Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
A family legacy that both touches my heart and makes me want to cry is demonstrated by my friend Debbie’s family. Through many generations faith in the Lord has been the heart of her family, the common denominator. Debbie believes that her great, great grandmother was the first believer who brought the family to the spiritual place they are today.
My paternal grandparents seemed to believe in God but it was never talked about. Likewise, my maternal grandparents believed in the Lord but they didn’t talk about Him much either. There was prayer at meals for sure, but for whatever reason, their Methodist background kept them private in expressing God’s faithfulness and love.
In my own childhood family we said two recited prayers: one at dinner and one at bedtime. We never prayed at any other time. Ever. One day a great aunt of mine gave me a book called The Bible for Little Eyes and I was fascinated with the paintings and stories in it. And every once in a while, my parents took us to church. But it was so seldom that we always felt uncomfortable in Sunday School where the regulars knew one another. And so that was pretty much all the God-talk I was offered as a child.
Another friend of mine, John, was not brought up in a faith minded family either. But he made sure the Lord is the center of his own family. Dr. John Trent has a ministry that reinforces families all around the world and God is using him to make a difference.
While I may not have come from a family where Jesus was talked about or loved, God put me in the family I was meant to be in. I felt very loved and treasured when I was growing up. With that love filled background, I came to Jesus as a teenager and that set the stage for my adult walk with Him as the center of my life.
And now, I pray that I have started the spiritual legacy for generations to come in my own family tree. I talked about Jesus with my children at every opportunity as they were growing up. All three of my children were saved early and rededicated their lives later in life. All three have been active in church youth activities and shared their faith with friends along the way. One daughter married a youth Pastor. Two children are not active in their faith right now and I pray all the time that they return to their spiritual roots. Because, after all, they learned all about Jesus as children and so they do know the truth . . . and I hold out hope they will not depart from it.
We must talk about the Lord and not keep our faith silent or reserved only for Sunday’s. He is who we want our children to copy . . . not the people of the world. Make sure your children know where you put your hope and make sure they watch you walk your walk. If your children are grown, pray for them, their spouses, and their children. Ask God for opportunities to speak about Jesus with your grandchildren.
Keep praying, keep sharing and use every single opportunity to share your faith with the people you love.
Lord, thank You for showing me the example of families like Debbie’s. I know Your plan is bigger than one I could ever imagine. I pray for my children and grandchildren to draw close to you all the days of their lives.
Trusting in Him,