Monday, May 18, 2009

If your children were to do "as their father has done"....

I'm reading through 2 Kings currently. And once again, I've observed this repeated pattern. As the history of Israel/Judah and its kings is described, there is a common thread that you come across time and time again.

King Hezekiah--"And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done." (2 Ki 18:21)

King Azariah--"And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done." (2 Ki 15:3)

King Zechariah--"And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as his fathers had done." (2 Ki 15:9)

The nation of Israel in general--"But they would not listen, but were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the Lord their God." (2 Ki 17:14)

The way that new generations make decisions is largely influenced by the decisions of previous generations--most notably their actual fathers. This can be both a good and a bad thing. The first two examples above mentioned the godly influence of preceding generations. The second two showed the sinful influence of preceding generations.

Of course, we do not believe--and the Bible does not teach--that godly, Christ-following parents will always have children who are wholly obedient to Christ as well. And vice versa. It is not as if God is incapable of raising up a godly young man or woman from a family that has no interest in Him. God can do whatever He wants to do.

But in general, it is undeniable that children follow in the footsteps of their parents. They see the decisions we make, the priorities we set, the words we use, the way we treat others, our attitude toward church, and our love--or lack thereof--for our Savior on a day to day basis. So as people who have been saved by Christ and who profess to have a serious love for Him, let's live lifestyles as parents that are worthy of being followed by our children.

If there was a written record of your family, and if your children were said to have "done as their father (or mother) had done," what would their lives look like?

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