Today, I am deeply honored to have Jaime Buckley of Wanted Hero sharing his heart for God and family with us. He requires no introduction as his words of wisdom speak to his character. Please give him a very warm welcome and spend some time on his site. I promise you’ll be blessed. ~Heather
I’d like to do something different today.
With your permission, I’d like to step away from popular blogging practice, from some of its etiquette…and speak straight from the heart.
I know it’s important to have subjects which are “evergreen,” so as to be timeless for readers, and this subject certainly is timeless…but I’d like to refrain from using “you” as my focus.
The reasoning for this is simply that the subject of faith and religion is a personal one. My heart is beating furiously as I type these words, because I feel this is an honor and a burden to share ‘just enough’ or ‘just the right’ views. To make sure I stay true to my own beliefs, while having great respect and tender love for your own.
It’s a very real emotional balance for me, because you—even though I have not met you—matter to me.
I’m sorry if that sounds strange to you, but it is how I am and how I choose to be. Took me a long time to grow this heart from dust and cobwebs and I’ve grow fond of…well, being fond of others.
To assume, presume or attempt to influence the minds and hearts of others is a task attempted by fools or those seeking control what of they ought not to.
I am neither a fool, nor do I seek to control or unduly influence you, except in encouraging you to make better choices and stretch to become more than what you are right now.
No, my desire it to share what I believe, openly and honestly, and leave my life at your feet…for you to judge, ponder and accept or reject at your good will and pleasure.
In my family—the Buckley family—God and Christ are the center of our lives.
Oh, I won’t try and fool myself and say that it always works out that way. We are human, after all, but our focus—our desires and ever-reaching goals are to become saints and servants to the Most High God.
Why? Because for myself, and I can only speak for myself IN this matter…I have lived a life of darkness and come into the Light. Living the Gospel of Christ has filled me with such joy and happiness, I couldn’t bear to live without it. I don’t want to.
Most parents I know don’t know why they are losing their children. My children have chosen to live the Gospel. They have told Kathilynn and I, that it is because of our example to them. From their parents, showing not only a love and gratitude for the Gospel, but a true and overwhelming excitement for the “good news.”
I am so grateful to Heather for allowing me to speak plainly today—the way I always enjoy doing: with all my heart. To praise the Lord God for my blessings is something I love to do…most specifically to express gratitude for my family.
Let me share with you, now, my beliefs and a special side to my tribe. The MOST special side, in my opinion…which I have never shared publicly.
I Believe God Set The Pattern
I believe that God created this world so that His children could be born, live, and learn to become more like Him, by following the example of Jesus Christ. That we are blessed with scriptures to show us patterns and guidelines of how we may find the greatest happiness and fullness of joy in this life.
As a husband and father, I believe it is my responsibility to lead my family in righteousness. I believe that God placed me at the head of this family and that He will hold me personally responsible if I do not do all in my ability to raise a righteous seed to Him.
Fear is not an excuse.
Poverty is not an excuse.
Ignorance is not an excuse.
Society and popular sentiment is not an excuse.
So what choice do I have, but to press on…and to succeed?!
I believe the world will never cease striving to convert me or destroy me. Thank the heavens! For the more the devil hounds me and throws his fiery darts my way (unfortunately they seem to be aimed at my face)—the more I am reminded of who I am, where I come from and who I serve!
Praise the Lord.
The following are five important principles I teach my family. Principles which make us, as a family, stronger every single day we apply them.
REMEMBER That God LOVES YOU
I cannot stress this enough: we must teach our children about love! The world will never stop attacking and it seems like every aspect of marketing, media, entertainment & politics is focused to put pressure on our good choices. To mock us, bring us down and corrupt the minds & hearts of our children.
When they strive to do what’s right, they are belittled and made fun of. When they stand up for morals, they are told it is an outdated sentiment!
I want to scream in hot rage when I see that the theft of money is punished more severely than the robbery of a woman’s virtue!!
Our perceptions, passion and views are nearly skewed beyond recognition.
This is why it’s SO important to know…not merely believe, but KNOW that God LOVES YOU! A fact that every child must have ingrained in their minds and hearts…so that they feel it and wear it like the clothes on their backs.
How can our children (or any of us parents for that matter) endure the hardships and place faith and confidence in a being that we perceive doesn’t love us?
Love God FIRST
This is one that some parents look to me as if I escaped from an asylum. Yet isn’t this a commandment taught to us by Christ Himself?
Love the Lord Thy God with all thy heart, might, mind and strength…isn’t that right?
So this is what we teach our children.
To love God above all.
To love Him more than mother, more than me. That if I say one thing and the scriptures say another—they are to follow the scriptures.To keep an eye focused on Him, and to keep a heart strong and open, because the more we, as a family, look upward—the more united we become.
