God Bless ‘The Strong One’ In Families!


There are roles that are being played out behind closed doors in many households that go largely unnoticed by the outside world. One of those is the challenging role of being “The strong one” when it comes to the emotional, spiritual, and temporal nature of a family. In my experience, this role can fall upon the mother or the father of a family, or in some instances, even a child. It is a very challenging role because it requires strength of character and determination to endure to the end. Ideally, this role should be shared, particularly between a husband and wife and, in some families, it is. However, often it is not.

“The Strong One” can’t become discouraged because if they do, there will be no one left who isn’t! They must not allow despair to enter their heart and they always need to keep an optimistic outlook on the tasks at hand. They need to have a soft shoulder and it is often used to comfort the needs of their loved ones. They find joy and happiness in the small things of life because sometimes the small things are all they have. I have spoken and shared thoughts with many of “the strong ones” whose courage goes unnoticed by the world and, many times, by their own loved ones. They are the forgotten heroes of the world whose strength of character holds together families, which are the backbone of our society. They make sacrifices on a daily basis in giving support and encouragement to family members while placing their own needs on the back-burner for yet another day.

Some years ago I was impressed by a snippet of dialogue from a movie called “The Bucket List.” The two main characters were both men in the hospital trying to recover from diseases that would eventually take their lives. They were men with families, one rich and powerful, married four times and estranged from his only daughter. The other was just a common working family man. The rich man seemed to be surprised by the intelligence of the “common” man. I was impressed by this exchange.

CARTER (The family man)

I wanted to be a history professor.

EDWARD (The Rich Man)

Nobody’s perfect.


Made it through two months of City College before Virginia gave me the news… Young, black and broke with a baby on the way, you take the first job they offer you. I always meant to go back. But…Forty-five years goes by pretty fast!

The reason this small exchange impressed me was because Carter spent those forty-five years in a job that he really didn’t want to do because he needed to support his wife and children. So this intelligent, wanna-be professor did what he had to do in order to raise a successful family. It would have been so much easier to pursue his own dreams and place himself at the front of the list. There are thousands of men and women who are living the same “strong” lives.

One thing I think you will find in common with “the strong ones” is their deep and abiding faith in a higher power. Since they have no one to lean on, they have learned that the best way to rejuvenate their strength is through faith. For many here in the United States that faith is based in the Lord Jesus Christ. The key for them in staying strong is having trust in the promises of the Lord as found in the scriptures and in the words of modern prophets and apostles. They find strength in obedience to the gospel principles as taught by Christ.

So to all you “strong ones” out there, continue to have faith in the promises of the Lord, and he will continue to sustain you through your life by giving you the strength to carry on. Unfortunately, “the strong ones” will not always be around. They are called home like everyone else. When that day comes, life’s situation will call upon others to step up and take upon them that role. We never know when that role may be cast upon us. Ideally all of us should be strong but many of us are not there yet.  But, let us prepare ourselves in taking on the  role of “the strong one” by fortifying our testimonies of the divinity of Jesus Christ and the grand plan of salvation! May we take the time, today, to learn of His word and gain the strength that comes to those who are the partakers of His goodness! And God bless those “strong ones” who continue to bless the lives of all those they come in contact with! Your reward will be eternal life with our Father!


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