THE MAN A NATION CALLED ‘FATHER’
by Sally and Brian Burgess, Forefront Families LLC
This week we pay tribute and honor to the passing of one of the most influential men of our time - Nelson Mandela. He was a giant in stature and in vision. Here was a man who felt so strongly about the fate of the African people that he was prepared to die to help facilitate their freedom. From 27 years in prison to becoming President of South Africa demonstrates astounding dedication to his people and to his incredible ability to forgive his oppressors. We are in awe!
This is the perfect time to discuss the attributes of Nelson Mandela with our children and to instill the reason why we need to forgive and move on; to not allow the present to negatively influence our outcomes; to embrace vision and not give up no matter what the circumstances; to believe and achieve.
Nelson Mandela was a very intelligent yet simple man with a huge heart. He had a deep conviction and possessed the tenacity to overcome impossible odds to achieve positive change in his beloved country. They all called him 'Father'.
He was a radical political figure in the years before he was imprisoned, a lawyer who knew the laws of the land, but he was prepared to go against what his country saw was right and wrong in order to smash the apartheid system and bring about freedom and liberty for all. We can all learn from his legacy if we realize that we can make a positive difference in our own families and the community around us.
Mandela’s courage and willingness to die for the cause reminds me so much of the sacrifice Reverend Martin Luther King made to do a similar thing in the USA. His love for God and for his people upset a lot of antagonists and this eventually led to his death. His radical leadership ushered in the integrated society all Americans enjoy today.
Even a greater sacrifice was made by Jesus Christ whom we celebrate this Christmas season. He gave ALL for the sake of providing life forever with Him. All we have to do is acknowledge that Jesus was born to be savior of the world acknowledge what He did on the cross for us and accept the free gift He offers…eternal life! Yes, this is a season of giving and Jesus offers it all year round!
To bring our children to the point where they are prepared to radically live for Jesus and, therefore, bring about the changes in society that He himself was envisaging and creating, we need to be the living examples. To create passionate children, they need to clearly see that quality in us. They need your help to develop strength of character and to be leaders, not followers. Only then can they go and make disciples as Jesus commanded. Wouldn’t you be proud parents if your child were a world-changer? We need a brave generation who is prepared to stand up and speak up for what is right, for what is good and for what Jesus died for.
Let’s remember as we deal with all the hustle and bustle associated with the commercialism of secular Christmas to remember that we are celebrating the birth of Jesus. He became a radical in the eyes of the religious people of the day and sought to lead people into the freedom life with Him brings. I’m up for that, are you?
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