Sunday, April 19, 2009

God, Family, Country. In that order. How about you?

After reading the papers, I did some reflection on what I had read about what’s going on in the country. In Facebook, I posted what was on my mind---“God, family, country. In that order.”

My Facebook contacts posted their own reactions, which varied although most agreed with my statement. Some posted their own beliefs, such as “God, Country, Family” and one even included his “Fraternity” after “God, Country, Family”. A true fratman, if I may say so.

With the varying responses, I wouldn’t dare to say who is right or who is wrong. I cannot be the judge of that. We all have our own value systems and I don’t think we are in a position to judge each other on that.

But I do believe that we should be accountable for those value systems we have and in my case, my accountability may be seen from the statement I made. Above anything or anyone else in this world, I am first accountable to God. Everything else comes and follows after that. Judging by the responses of those who reacted to what I posted, it seems that that is one thing everybody agrees on.

So why did I say that it’s “God, Family, Country. In that order”? Why doesn’t Country come ahead of Family?

As stated, I first hold myself accountable to God because as a believer, that is the direct offshoot of my faith in Him. As my creator, I believe that my purpose is live my life according to His desire and standards.

Anyone who has read that best-seller “A Purpose Driven Life” knows the logic of the Creator’s Purpose--- that a thing is created with a specific reason and purpose, therefore it is necessary for that creation to fulfill its purpose. For myself, believing in my Creator necessitates that I know His purpose for my life and for me to pursue that purpose.

Why does the family come before country?

As a public official, I am guided by the purpose set out by God for me, as stated in the Creator’s Manual for Life, the Bible. In that reference, it is clearly stated that before one leads over others in the community (or country), one must first be able to show leadership and good governance over one’s family.

1 Timothy 3:1-5 says: “Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?”

The importance of the family is emphasized even in our own Constitution which recognizes that “the family is a basic autonomous social institution” and the State “shall protect and strengthen” it.

It is my belief that the obligation to govern over one’s family first is not just an obligation of those who lead the community or country but of each and every person who considers himself a faithful believer and loyal citizen. The foundation of the country is the family, therefore, it is imperative that we all take part in firming up and strengthening that foundation on which we will build up our country.

To illustrate, which is preferred, a good leader with a bad family life or a good leader with a good family life?

As far as I am concerned, it is incumbent upon me to strive to be a good father and husband in order for me to be a worthy public official. It is definitely a difficult challenge given all the obstructions and temptations along the way, but acknowledging that obligation is the first step towards fulfilling that commitment to God and family.

Perhaps some see it as self-serving or an unpatriotic act to put family first before country. One who reacted to my post raised a question: “Sir, if I may ask. What if what's good for your family isn't good for your country? Or what's good for your country wouldn't be good for your family?”

A good point, indeed. But he left out one aspect—God. The three should be taken together, not singly. Above everything else, living according to God’s laws and principles. It doesn’t matter if what one does is good for his family and not good for the country or one does good for the country and not for his family if what one is doing is not right in the eyes of God.

For example, if a person steals from the country for his family, it doesn’t make it right in the eyes of God. Or if one devotes all his time in the service of the people but he does not even have time to raise his child as an obedient and respectful son or daughter, it doesn’t make it right in the eyes of God.

Therefore, all three aspects—God, Family, Country—must all be taken together and not separately.

Living your life to be an ideal believer, family member or citizen is not an easy task. There are many obstacles and challenges that pull us down or block our ways, but that’s what makes it more precious and fulfilling to achieve. If it were that easy, then it wouldn’t be an accomplishment at all.

1 comment:

Joel Marc Cairo said...

Great point, Ruffy. Yes, if God were not first, Family over Country would have have been very selfish.