For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel as his own possession. Psalm 135:4
It is hardly a coincidence some of the greatest athletes come from parents who were great athletes. I watched a documentary sometime back called “The Book of Manning”. The documentary chronicled the story of Archie Manning, along with his sons Cooper, Peyton and Eli. Each of his three sons were great football players just as he was. While there may certainly be some genetics involved, there was also a lot of shared knowledge and practices.
The same can be said for the sport of NASCAR. We see the names Petty, Earnhardt, Elliott and Allison throughout the years of the sport. Was it just an accident so many sons and grandsons followed in the footsteps of their fathers and grandfathers? There was a great deal of knowledge and expertise passed along through the generations.
What is true in the natural world is also true in the spiritual realm. We find a certain expectation throughout Scripture that spiritual heritage will be treasured by each generation and transmitted to the next. One psalm actually gives us this context by saying, “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” (Psalm 145:4)
There is an expectation that parents will share the treasures found in Scripture with their families; that parents will share the stories of how God loves and deals with His people. There is also an expectation each generation will be interested enough to listen to what is being passed down and allow the Holy Spirit to teach them how God desires for them to live.
It has often been said the Christian faith is never more than one generation away from being extinct. This may sound like an alarming statement, but there is certainly an element of truth in it. There are cultures in the world today which were once considered Christian strongholds, that over three generations have become a post Christian society with the mission fields dark like a primitive society.
Do you realize there are actually other countries in the world sending missionaries to our country? Did you realize the United States is currently the third largest mission field in the world? It sounds crazy considering here in the Bible belt there is a church on every corner! How in the world can this be? What in the world can be done to change the current direction of Christianity in our society?
The answer to such a threat is simple — every believer who brings a child into the world should accept the responsibility of bringing them up in the faith. Each parent should seek to give their child a working knowledge of the Lord and His dealings with His people. We should make sure they understand the offer of salvation and the joys of being in fellowship with Him.
While no one can guarantee the next generation will come to faith, each of us can make sure they have the chance!