Impacting Future Generations
By Tammye Hamilton
I recently discovered that there’s a possibility some of my ancestors were actually on the Mayflower when it landed at Plymouth nearly 300 years ago. As I do research and gather information, it’s interesting to me that this amazing heritage was not passed down through the generations. I mean, that’s a big deal, right?
In the book of Judges we read one of the saddest passages in the entire Bible. God has miraculously rescued His people from slavery in Egypt and led them into the Promised Land. Joshua and his generation have died and now “there arose a generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work He had done for Israel.” (Judges 2:10)
After all the miracles God had done for them, they failed to pass down the stories to their children. They became like the culture and worshiped their wicked gods. Soon, their children didn’t even know who their God was.
As our culture gets darker and darker, it becomes more and more imperative that we make sure future generations know our God and what He has done for us.
A recent Barna study shows that while 55% of Americans still identify as “Christian”, only about 31% of us actually practice our faith. Barna concluded that 48% of Americans are what he calls “post-Christian”.
“In just two years, the percentage of Americans who qualify as “post-Christian” rose by 7 percentage points, from 37% in 2013 to 44% in 2015. Across the United States, cities in every state are becoming more post-Christian—some at a faster rate than others.” (The Barna Group)
Investing spiritually in our children and the children in our lives must be a priority. Here are two things anyone can do to assure future generations know our God.
First, introduce your children to the God who loves them.
What a privilege it is to lead your children into a relationship with Jesus! For years, Jon set aside one night a week to talk with the kids about their Bible reading. They had to come to the meeting, usually a meal out together, with their notebooks and 5 questions for Dad.
You may not be a Bible teacher like Jon but you can find the answers to their questions together. This can be an intimate time of learning together even if you don’t feel equipped. There are so many resources available to help you. And your kids will love that you are leading them!
Throughout your week, make sure you are focusing on the goodness of God in your lives. We talk about the big miracles and the little miracles we see Him do for us. We read about how He is moving around the world and we pray for the world to know Him.
Secondly, take your children to church and become involved in children’s ministry.
It’s alarming to me that so many Christian families do not regularly attend church. I understand some of their reasons but I feel they are robbing themselves and their children of necessary relationships.
If attending church is not a priority to you it will not be a priority to them and they will go elsewhere for community.
Jon and I have often been asked by parents if they should make their children go to church with them. Our answer is, “Do you make them brush their teeth? Do you make them do their schoolwork?”
No parent fears their children will grow up and hate brushing their teeth. The same goes for being a part of a local church. If you take them, even when they might not want to go, there is a better chance they will make this important choice for themselves as adults.
Also, look around for children in your life who you could take to church with you. So many people have met Jesus because a neighbor, an aunt or family friend took them to church!
No church is even close to perfect but find one that teaches the Word to you and your children and get involved to help make sure they understand we need each other to grow in our faith.
It is our responsibility as believers to make sure future generations know God and what He has done for us. We can passionately introduce our children and those around us to a loving and relevant God.
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds…teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.Deuteronomy 11:18-