I first heard the title phrase above from my first Platoon Sergeant when I was a young private. The phrase is a very crude and down to earth way of saying: “Guard Your Character” The Bible, my favorite book for living a right life, says, “ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.” Num 32:23. I have often been reminded as I have been with the recent events of the discovery of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s secret elicit affair and subsequent child from his housekeeper of this very verse. It is so unfortunate when leaders, role models like the Arnolds’ of the world will build deceitful, wicked lives that no one knows about only to come crashing down in front of the world to see. Is it so difficult to live a right life? The time that people spend with their secret sins and secret lives and the effort and energy expended to cover all that up from their family, friends and in his case, fans could have been equally used to do just the opposite! Arnold could have expended that energy building a deeper relationship with his wife, investing more time into his kids, and TRULY following the ideas and beliefs he espoused in his years in California office! Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said it best when he said, “It takes less time to do things right than to explain why you did it wrong.” So much more could have been done for good, instead of the mess he has now created for his soon to former wife and children. How will he explain his behavior to his children when he is the role model of his own household. Truly despicable behavior when his family and constituents deserved so much more.
Here is my heartfelt plea to you father’s of the world out there. Regardless if you are a father raising autistic children or typical developing kids, the most important job in the world you have is the character you exhibit and the example you provide for your children. From one father who strives to get better everyday in being a better servant of his God, husband to his wife and father to his wonderful boys to all the other fathers in the world – don’t destroy all of your invested, dedicated efforts into your wife and kids by falling in one moment of weakness. We need more men who will live the right way and stand up for some standard of righteousness for our wives and children to model! Where are the men who value living a right life and living up to the responsibilities they have in life! It makes me shudder to think of behaving in such a way in my private life that I would have to look my wife and kids in the eye after years of love, trust, dedication, commitment and being a role model to explain to them something like Arnold will have to do with his family. More importantly though, my Bible also has another verse that, to me, is certainly the most important in the eternal sense: “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Rom 14:12.
I am not perfect and fail miserably daily in thought and deed, but I want and pray to get better and stay strong from straying down the wrong path every day. The charge that I have been given with a wonderful wife, and wonderful kids to be their protector, prophet, provider and priest is an assignment I am honored to have and to perform it to the best of my abilities with honor, integrity and character.