I am at the farm this weekend and sometimes it feels like I am stepping back in time. This is the farm where my grandfather Oscar was born in a one-room log house. When my parents remodeled the farm house they left the original logs in the kitchen walls.
My sisters and I inherited this farm in 2015 and grow organic garlic on the smaller fields that surround the farm house. When we are mowing the acreage around the house and barns we can picture my parents riding their lawn mowers and loving every minute of it. When we dig our hands in the dirt to plant we remember how Grandpa Oscar was well known in this area for his sweet corn.
My brother-in-law Mark has been working to restore the 1956 Farmall tractor. Grandpa purchased this tractor in 1957 and it faithfully served him through his years of farming.
I have a new field to plow and I would love to recreate history and use the tractor with the disc to do the job!
Our lives are meant to be lived as living history. Our words and our actions should always be telling the story of what God has done in our lives.
In Deuteronomy 6:4-8 Moses calls for a wholehearted commitment from the nation of Israel and announces that their everyday lives are to become a living history of God’s commands, character, and blessings.
God, our God! God the one and only!
Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got!
Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts.
Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children.
Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.
Each generation is to pass down to the next generation their spiritual values continuing the heritage throughout all of time.
A family had a priceless family heirloom – a vase – that was passed down one generation to the next generation. One day, the parents of the family who had possession of the vase, left the teenagers at home while they went out shopping for the day. When they returned home, their children met the parents at the door, with sad faces, reporting: “You know that priceless heirloom our family passes down one generation to the next … well, our generation just dropped it.
As you think of your family tree can you see faith passed down through words and actions to the next generation? Do you see the living history of God?
You may be in a line of generations of believers – or you may be the first one. In either case, you have the responsibility to pass on the spiritual values of your faith.
Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power.Psalm 145:4
What’s stopping you from passing on your faith to the next generation? Maybe you are believing these 3 myths:
- Myth: It happens by osmosis – Truth: The next generation will not catch your spiritual values just by being around you or the Church. Yes, values are caught more than taught – but you need to be intentional about teaching the WHY behind the values with your words and actions so they understand why faith matters.
- Myth: It’s the job of professionals – Truth: Don’t think that you are unqualified because you don’t have as much knowledge as the church or Christian school teachers. You are a primary spiritual influence in the generation that follows you.
- Myth: It’s not worth the effort. Truth: Adolescence is a season of transition into independence, which can bring “push-back” and rebellion. Don’t let there be a spiritual vacuum in your home because of tension and frustration. Create an environment of love, safety and truth. Your young adults depend on healthy influence as they navigate to make wise decisions. (Notes from David Keehn, Passing On Our Faith)
A Living History
Here’s what you can do to pass on God’s faithfulness to the next generation:
- Pray for more than just blessings and protection for the next generation. Pray for wisdom in making good decisions. Pray they would know God’s love and live in the fullness of life and power.
- Be purposeful in creating teachable moments.
- Receive the responsibility of being a living history as a privilege.
- Even if you don’t have children or grandchildren you are not exempt – build a bridge to someone in the next generation. Your voice will make the difference.
Each generation must be taught who God is, and what He has done for all mankind.