Saturday, February 18, 2006


What is the value of family?

When I was a kid growing up in Indiana, my family and I would always make sure we saw the next Harrison Ford movie, whether it was Indiana Jones or Star Wars or whatever he was doing next. Funny how the guy whose films remind me of 'family' is now staring in a movie that asks the question: what is the value of family?

The short answer, according to Ford's newest film, Firewall, is at least $100 million.

The long answer is your life.

This movie is basically about a family (Harrison Ford and Virginia Madsen play the parents of two children) held hostage by a team of technologically-advanced bank robbers (led by Paul Betteney) who are planning to hack a bank's computer system to retrieve $100 million.

What struck me about this film is the lengths at which Harrison Ford's character would risk his own neck to make sure the family was safe. Half of the time, you just wanted Ford to go along with what the robbers were asking of him, just so they could get the money and go. But that's not what happens, and to make sure his life and family are intact, he makes a lot of bold, risky moves to save the wife and kids.

Defending the family is an ancient practice for fathers, dating back before Biblical times. St. Paul, writing to the Ephesians, says, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and handed himself over for her... Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord." (Eph. 5:25, 6:4). In a nutshell, St. Paul is asking husbands to do as Christ did for the family - to lay down their lives if necessary.

That is what Firewall asks of all of us, husband, wife, son, daugher, brother, sister, grandparents, uncles, and aunts, etc. - to lay down our lives for family, no matter what the cost to us, to our fortune, to our career, to our way of life.

In this day and age when families are divided and broken and hurting, we need a message like this. Family is so essential to who we are - it is a link to our past as well as to our future. And while friends may come and go, your blood relations will always be there, like it or not. God gave us our family to support us and to constantly remind us where we come from. We are called to defend, protect, serve and if necessary, to lay down our lives for each and every one of them.

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