My wife Connie and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary yesterday. Outside of the decision to trust Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, my marriage to this wonderful woman was the best decision I ever made in my life. Connie has given me three terrific children, and they have given us six spectacular grandchildren. None of our kids has been hooked on drugs or alcohol. They have not been arrested or jailed. (Although, with the way our government is passing laws contrary to the principles of liberty and decency, it is getting increasingly more difficult for any of us to stay out of jail.) They are polite, respectful, and courteous Christians. Our daughters-in-law and son-in-law are absolutely magnificent. We are all as close as any family can possibly be. As far as I am concerned, no matter what else I achieve--or fail to achieve--in this world, the family that God has given me makes my life a success. Anything else pales in comparison.
In addition, it seems to me that far too many people in our country overlook the importance of child rearing. Many seem to feel that just about everything else--job, career, money, "success," etc.--occupies a higher priority than raising honest, God-fearing children. However, Connie and I decided years ago that raising our children would be a priority in our lives, and boy, we are glad we did!
I'll say it straight out: it does not take a village to raise kids; it takes loving and courageous parents. Parents who are not afraid to discipline their children (yes, Martha, I mean old fashioned spanking: applying the board of education to the seat of knowledge); parents who are willing to spend time teaching their children right from wrong; parents who will take--not send--their children to church; parents who will pray with their children; parents who care more about truth and right than they do about being well-liked or politically correct; parents who will teach their kids to say "Yes, Sir," and "Yes, Ma'am"; parents who are not afraid to say "No" to their children; dads who think it is more important that they be a father to their sons than a "buddy"; and moms who would rather their daughters had pure hearts than popular friends.
How is it that when it comes to leadership expectations, most people ignore a man's leadership at home? It is almost as if parental leadership is a complete non-factor in judging a person's fitness for anything. Now, please do not get me wrong: I am not suggesting that bad children cannot come from good homes. Goodness, no! I have seen very vile young people come out of some of the most righteous homes, and likewise, I have seen some of the most wonderful and Godly young people come out of the most wretched homes. I am only saying that real leadership is established and proven in the home first. Yet, it does not appear that too many people give parental leadership a second thought anymore. Perhaps this explains much as to what has gone wrong in our society.
Yes, I am aware of the various and sundry political and societal attacks against marriage and parenting. I see the many battles in the "culture war." I see the attempts to redefine the meaning of marriage, to wrestle control and authority of the home away from the parents, and to bombard our children with ideas and philosophies that will ultimately ruin their lives. And, yes, it could come to a point that decent families will be forced to make the same kind of choices that our Pilgrim forebears had to make.
That said, however, the power of marriage and parenting is still the greatest force in the world. Good families can stem the tide of humanism, socialism, fascism, globalism, or any other "ism" that seeks to enslave us. Good families can preserve liberty and independence, fight off totalitarianism, resist corporate elitism, and promote faith and virtue. Good families are the backbone of our country's greatness, and the lack of good families will be the cause of our country's fall from greatness.
Greedy, power-mad politicians are no match for a generation of strong marriages. Young people with character and courage trump purveyors of pretension any day. One principled champion--trained and equipped by strong, stalwart parents--will put a thousand moral weaklings to flight.
While Pharaoh built his monuments, a humble Hebrew mother taught and nurtured her son, a little boy miraculously drawn forth from the watery reeds. That little boy became the deliverer of his people. It was a Godly mother and father that produced the prophet who would anoint the greatest king of Israel. It was a Spirit-filled mother and father who produced the forerunner of the Messiah. And it was a virtuous, principled mother--not a government agency, educational institution, or commercial enterprise--whom God chose to bring the Savior of mankind into the world.
Furthermore, while the potentates and governments of the earth gazed steadfastly upon the might and power of the British Empire, no one noticed the humble homes of Colonial America, where mothers and fathers worked by the light of hearth and candle to discipline, teach, and inspire a generation of patriots unlike the world has ever seen.
Strong, committed, principled parenting has done more to change the course of history, depose despots, promote righteousness, protect virtue, and secure liberty than all of the colleges, corporate boardrooms, and presidential palaces combined. And who knows? At this very moment, mothers and fathers across America could be nurturing and training the next generation of patriots who will rise up and restore the principles of liberty and greatness to our land? I will tell you this: if parents do not do it, no one else can.
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