God, Family, Country
Those were the priories that I grew up with. My grandfather was the son of Italian immigrants searching for a better life for their family. The Italian economy was failing and my great-grandfather just fought one war, fighting for the Italian Army. They had a strong faith and family that was very important to them, and the country they were living in was no longer providing for them. They took the boat and the rough ride across the ocean and landed in Ellis Island and settled in New York for a while. The smog was too much for one of their sons, so them moved and settled in the mid-west. My great-grandfather then served in the American Army in WWI against the Italians. I wonder what that must have been like to fight against your own heritage, but he knew they were doing wrong against the people. My grandfather was born here in America and also fought in the American Army, this time against Hitler at the end of the war. He was going to be sent to Japan, where they told his platoon that there was a 90% chance they were not going to return. Was he scared, YES. But was he willing to fight for what was right, YES. He understood his sacrifice was justified and right in the eyes of the Lord, and that if he did not, then his family may have to fight this enemy here on American soil and threaten their lives. Then the bombs were dropped and his troop was reassigned to work clean-up in Germany after the surrender. He came home and worked very hard his entire life to provide for his family, yet he always put God first. He provided for his family, and will for generations after him. He also voted in every election he could and supported candidates who also support Christian values. He drove home in his children and grandchildren, the right priorities were God, family, Country and then everything else.
The reason why I’m giving you this background is because this is where our country, America, has come from. It speaks to the immigrants who came seeking a better life in America, and took the right path to become citizens of the country that was built on Christian values and freedoms. It speaks of those who protect their families and work hard, with the hope of a better life for their children, so that they could enjoy the spoils of their work yet not be spoiled. And it speaks to the strong faith in God and Him providing for those who love and believe in Him alone, and first. All else will come in its due time.
We need to keep our priorities straight. In our society today, our priorities are backwards, and usually don’t even include those in their top three. Today, self comes first. It’s whatever feels good to me, it’s what is best for me, it’s good as long as I come in first place. It doesn’t matter who I have to push down to prop myself up. Second, our work is more important that anything else and we will sacrifice our own health and our families to put in extra hours at work. We may do it in the name for providing for our families, but with the number of broken families and children feeling left behind because their parents are too busy for them proves this isn’t healthy for our family. Finally, it is our possessions and how much we can collect and hoard. Very few of us can say that we have only what we need and our minimalist. Instead, we have collections and boxes and stuff we just can’t seem to part with (I’m guilty of this too, but I’m getting better). Self, work, possessions – just doesn’t have the same ring.
We need to readjust our focus and turn ourselves towards Our Lord, for whom needs to be our number one priority. He should be the first person we talk to in the morning, and the last person we talk to at night. We should ask for His help when we encounter problems at work or in our families, or anytime throughout the day when we’re faced with a decision. Allow the Lord to be the first one you turn to in celebration for a big success or when we are defeated by a big failure. He is there for you always, in all things. Make sure you turn to Him in all things.
Family is one of the greatest gifts that God can give us. He finds our spouse and puts us together in an eternal union which no man can break. Even though we may have issues with our spouses, we must work to keep that union strong. There are certain circumstances that may prevent that union to be everlasting, but we must turn back to God and consult with the Church before trying to dissolve that union. Our children that come from that union that was created by God are the greatest gifts that we can give to this earth. As parents, our goal is to bring our children back to God, as our parents were supposed to do for us. Not all of us will be successful in that goal, since we all are born with free will, but we must strive to put God first in our families to make it even possible. We are to put life ahead of our selfish needs and if we need to take care of those in our families from conception to natural death. Ephesians 5:21-33 sums up a Christian family:
The Christian Household
21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church,30 because we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church; 33 however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Finally, love the country that you live in, and support her in every way that you can. Do not be destructive towards her just because you don’t like the current laws or leadership, rather pray for her leaders. When given the opportunity to support your country, do so. If you can join the Armed Forces, do so. If she is attacked from outside or from within, fight back for what is right in the eyes of God. If you don’t know if the laws and rules being passed are in line with God’s law, then contact your Church and find out our believes and fight for change if those believes are not in line with the laws of the land. If your Country is the United States of America, it was built on Christian values and freedoms and was blessed because of those values. We must fight to bring God back into focus for our Country. If you live in another country, fight to make laws that are in line with our Christian values and laws given to us by God. Take care of the land of the country you live in. Be good stewards of the land by keeping it clean and doing what you can to not pollute it. But do not go so far that the focus is on the land – God gave it to us during creation, and He will allow it to continue to provide for us and our needs. He will provide us for the proper technologies which keep the land clean and things such as ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’ are natural fluctuations in our environment – not man-made creations that are going to cause the earth to burn. Do not fall into the worship of the land and environment over the worship of our Lord. That is what those of ancient times did with their ‘gods’ of the sun and moon, water and fertility, they call came to pass away. These are false gods of our day, and we need to be good stewards but not worship and replace “Mother Earth” with Our Living God.
After we change our focus on things that we need to keep first – God, Family, Country – then all other things: work, friends, possessions, etc., will all gain their proper place in our lives.
Change your priorities this week – God, Family, Country – see how this new focus change your daily life.