If we all focus on serving God, we have a common ground stronger than life, stronger than death and it will lend strength when love (our human, mortal version of love) isn’t enough. I’m saddens me to say that, but it’s true: sometimes love isn’t enough…but our testimonies are.
One mind, one heart…doing the will of our Father in Heaven.
Use the Scriptures to Explain Your WHY
One of the claims to fame I have in my own family is not being guilty of saying, “Because I said so!”
It’s a common practice of those who don’t parent by principle, but by emotion. They want things done their way, regardless of whether it makes sense and in some instances whether or not it’s wrong.
I am of the mind that if I want my children to have confidence in me and respect for me—I must explain my desires to my children and show them why I want them to do so.
How can we gain the confidence of our family when we don’t base it upon the commandments and teachings of our God?
There are enough examples and to spare when it comes to how we should conduct ourselves and how we should interact in our families—all we have to do is look within the pages of holy writ.
When we ask things of one another, especially when father or mother speaks, show your reasoning within the scriptures and I guarantee you will earn the confidence of your children and spouse.
Make Studying Scriptures Together a Priority
In our home, I teach every morning.
At 7am, I come out of my bedroom and call my children together. We spend close to an hour or more in family scripture study.
For the last six months we have been delving deeper and deeper into the New Testament and of late, the mission of Paul.
With the wide age range, it is my purpose to teach to the youngest possible and those who can read follow along. We have a pattern of asking questions as well. I will pose a question to a young child. If they cannot answer, it rolls up to the next oldest and so on until one can answer. They teach their answers and reasoning to the other children, explaining how they came to that conclusion.
The fun part is explaining the stories in plain English and allowing my natural excitement and wonder to saturate my voice. The result is a room full of excited children and a smiling, adoring wife.
Men—it is our calling to be the spiritual leader of our homes!
Do you do it?
I’m calling you to do it!
I testify to you that no success in life will suffice if we fail our families!!
…and God will hold you and I accountable.
Stand in that place with gratitude and joy…and encourage questions.
Scripture study is not for the sake of going through the motions or memorizing, but to unlock the heart and mind, so those who know not may ask and be fed.
Lots and lots of questions.
It doesn’t matter if you know the answers or not—find them together!
Find Your Family Mission
This is the last point I’d like to share with you.
Finding your family mission is one of the most powerful, beautiful and strengthening experiences we’ve ever had.
About three years ago, we were homeless.
It’s terrifying to go from making six figures and having a large, beautiful home, to losing it all. Yet it’s even more terrifying when you have a large family like mine and you don’t know know where your next meal will come from.
How will you be able to care for the ones you love?
There came a point where we knew that the strength to overcome…to pull ourselves out of the hole of poverty and homelessness, would take perfect unity of family.
To rely on the Grace of God and to do His will.
There are many things I can do in life. I have intelligence. I have talent.…but when I have the belief, love and support of my family—I believe ANYTHING is possible.
One day, Kathilynn and the older children came to me and said they wanted me to focus my attention on Wanted Hero. To focus on writing allegories, to uplift, encourage and spread correct principles around the world in a way it’s accustomed: epic fantasy.
Each member of my family had gone and prayed separately.
Each member had done so without talking to the others.
Each member then told their mother that if they were going to struggle and sacrifice—then they wanted to sacrifice for something they believed in.
Wanted Hero was that unanimous choice.
That was over three years ago.
We now have a home. We have food. We have clothing. We have a car that is still functioning (sort of). Our church is within walking distance. The cabinet factory where my older children work is within walking distance.
…and together, by the grace & blessings of God, we have worked to keep ourselves alive.
My goal was to write 3 books in 3 years. To craft a series that would enlarge the minds and souls of the youth who read them.
I just wanted to write 3 books.
Turns out I couldn’t write just 3 books.
It was such a spiritual experience, I had to write more.
As of the publication of this article, God has blessed me and I’ve written 21 books.
None of this was possible without the support, encouragement and love of my family. Because if I ever doubt…if I ever grow sad and lose sight because I want to provide more or better…the Holy Spirit prompts me to look at them.
…and I am reminded just how wealthy I am.
How wealthy I have always been.
I have Heaven on Earth.
Thank you, Heather, for letting me share that with you and yours.
Jaime Buckley is a loving husband, father of 12 and a popular parenting blogger at WantedHero.com. He’s best know for his Chronicles of a Hero fantasy series which originally hit the web in 2005 as a comic book series. You can connect with Jaime through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube or good ‘ol fashioned email: jaimebuckley@wantedhero. He always replies to emails.
The first book in Jaime’s series for kids, Prelude to a Hero (Chronicles of a Hero, #1) is free. Click here to receive your book – no strings attached.Print This Post