The End of the Beginning

August 26

We brought our daughter Stephanie back to the University of Jamestown this past week. This will be her senior year, and we are very proud of the hard work she has done. However, something parallel happened which was also momentous. Chris moved into his own place, so both our children are out of the house.

I guess we are now officially empty nesters (assuming one at college still counts as “out of the house”). It’s very quiet and Annie is a bit lost looking for her other pack members, but it’s simply another phase of life. We’ve always said that our job as parents was to raise children into adults who love the Lord, have a proper moral compass, and can function as productive members of society. Chris and Stephanie have certainly checked all those boxes, so all in all, it’s a good thing.

In academic terms, this is sort of like the exam for the 20+ years we’ve worked on this subject. This is when it all comes together, or doesn’t. It is the end of the beginning phase of their lives. From those sleepless nights and first steps, to helping with urgent cooking advice or going along to buy a drill and other tools for their new place, this is the end of the beginning and the start of something entirely new.

We have certainly tried our best to instill biblical values in our children, as I’m sure you have. While we encouraged Chris and Stephanie to adopt a biblical world view, it was ultimately their decision. As such, they questioned, sometimes wrestled with, and ultimately decided that a biblical value system should be the basis for their lives as well. We were obviously thrilled with their decision.

As you might imagine, the values we hold to as a family are consistent with those that Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota defends and protects. One of the most significant things I’ve ever heard my kids say is, “We’re proud of what you do, Dad.” They get it. They know that Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota is representing them and their values, just as we represent yours, and they know how important it is to carry these values into following generations. I do this for them, their future children, and generations of North Dakotans to come. That is the legacy.

So, this is the end of the beginning. By God’s grace, our kids are standing upon faith and will always defend their values. I pray that the legacy of what our organization does, lives on for decades to come as well. Even if it is kind of quiet right now.


Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director