“Duty is the sublimest word in our language. … You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less.” General Robert E. Lee
On June 15th 1775, George Washington accepted an assignment to lead the Continental Army. Washington had been managing his family’s plantation and serving in the Virginia House of Burgesses when the second Continental Congress unanimously voted to have him lead the revolutionary army.
After accepting the position, Washington sat down and wrote a letter to his wife, Martha, in which he revealed his concerns about his new role. He expressed uneasiness and worry at leaving her alone. He shared with her that he had updated his will and hoped that he would be home by the fall. Washington’s call to duty would not allow him to return “home” for almost 6 years.
As I ponder Washington’s life and his call to duty, I reflect on the lessons I have learned during my time as a Marine. I’ve learned that men will work hard for promotions. I’ve learned that they will work even harder for a great leader. But I’ve also learned that men will work hardest of all when they are dedicated to a calling…when they are dedicated to their duty.
Gentlemen – as fathers – we have an enormous but beautiful duty to shoulder. Our duty: training and equipping our children to live out their lives for the Gospel.
This Father’s Day, I challenge every man to do his duty to those who are in his care and toward whatever task is in his trust, regardless of the personal cost. I pause, myself, to reflect upon ways in which I can serve my family better. I fear I may one day wish I had done more than I did. Let us have no regrets!
Duty recognizes a cause greater than one’s self; it is choosing the right thing rather than the convenient thing. When your duty as a dad calls, how will you answer?