjamin Franklin’s response to a question from a group of citizens on what type of government had been created by the Constitutional Convention back in 1787. He responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Dr. Beeman said the brevity of that response should not cause us to under-value its essential meaning: Democratic republics are not merely founded upon the consent of the people. A republic is absolutely dependent upon the active and informed involvement of the people for their own continued good health. The health of the American way of life depends on the active and informed involvement of dads and moms in the raising of a godly generation.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” – 2Timothy 4:3-5. This was part of the charge Paul gave Timothy as he passed the baton to the next generation. Attacks would come in the form of eloquent teachers telling people what they wanted to hear. Timothy was charged to preach the good news of Jesus the Christ in the face of opposition. The gospel was, and is sound doctrine to be passed to the next generation.
Over this past year, I have heard of a number of families that have initiated reading through the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States, stirring up family discussions around history that had never been broached. Many have done the same with reading the Bible as a family. An accurate history of where we came from helps all understand where we are and equips a generation to accept responsibility for building on the foundation provided by the founding fathers and the Heavenly Father.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for these United States of America. It is a blessing to celebrate the gifts You have given us in this great nation. May I never take them for granted. Thank You for the freedom offered through Your Son Jesus the Christ, the Word become flesh. May I never take His journey in this world for granted. By Your grace I have two freedoms to live into – one temporal in this world and the other eternal in the Kingdom. I confess that I have abdicated education of these freedoms to the schools and churches. Forgive me. Equip my bride and I as the primary educators of our children to teach responsibility for freedom through You and in this nation. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad the next generation needs. Amen.
A faithful father lives into and teaches responsibility for freedom.