|“For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being…” –Ephesians 3:14-16|
“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained.” These are the words of the great Winston Churchill, spoken following the birth of Prince Charles in 1948. And although spoken more than 70 years ago, these words remain true today. In short, family matters!
This week we will explore the third aspect of our vision here at Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico – a New Mexico where families thrive.
In the last couple of years, as my family has embarked upon new adventures in politics and policy, the strongest and loudest message we have carried is that family is key. When families thrive, communities thrive! And when communities thrive, states and nations thrive.
At Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, we believe that God’s timeless design for the family is the strongest foundation for any free and successful society. The family, as God designed it, is the best environment for creating children and nurturing them while protecting and providing for them. As a family grows together, they then gain the value of honoring and caring for their elderly. Family offers the fulfillment of all human needs. As such, thriving families have the power to lessen the need for government intervention and should serve as an important check on the scope of our government.
For too long, New Mexico families have been mired by the paralyzing effect of government dependency and an entitlement system that disincentivizes the traditional family unit. Our current welfare system not only discourages marriage, but also actively penalizes those who do get married – particularly low-income parents. For example, a single mother in New Mexico with two children, earning $20,000 per year, is eligible to receive almost $3,600 per year in food stamp benefits. However, if she were to marry the father, who earns the same as she does, that family would no longer qualify for any assistance. I’ve seen the frustration and discouragement of this situation with my own eyes.
New Mexico families deserve better and that is why we should be in the business of encouraging and empowering families. So how do we do this? By supporting state policies and programs that encourage parents to stay together and raise their children; empowering parents to assume control of their children’s education rather than have the parents’ voices threatened and silenced; highlighting the uniquely beneficial roles that men and women – fathers and mothers – bring to the family; and offering appropriate support to our single parents, guardians, relatives raising children, foster parents, and those wishing to adopt.
Some say, “It takes a village.” At Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, we say, “It takes a family.”
Our vision is a New Mexico where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, and families thrive. Thriving families are the key to a successful New Mexico. It’s time for families to unleash their biblical citizenship; it’s time to thrive.
Unleash your citizenship today and become informed about critical issues affecting the family by visiting our Action Center, reviewing our current action items, and adding your name to the growing number of concerned citizens who are speaking up and standing for families.
For My Family and Yours!
As we begin a new year, I want to take the opportunity to examine each unique and valuable piece of our vision here at Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico. Everything we do is with the purpose of seeing a New Mexico where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished. But, what does that really look like? It’s easy to spout beautiful words that stir the heart, but let us not get lost in the rhetoric of it all. Let us understand the value and depth of each aspect of our vision beginning with a New Mexico where God is honored.
It’s in our history
On January 15, 1912, our state’s first governor, William McDonald, concluded his inaugural address with these words:
“And now, trusting the Power that controls the destinies of men and nations, and the encouragement and inspiration that comes through the confidence of a generous people, I shall take up the work that with the blessing of the Almighty, I trust may redound to the benefit of our new state and to the good of the whole people.”
If we look at our nation’s founding documents and state constitutions, there are many common declarations and acknowledgments, including a solemn recognition of God’s existence and authority in our lives. Governor McDonald made a similar acknowledgment when he noted God’s sovereign control over the fate of people and nations, and affirmed a personal dependency on God for divine blessings and success.
But it’s been lost
Sadly, a dependency on God for divine blessings and success has been abandoned, and modern-day officials are motivated by self-importance, desire for power, and corrupted ideology. But, what if that could change? Imagine for a moment if our modern-day officials were motivated by the same truths of God’s authority, sovereignty and blessing, and, thus, inspired to pursue only those policies that would honor God. How might this change the direction of New Mexico?
As a state that sadly fails to protect life, struggles in education, continues to rise in crime, and seems to be foolish in its attempts at being wise, I think we can all agree that something is really wrong in New Mexico. And, maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with the fact that we’ve left behind a dependency on God and have allowed our traditions, cultures, and values to be seized by those who disavow God’s existence and/or authority, and who seek to expel any remnant of God-honoring principles from our government, our schools, and even our homes.
At Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, we are actively working to honor God by exercising our responsibility as the people of God to “stand firm and take action” (Daniel 11:32); to engage our culture and government; and to stand up for the Biblical values we share. We call this “unleashing citizenship” – and we encourage you to become a part of this movement of change!
Are you in? If so, please forward this message to 5 friends and encourage them to sign up for our email list by clicking here.
Can you picture it? A New Mexico where God is honored? I can! And it’s beautiful.
For His honor,
John Newton and William Wilberforce have always amazed me for their part in the battle to end slavery. Newton was an example of authentic grace and transformation that can take place in the human heart – that is, from the “inside-out.” And, Wilberforce was tireless and persistent in his work to end slavery legislatively, that is from the “outside-in.” They made a good team in 18th century Great Britain and that two-pronged approach could be the key towards solving many social challenges in America today.
For John Newton, it took a change of heart to alter his life. We all know him as the author of one of the best-known and most loved hymns of the last two centuries, “Amazing Grace.” Estimates suggest that the song is played 10 million times each year and has appeared on over 11,000 albums. It had a surge of popularity during two of our nation’s greatest crises: the Civil War and the Vietnam War. Churches everywhere still sing it today. Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and Elvis are among the many artists who recorded the song. Even former President Obama spontaneously sang it a few years ago during a memorial service for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a victim of a church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.
It is amazing that this hymn has become closely associated with the African American community when you consider that the author, John Newton was a former slave trader until God’s ‘Amazing Grace’ changed his heart. It is a testament to the transformative work of Christ. Newton later became a pastor and preacher changing people’s attitudes about race and slavery by changing their heart, from the ‘inside-out.’
Wilberforce, on the other hand, was a politician and a wealthy philanthropist. He gave away one-quarter of his annual income to the poor. He fought on behalf of chimney sweeps, single mothers, orphans, and juvenile delinquents. When he was a child, Newton was his pastor. As he grew older, Wilberforce wanted to leave working in government for the ministry. Instead, Newton encouraged him to stay in politics, convincing him of the need to end slavery legally – from the “outside-in.”
The story of “Amazing Grace” offers a powerful lesson for us today: change the heart of the nation and its laws will follow. The work of churches today is similar to the work of John Newton as they preach the Gospel that transforms lives from the “inside-out.” And the work of Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming is like the work of Wilberforce and countless other Christian policymakers, taking the policy and legislative approach and effecting change from the “outside-in.”
Our mission statement is very clear. We exist to make Wyoming a state where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished!
If you want to partner with us to bring change to policy (or find out how we can help you change hearts), here are two steps to consider:
- Want help changing the culture from the inside out? I welcome the opportunity to speak at your church or small group. You can contact me here.
- Please consider making a monthly donation so we can continue to make a difference in Wyoming. We are grateful for your partnership!