A very wise Pastor-friend had this to share recently, he calls these his “devotional musings”. Emphasis, mine.
“There’s a pretty scary pattern you see repeated throughout the record of the Old Testament. The crazy thing is, this pattern has followed us all the way into the 21st century! The observable pattern is this:
A believer’s life with a “1st generation” encounter with God is typically marked by COMMITMENT. Their children’s lives, however, with a “2nd generation” encounter with God, tend to be marked by COMPROMISE. And then, the lives of their children (the 3rd generation), tend to have NO encounter with God, and live lives characterized by CONFLICT.
God spells out the big “WHY” like this in the Bible:
• The 1st generation (Joshua 24:14-17, 31)…
Knows GOD and knows His WORKS.
• The 2nd generation (Judges 2:7)…
Knows GOD and knows ABOUT His works.
• The 3rd generation (Judges 2:10)…
DOESN’T KNOW GOD and DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT HIS WORKS. (Yikes!)
So much COULD be said about this pattern (and SHOULD be said about it!), but maybe our biggest take-away today is simply this:
Though our children and grandchildren will never have the dramatic rescue some of us “1st generation Christians” had from the clutches of Satan and his world’s system, we must be certain that they are continuously witnessing and experiencing the mighty WORKS of GOD in OUR lives—and in their OWN lives!
Judges 2:7 says it this way: “And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had SEEN ALL THE GREAT WORKS OF THE LORD, that he did for Israel.” Oh, may we lead our children and grandchildren to experience “1st generation” encounters with our God!”
And someone asked HOW?
How can we make sure our children are continuously witnessing and experiencing the might works of God in our lives and in their own?
I’m so glad someone asked because that is a question from my heart too! Pastor Mark suggested three things:
1) allow them to see in your absolute surrender to Christ.
2) let them be a part of seeing miraculous answers to prayer in your family.
3) allow them to witness others being radically saved by Jesus.
Don’t assume that just because you, parent, are saved and committed to God that your child will be too. “Faith” and a relationship with God is not something our children inherit from us. Those things have to be “owned” and are personal.
We have to be teaching our children and we need to be a living example!