Monday, September 28, 2009

Mrs. Eisenhower's Legacy

Dwight Eisenhower was the 34th President of our Country. He was an amazing leader. “Ike” as people generally referred to him was a war hero during the Second World War. He was a Republican but because of his straight forward and authentic approach to politics he earned the respect of a democratic congress for 3 terms and was able to be an effective presidents even with an opposing party in congress.

I read just a little bit about him in my devotions this morning. The writer of the book I was reading (To Own a Dragon, by Donald Miller) was amazed as he read about Ike’s life. You see Eisenhower grew up in a home with two functioning parents who made it their goal that their children would grow up knowing how important and necessary their role in the family was. Their thought that this would lead their children to realize the importance and necessity of their roles in their communities and for Dwight, even the world was proved true when he became president.

I started thinking about that as I finished my devotion time this morning. I started to wonder if I’ve raised my children with the sense that they are important to our family, to their community and to the world? If I asked them, would they, like young Dwight at age 9 or 10 already be confident enough to agree that they were not only important but essential to our family. That our family couldn’t be our family without them and that God has assigned to them an important task of leadership. Do my kids understand their importance?

Jesus did. In John 3 it says, “The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in His hands. Whoever believes the Son will have life but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

Why did God say that He placed everything in Jesus’ hands? Because through Jesus people would either come to know God the Father or not.

No, we haven’t been given the role of saving the world from sin. But that doesn’t mean that our role isn’t crucial. If we don’t offer what you have been given to offer the world… which is really just you being you… the world, your community and especially your family will miss out. We’ll miss out on understanding something of Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit.

As a mother is there anything more precious I could lavish on my children than this beautiful truth? That they are relevent?Eisenhower’s mother puts me to shame in so many ways. For one thing, this woman memorized the entire New Testament. What a beautiful gift she gave to her children in that kind of example but also in being able to call on that kind of understanding when she needed to deal with them in their lives. Also though, Mrs. Eisenhower was fond of this belief; she believed that all the world’s problems could be solved if every child understood his necessity and importance in the world.

I think we shy away from these thoughts because we worry that we’re placing too much importance on ourselves as individuals rather than realizing the supreme capabilities of a sovereign God who doesn’t NEED us to reveal his love or will to the world. Of course this is true. He’s God and He can certainly handle these kind of intricate revelations on his own. But He CHOOSES to use us to do that. When we fail to realize that ourselves or to teach it to our kids we miss out. We miss out and so does our community. We miss out not on being needed by God but by being WANTED by Him. He wants to use our lives to bear witness to who He is. Each of us has a unique and beautiful aspect or characteristic of His to mirror in a unique and beautiful way. If we understood that better. If our children understood that better is it true that the world would be transformed?

I’m challenging myself today to be more effective in instilling that possibility in my kids. I’m challenging myself to believe it myself and be purposeful then in the offering of it to my community.

*** Please no criticisms on the book or author references. I understand your concerns. I’m reading critically. You can trust me.


Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

Oh, how this inspires me to be more intentional in reminding my girls of their great worth in our family, in our world.

What a great way to start the week. So blessed in reading this.

(I've been meaning to pick up that book. I'll be interested in hearing what you think of it.)

Deborah Ann said...

I LOVE Donald Miller. Blue Like Jazz is my all time favorite book. I have not read this one yet, but I intend to. I felt a bit guilty reading this...I have trouble memorizing one scripture, much less half the Bible! Thank you for posting this, and thanks for stopping by my site. It's always nice to make new friends in Christ!