We are just one generation away from godlessness.
This sobering statement is unfortunately true. Last week we began a series on passing down a spiritual legacy. Today, we’ll see we must be purposeful in our efforts.
Consider the Israelites after they entered the Promised Land. For forty years, God showed Himself to His children in powerful and miraculous ways. He broke their bonds of slavery in Egypt, led them through the desert with His presence, provided for their every physical need, and gave them victory over their enemies in Canaan.
Yet, not long after the last battle was won and they had all settled down to enjoy homes they did not build and fields they did not plant (Deuteronomy 6:10-12), we read this sad statement:
After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what He had done for Israel. Judges 2:10, NIV
In the following verses, we discover that this “godless” generation completely turned away from God. Instead of following the One who had saved them, they chose to serve and worship the false gods of the surrounding cultures.
How did this happen?! What did their parents do wrong?
Their parents didn’t do anything. That was the problem. The only thing needed for a new generation to turn away from God is for the previous one to do nothing.
Inaction invited godlessness
The parents failed to obey the command God gave them when they prepared to enter the Promised Land:
7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:7-9, NIV
Basically, God calls parents to purposefully integrate our faith in God into our family’s daily life. As we get ready for school and drive carpool and do homework and watch TV, we continuously refocus ourselves and our family on God.
3 Things Parents Can Do
Based on this passage, here are three ways we can purposefully pass down a legacy of faith:
- Look for teachable moments – Use God’s Word to guide family decisions and choices in your children’s life. Pray with your children throughout the day for people and circumstances. Highlight God’s truth against what your family sees on television, movies, and in the world.
- Share your own journey – There is something precious about faith handed down from generation to generation. It’s a cherished possession not easily tossed aside. Allow your children to witness the personal nature of your faith. Talk about what God is teaching you. Share your victories and struggles.
- Tell your “remember when” stories – Tell your children about what God has done in your family, church, and community. We all have eyewitness accounts of God’s activity around us. Make sure your children know them!
What teachable moments has God given you recently? How did you make the most of them?