“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” – Ronald Reagan
“Those who criticize our generation forget who raised it.” – Unknown
Every time I come through this section of Deuteronomy in my Bible Reading I am deeply convicted. The reminder that I am to pass on what I have been given is immense an unmistakable.
As a child, I was blessed to be raised in a Christ-honoring God-fearing home. My dad is still a faithful man of God, who serves the Lord in full time ministry. My mother is the godliest woman I have ever known, disciplined and faithful in her walk with the Lord. Growing up I can barely count on two hands the number of times I missed a church service. Those services I did miss were because of sickness, and even then I often found myself asleep on the front pew. My parents taught me the Word of God and they lived it in their life. Much of who I am today is because of their faithfulness and consistency in the things of the Lord. Ultimately, I did have to make a choice that their God was going to be my God too, but they sure helped me see that how great of God He truly was.
Now with four kids of my own, I am humbled and convicted that I have a great legacy to pass down. I was given something great, and I don’t have the right to just throw it away. I love my children, and when I look ahead to their future I see grand and great things. To accomplish that future image it is incumbent of me that I do right today! Some kids turn out alright by accident, but by in large children often immolate their parents.
It is not “others” responsibility to raise my children it is mine and my wife’s. I am thankful for Sunday School teachers, grandparents, educators, friends, and others, but I will give account to God for who my children turned out. “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.” – Psalm 127:4 I want to point my kids in the right direction and with confidence let them go to accomplish great things for God.
God instructs the Children of Israel in Deuteronomy six that they are to teach the commandments of God “diligently unto thy children”. He continues by telling them how to accomplish that goal. To teach the children what God had taught them they had to talk about these commandments everywhere. Every opportunity was supposed to be seized to communicate God’s truth.
If they failed at this mission than dire consequences would come. The danger was that one generation could drop the ball at passing on the goodness of God and commandments of God, and then Israel would forget. If they forgot, then they would be tempted to go after false gods, and the anger of the Lord would be kindled against them. All it would take was one generation failing the next generation by refusing to pass on what had been given to them. Each generation had to make a decision to serve or reject God, but so much of that decision was dependent on the previous generation doing their job.
If you have children, be challenged by the reality of this text. They are watching you, and are catching more than you could ever realize. What are you teaching them? Will they desire the Christian life based off of your walk with the Lord?
Unfortunately, there are many in my generation who have rejected the faith and turned their back on what was passed down to them. Their religion was a set of rules and regulations, and they never moved past the commandments to see the God of the commandments. Work hard today to communicate what is right, but also pass on WHY it is right. Help the next generation decide to choose God for themselves. Show off His goodness, His grace, and His blessings that have been showered on you time and time again.
Choose today that you won’t complain about the next generation, but you will do your part to reach them. Next time you are tempted to blast a young person for making a poor choice, instead take the time to communicate the truth of the Word of God in wisdom and love. Allow God to use you to pass on what you received to the next generation.
Daily Scripture Reading
Deuteronomy 5 - 7
“Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.”