This author once read a testimonial from a father who lamented being so consumed with his career that he did not share his faith with his children. The result was that one of his sons plunged himself into a lifestyle of atheism, drug addiction, immorality, and other destructive behaviors. Multitudes of books and websites confirm statistics that people are abandoning church attendance in droves. Some estimate that six out of ten who were raised in sound fundamental churches become 100% spiritually disengaged once they become adults. Clearly, Christianity is in a serious spiritual crisis.
It is amazing that only one generation after the nation of Israel was miraculously given their prosperous “promised land” the next generation was spiritually lost. Judges 2:10-11 describes it this way: “…and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which He had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim.” Instead of following the Lord and His Word, “every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). How could this have happened after so many blessings and dynamic miracles? The answer is the older generation, and the men in particular, failed this generation spiritually. Their history was to be life changing and was to be instilled in their young people. God told them, “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life; but teach them thy sons; and thy sons’ sons;” (Deuteronomy 4:9). They were to make their absolute top priority spiritual things and teach their children God’s Word, including their spiritual history. When they sat in their houses with their families, walked or worked together, retired for the night, or rose for the day, they were to “teach them diligently” the things of the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:7-9). Unfortunately, Israel became spiritually lazy and neglectful in these spiritual responsibilities. The result was that an entire generation was spiritually lost and plunged toward eternal destruction. It did not have to be this way, either.
We who know the Lord must awake to our spiritual responsibilities to bring up our children, and grandchildren, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. With no excuses, we men need to “man up,” making this our top priority. Will you join the rank of the faithful who pass on their faith to the next generation?
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