I can’t resist, with all the hype going on about the new Star Wars movie, telling a great story. Cliff was a big-time Star Wars fan. He loved the movies and knew them word for word. When we were first married, Cliff had a friend who would come over and they would quote the lines of the movie before the actors could say them. It was VERY annoying! When the Prequel Trilogy came out, Cliff had tiny Micah and baby Caleb sitting for hours watching the movies. Star Wars is very sentimental to all of us. We are excited to see the new movie. I vetoed going opening night but I am dressing up with Lucas when we go this week. I guess that earns me the mother-of-the -week not mother-of-the-year award!
When we found out that we were expecting our third baby, Cliff called the baby “little sister” for the first 20 weeks or so. On the day we found out that “little sister” was going to be “smelly monster #3,” Cliff knew right away what we would name the new baby. He was so excited. All of our boys have Bible names. Micah Daniel, Caleb Nathanael and now we would have Lucas Samuel. Lucas is used as another version of Dr. Luke’s name in Philemon 1:24. Now, I should have been tipped off right away that Cliff was so quick on the name. Warning bells should have gone off, but sadly they didn’t.
Right after Lucas was born, the doctor gave the “fresh from the oven” baby to Cliff. Cliff was a great dad and loved being a dad. He was so tender and emotional about the boys that it didn’t surprise me that he wanted to hold our newest one right away. It was a touching moment until Cliff’s inner performer couldn’t be suppressed, and he turned to me and the doctor and nurses in our room. He used his best Darth Vader voice and the first words said to itty, bitty Lucas were “Luke, I am your father!” LOL! What a character. Not only did Cliff pass on an interest in Star Wars, he passed on a love of life and passionate joy to all three of my boys. I am sorry to all the teachers who have them. It is their dad’s fault!
This story makes me wonder what values and principles I am passing down to the boys. Here are a few principles that I think are major game-changers in raising kids who love God and are successful:
- Joy is a choice. This one came from Cliff. He loved life and even when times were difficult, he chose to be joyful. If we link our circumstances to our emotions, we limit what God can do through us. Cliff showed joy in our home, in our church and to our family and friends. He even displayed joy during his battle with cancer. Many of you remember the Look-a-Like contest he had when his hair fell out. You have to check out the graphic he had Angela Cofield make for him. You can find so many hilarious and joyful moments in his blogs captured in our book Choosing Faith against the Odds. It is so important that we teach our kids that joy is a choice. Psalm 16:11
- Do right because it is right to do right. This one is from my dad. My dad taught me to make the right choice, not because it felt right or because it gave me the best outcome, but because it was right. So many times, when I have to make hard choices, his voice rings in my ears. If we base our decisions on the situation, we will make wrong choices. We need to teach our kids to do right no matter the circumstances. Proverbs 12:28
- Work hard. This one is from Larry. My boys told him the other day that they think he can outwork anyone they know. What an awesome thing for them to think. A good work ethic will help you succeed and stand out among others. If you are going to have to do a job, you might as well do it to the best of your ability. It makes you do better work and you feel better when you are done. We should teach our kids that doing a job well is a principle we admire and model it for our kids. Ecclesiastes 9:10
- Be faithful to your commitments. This one I learned from Cliff’s mom, Mrs. Kay. A defining characteristic of Mrs. Kay is that if you ask her to do something, it will be done. I have watched her wake up and go to church even when she was heartbroken. I have seen her treat others with care and love, even when they have hurt her or one of us. She is faithful and acts this way, because she is committed to Jesus. We must teach our kids to follow through and fulfill their commitments even when it isn’t convenient. We serve because of what Jesus did for us. Our level of faithfulness in all areas (home, work and church) is a reflection of our love for Christ. Matthew 25:21
A new Star Wars movie is epic in the Frink household because of the sentiment attached. What an awesome thing it would be to leave an epic legacy for our kids by teaching them life-changing principles that will help them draw closer to God and live a life for others. Make today the day you start! May the Force be with you!
What kinds of things hold a sentimental value to you and your family? I’ll post a picture of the family when we go see the Star Wars movie. Share your memories with us.