Success nowadays has personal meaning to every individual. What does success mean to you? Thankfully, growing up as the firstborn child to my Filipino immigrant parents to the USA, I understand this firsthand and how they modeled success. Both young medical doctors, my parents made choices and sacrifices to accept the challenge to move to America as minorities to prepare for a better life for me and my four siblings. In their trained profession to help heal others, my parents demonstrated what Mother Teresa describes healing to be:
“The way you help heal the world is that you start with your own family. Love begins by caring for the closest ones in your own home.” If we make this our priority goal, godly families can transform culture because godly people from godly homes will saturate society.
We inform what we know. We impart who we are. My godly parents, Married to one another for 60 years, lived out Jesus centered, kingdom values of success which to this day I live out and now observe our married children.
Matthew 6: 33 “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”
The importance to the meaning of any value we have is demonstrated by the time of priority it is given. From the earliest age, my parents showed their love and priority of family by regular supper times, family vacations and attending church every Sunday.
Matthew 20: 26-27 “ Instead, whoever wants to become great among you, must first become a servant. Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Greatness in God’s kingdom means carrying a humble heart that regards the value of the importance of others. I learned the giving through hospitality in an all Caucasian neighborhood where we were discriminated against while regularly my parents prepared and hosted Filipino food gatherings and cared for sick neighbors.
Colossians 3: 23 and Matthew 25: 40 “ Whatever you do, do with all your heart as unto your Lord.” “ Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters, You did for Me.”
The ways we think and the ways we act can be summed up in the habits we have formed. I thank God for the godly, biblical, kingdom habits my parents imparted to me as a young child which I continue to pass on to my children and their children. Covenant love is expressed through committed consistency in family relationship that develops godly habits. Their commitment to remain and grow and remain faithful in their marriage through challenging seasons of sickness, financial struggles and relational tension was the foundation that helped me trust in God and take His hand through to the goal. Overcoming racial prejudices, issues being a woman medical professional, loss, loneliness, not harboring offenses became part of who I am today and the legacy I pass on.
Family as God, the Creator originally intended is the sacred resemblance and reflection of who God our Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit. Sadly, it is in family we all experience the first and the deepest pain; discord of division. Yet, hopeful, we all come to the greater realization that the core family is the most important and meaningful and replicable place to experience, model and reproduce love and forgiveness. This after all is the meaning and the message Jesus and the Cross; the answer to the world we live in.