Sometimes, as parents, it feels like simply surviving until the end of the day is the pinnacle of success. The daily demands of family life can be overwhelming and it is easy to become discouraged. I want to encourage you to shift your focus from the chaos and pressures in your life right now, and turn your attention to the future generations of your family. Specifically, I want to encourage you to think about how the future generations of your family can make a difference in the world for Jesus.
We find an amazing vision for multi-generational faith in Psalm 78. Consider these words written by a man named Asaph, who served with King David. In verse 4, he writes:
[We will] tell the coming generations the glorious deeds of the LORD, and His might, and the wonders He has done.
God calls parents and grandparents to tell our children about the great things God has done. Have you told your children your salvation story? Have you shared with them about the times in your life when God showed His love to you through provision, protection, healing, and hope? You can also tell your children of the great works of God in the pages of Scripture. The psalm continues in verse 5:
He commanded our fathers to teach their children, that the next generation might know them, [even] the children yet unborn.
Leading your children to know and love God does not stop with them. They can then share about the greatness of God with your unborn grandchildren! When you nurture faith in your children today, you are equipping them to lead your grandchildren to Jesus in the future. But now things get super exciting. Look at verses 6-7:
[and they might] arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.
Now God calls us to think about the ministry of our unborn grandchildren! They will arise and tell our unborn great-grandchildren the great and glorious deeds of the Lord, so that they (our unborn great-grandchildren) will set their hope in God. Parents, when was the last time you thought about the faith and impact of your unborn great-grandchildren?
When we have this Kingdom-driven, multi-generational vision for our families, it powerfully changes our parenting in the here and now. We recognize that the spiritual investment that we are making in our children is not just for them. We can put our current struggles and suffering in the context of God’s plan for the future generations of our family and how He will use them to spread His glory to the nations.
Here are some specific ways to cultivate this multi-generational vision in your home:
- During your family prayer time, pray for your unborn grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Pray that they would love the Lord with all their hearts and participate in His mission to the peoples of the world.
- Share this multi-generational vision with your children. Look them in the eyes and tell them your prayer and hope that they love and follow Jesus, and that they would lead their children to love and follow Jesus too.
- Tell your children the “God stories” that come from your family tree. Are you the first believer in your family? Tell your children the miracle story of your conversion. Do you come from a long line of faithful Christians? Tell your children the stories of how God used members of your family to make a difference in the world for Him, and how God is now inviting them to serve Him too.