“Wait a minute! I thought my kids were responsible to have their OWN faith in Jesus!”
They are. You can relax. That’s not what I’m talking about. Of course they have to choose to place their trust in Jesus, but the question is, “How are they going to get to that point?” THAT is where your responsibility as a Christian parent comes in.
In this episode I go through Psalm 78, and discuss how YOU are responsible, in God’s eyes, for leading your children to the place that they are able to have faith in Christ. It’s a generational thing, one generation passing on the faith to another.
Psalm 78:1-3 says:
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark saying from the old,
Things that we have heard and known,
That our fathers have told us.
You see, in the day’s of the Psalmists, life lessons, truths and parables were handed down from one generation to the next. That’s a phenomenal model for us. Knowledge of faith is to be passed on from fathers to sons and from one generation to the next.
Psalm 78:4 reads:
We will not hide them from their children,
But tell to the coming generation
The glorious deeds of the Lord, an His might,
And the wonders that He has done.
The Psalmist actually says that he, and all fathers, have a responsibility to pass the truths about God on to our children and their children. We need to tell our kids what God has done through our lives and throughout the history of the world, making sure that they not only are aware of these things, but understand them.
Psalm 78:4 continues:
He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel,
Which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children,
That the next generation might know them,
The children yet unborn,
And arise and tell them to their children,
So that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments;
So, God commanded the Psalmist’s ancestors to pass along the faith. THIS IS A COMMAND FROM GOD. Believing parents are commanded to tell their children about the mighty deeds of the Lord. It also shows us a generational legacy in the process of being passed on. If you look carefully at the passage, it speaks of four generations. The implication is that Biblical truths are to be shared on, and on, and on, never ending from one generation to the next.
So, I offer this challenge to Christian parents: When you think about passing on your Christian faith, your mind should be focused on your children. They should be the ones closest to you. But also think about the next generation beyond them, as well. As grandparents (even future grandparents), we have the responsibility to teach our grandkids’ parents the truth of God carefully and faithfully, so that they can teach it to their children – our grandchildren.
And we are to help in that by continually encouraging and helping them move in the right direction. We have a responsibility there. And that is God’s blueprint for how faith is supposed to be passed on.
When we think long-term like this – considering not just our children but our grandkids, great-grandkids, great-great grandkids – we see that our lives have eternal ramifications.
The best part of all of this is that we are not alone, nor unarmed. We are empowered and called by God, and strengthened and guided by His Holy Spirit, not to mention the wealth of resources we have from other brothers and sisters in Christ!