A bold title to an article stated, “God Has No Grandchildren.” Most of us know that faith isn’t as easily bequeathed to children as a set of silverware. While children may keep inherited silver, they may not embrace their parent’s faith.
In Darryl Tippens’ book Pilgrim Heart: The Way of Jesus in Everyday Life, he encourages believers to model and experience the Christian disciplines.
Two statements in his foreword shine a little light into my soul and cause me to give further thought to this faith-communities’ part in ensuring that there is another generation of devoted Christians. Darryl Tippens mentioned in his book and lecture a probing question Jesus asked, “When the Son of Man comes again, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).
The second challenge came when during a lecture I heard Tippens give statistics from author Charles Williams. Because generations die off physically, faith is reestablished through new converts and Christians’ children. Here’s the staggering fact: In just 30 years of passive living, not reaching out to neighbors and not teaching children, the church could die in a locale.
Love for God is both taught and caught. Following are suggestions for parents who long for their children to inherit more than earthly estates:
- Be a “taught and caught” parent. Model Jesus and talk about your devotion to God’s Son.
- Act like God acts. Forgive like God forgives. Repent in your home before spouse and children when you do wrong.
- Kick the world out of your home. Make a safe shelter where children learn godly virtues. Sleazy seems to be the world’s motto. Look at the top titles of music that teens are hearing. You don’t even have to hear the lyrics.
- Read and tell Bible stories to your children and grandchildren. Memorize with them. Where do your kids get most of their Bible learning? Home should be their primary “Sunday school.”
- Talk about your faith, your struggles. Do your children know your salvation story? Share how you came to know the Lord.
The really good news is this: when God gives us a task such as “go and make disciples” he also equips us for the work. Pray as you grab hold of God’s promises and his hand because we have plenty of work assignments during the next 30 years — to assure that faith will be found in this community. This week, recycle your faith into a younger generation as you tell them about the holiness, justice, and loving kindness of God.
Index Card verse for week 23: “Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation” (Joel 1:3).