Thursday, May 19, 2016

Pass It On Or Pay The Piper

“If someone curses their father or mother, their lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.” (Pr. 20:20)

Home and family were God’s idea. The church in many ways is a reflection of this—God is our Father, we are children of God, brothers and sisters in Christ—family. God knows that faith and character are caught, far more than they are taught. When the family is healthy, when mom and dad love the Lord, one another and their children—blessing flows in that home. Children grow up loved, whole (without harmful baggage), emotionally sturdy, disciplined and equipped to walk uprightly through life. But when the home breaks down, when mom or dad do not love (love is a verb by the way, not an emotion) God or each other—the odds of a child growing up whole, disciplined and equipped to walk uprightly through life—are overwhelmingly diminished.

And guess what? If generation number two doesn’t receive it from their parents, the odds of them being able to pass it on to the next generation are even more diminished. And so in this way the scripture that speaks of the sins of a father being passed from one generation to the next is fulfilled (Ex. 34:7)

My Grandma Rachel was spot on when she said, “The nation will never rise any higher than the home.”  It’s one of those self-evident statements that should be common sense, and yet, as I’m sure you know—“common sense” isn’t all that common. If the home breaks down—kids lose. And if kids lose the third generation all but has no chance. This is why an entire nation can move from greatness to depravity within three to four generations. It’s happened a million times over in history. And so the proverb writer says, “If someone curses their father or mother, their lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.”  Woven inseparably into this statement is a worldview that assumes moms and dads love God and one another. And from that vantage point the writer exhorts us saying, “Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.” (Pr. 20:20, 21st Century KJV) Translation—if faith and godly character are not passed on from one generation to the next—within just a few short generations—that culture will grow very dark indeed!

The Apostle John writes, “…if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7) It’s hard to walk in the light if you cursed the people who are trying to pass it on to you… or if they neglect trying to pass it on. This is why we say, “Christianity (and any culture) is only one generation from extinction.” If faith and values are not intentionally passed on and graciously received—they die, and the next generation reaps the rotten fruit of that travesty.

So, live for Jesus! Shine brightly for Him—be the light of the world Jesus calls you to be. If you are married—love your spouse today—if you have kids—loving your spouse is one of the greatest things you’ll ever do for your kids—it’s an essential example that they desperately need to experience firsthand. And of course—love your kids! Take to heart these words of Moses:

“Place these words (God’s Commands) on your hearts. Get them deep inside you. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder. Teach them to 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 until you fall into bed at night. Inscribe them on the doorposts and gates of your cities so that you’ll live a long time, and your children with you, on the soil that GOD promised to give your ancestors for as long as there is a sky over the Earth.” (Dt. 11:18-21, The Msg.)

Pass it on!

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Until next time...