Recently, while touring Mt. Vernon, I read a wall plaque that mentioned that George Washington was keenly aware that as the first president, he would be setting the example for future presidents. With great vision, he was thinking of others and the consequences that would come from what he did.
Here are some examples of precedents that George Washington started (taken from Web.sbc.edu) as the first president:
– Established the Cabinet within the Executive Branch by appointing Thomas Jefferson Secretary of State and Alexander Hamilton Secretary of Treasury, a body that was not outlined within the Constitution.
– Supported innovative fiscal concepts such as the Bank of America and a national debt , which would be later adopted
o Introduced a policy of neutrality pertaining to foreign wars that was followed up until WWI
o Set the precedent for a two term limit of Presidents that was followed until Franklin Delano Roosevelt and then turned into the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution
– Established relations with Great Britain with Jay’s Treaty. To this day England remains one of our closest and strongest allies
– Established the tradition of a Presidential farewell address
The foresight and wisdom of President Washington anticipating the consequences of his actions on those who would follow him in office and for the country stood out to me in a big way as I thought about its application for fathers and their children.
I believe that if more fathers had a vision for the impact they have on their kids, families could be changed in a dramatic way. If fathers realized that they are being watched all the time, I believe it would affect what they are willing to do (or not do).
Fathers, when is the last time you asked forgiveness from your children or your wife?
Fathers, do your kids see you exercise regularly?
Fathers, would you children characterize you as a hard worker?
Fathers, do you kids see you addicted to any foreign substance?
Fathers, do your kids see you treating your wife with respect and manners, and love?
Fathers, when is the last time your kids saw you reading your Bible?
Fathers, when is the last time your kids saw you talking to someone about Jesus?
Fathers, when is the last time your kids saw you talking to someone from a different ethnic group or race?
Fathers, when is the last time your kids saw you cry?
Fathers, when is the last time your kids saw you worship?
Fathers, be wise and act like a great president and think about the precedents (examples) you are establishing by what you do, or don’t do.