I was so impressed by these words, that I am thinking about making them a permanent fixture on this blog. MacArthur's eloquent prayer and statements capture the truth of real fatherhood. I hope and pray that more men have seen these words and have been moved by them as I have to always strive to be a better man not for our own sake, but because of the examples we are giving to our sons and daughters.
A Father's Prayer
by General Douglas MacArthur
Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough
To know when he is weak and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid;
One who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat,
And humble, and gentle in victory.
Build me a son whose wishes will not take the place of deeds;
A son who will know Thee – and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.
Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here, let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those that fail.
Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high, a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men, one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.
And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, and the meekness of true strength.
Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, "I have not lived in vain."
(This reflection was written by General MacArthur, during his early days in the Philippines during the Pacific War, and was left as a spiritual legacy to his son Arthur. Made public after the general’s death in 1964.)
"By profession, I am a soldier and take pride in that fact. But I am prouder – infinitely prouder – to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build; the father only builds, never destroys. The one has the potentiality of death; the other embodies creation and life. And while the hordes of death are mighty, the battalions of life are mightier still. It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle field but in the home repeating with him our simple daily prayer, 'Our Father who art in Heaven.' "- General Douglas MacArthur about being a father to his son Arthur.