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Saturday, April 23, 2011

What or who is a firstborn son?

I have to start this blog in this fashion; in the form of an introspective question.  Incase you were wondering, here are some synonyms for introspective; deeply thoughtful, meditative, and/or reflective.  In order words before reading this blog further (untainted by my information), please first pause for at least a minute or two and think about my question below.  I heard a great speaker yesterday talk on “Get Real” (honesty), so let’s get real.  Writing down your answer to compare after reading may not be a bad idea.

Here’s the question, “When I say the phrase firstborn son, what comes to mind for you?

Okay, did this definition of a firstborn son ever occur to you?  Or to put it another way, do you see your firstborn son, or your brother, father, uncle (relatives), or friend who bears this title as one who fits this description.

A firstborn son is a legacy bearer, a protector, one who passionately embraces responsibility for others, one who endures hardship with resilience and integrity, and finally he pursues godly wisdom with vigor.

Being a legacy bearer is all about the firstborn son realizing that, regardless of siblings, the primary responsibility for the family legacy (traditions, values, etc) impacting and traversing to the next generation and more is his.  Yes other siblings have a part to play in that, but the firstborn son must be distinctly raised as the primary conduit.  The trickle-down effect on to younger siblings is usually sure to follow in most cases since they (younger siblings) mimic the elder.  Even if the firstborn son is the youngest child of the family, the paternal name and the values of the family are best carried forward by him since older sisters are most likely to get married and take on the names and values of their husbands.
ü      I have carried on the name and traditions of a Bambolo proudly.  My parents told me frequently that it was/is my responsibility to carry forward the Bambolo name, and frequently reminded me that my siblings are observing.  “Your younger brothers, and probably sisters (older) will do what they see you do.” they said.  Do you know who a (insert your last name here) is?  At ages 2 and 6 my children are already beginning to hear “You are a Bambolo, so this is who we are and how we behave…”.

A protector is a person who defends someone or something.  The firstborn son is prepared to defend the ideals, traditions, and most importantly individuals in his charge with his life where necessary.  The firstborn son is the “man at the city gate” who sees and knows quite well who comes and goes.  As a result he wards of those elements (people, habits, concepts, etc.) that are sure to cause destruction.
ü      In my role as the firstborn son for my family there have been many opportunities to adopt and embrace elements that were sure to destroy myself and those I seek to protect.  Some I fell prey to and battled extremely hard eliminate. But the security of my family is intact to this day because I have vowed to protect at all cost.

A firstborn son passionately embraces responsibility for others.  It is one thing for a person to “say” that he is responsible for another life God has placed in his care to groom and nourish.  It is another whole level for others around you to clearly see and comment on the excitement, infatuation, enthusiasm, honor, and delight with which you pursue that responsibility to care for those in your care.
ü      My wife (girlfriend then) fell in love with me initially because she had never seen someone so committed to the task of caring for his family regardless of how physically distant we were as a family (New York, Idaho, & Cameroon (Africa)).  Because I had not learned how to harness that passion, what drew us together almost broke us apart in divorce.

The firstborn son endures hardships with resilience and integrity.  First of all, some synonyms for endurance are tolerate, suffer, continue, and persist.  I will summarize the definition for you by stating it as “long suffering”.  In addition, resilience is defined as being durable, and integrity is certainly all about utmost honesty.  The battle to fulfill the role and purpose of the firstborn son seeks no retirement, let alone early retirement.  Until God decides to call you home, your family requires your sacrificial living and exemplary guidance. And yes, may I remind you, it will never be easy.  Let your guard down; you will pay the price.
ü      Beginning as a teenager and for eight long years, the flame of love for my family that I spoke about earlier had to be fanned with absolutely only one conversation a year at Christmas.  There were also years of denying my self a simple new pair of jeans, cap, shoes, or other luxuries my peers had although I too had the funds, in order to send my family much needed funds for survival where necessary.

A firstborn son must commit to pursue Godly wisdom with vigor.  In order to fully understand the position of the firstborn son, for those who bear this title as a heavenly calling, he must pursue a relationship with God and drink deeply from God’s word.  As definitive a covenantal relationship with God this position is (Exodus 4:22-23 & Luke 2:23), there is a deeper connection in understanding the nature of God that allows us to execute this role successfully.
ü      I possessed all of the components I have previously described as characteristics of the firstborn son in extremely good measures.  However, it was not until I learned and incorporated the scripture in true practicality that all of those components worked in unison and continue to serve me graciously well.

In conclusion, all of these components come together to make the lives of firstborn sons and those they impact very purposeful.  The lives that are dependent on him, as well as those he influences (male friends also) become lives of purpose because such a lifestyle is truly contagious.  Men of this caliber can truly impact a nation and realign its focus as a healthy society.  Can you see why Psalm 105:36 (referenced in previous blog) strikes at the core or our nations need at this moment?  Are the firstborn sons you know being prepared, or are prepared for such a critical position in your family, society, and your nation?

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