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by Jeff Moran,
Bethel Missionary Baptist Church


About four years ago I began to research our family genealogy. I have always enjoyed history, so for me such work is a labor of love. In working my way back in time, from son to father, I have reflected often about the influence that family and upbringing have upon people’s life-paths and their spiritual heritage. From this thought and reflection I have concluded there is a paramount duty that every generation of Christians is called upon to fulfill.
“In the span of a single generation, such failure can start a downward spiral that will end in the spiritual ruin of those yet unborn. Lord, save us from such a fall!”It has been the duty of some generations to fight in world conflicts. Others have had to endure the economic hardship of a national depression. But the most important challenge ever faced by a past generation still faces us today: instilling in our children a love for God and a commitment to His work. Deut. 6:5-7 says, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”
Some might argue that the primary duty of a generation is to provide a better standard of living for its children, such as better healthcare, a higher education, or financial prosperity. These are certainly noble and worthwhile goals, but we must never forget that our foremost obligation is to glorify God and to teach our children to do likewise. In my humble opinion, this is the ultimate duty that a generation can face.
We are not so presumptuous as to think that the existence of the Lord’s church depends entirely upon us. Thankfully, the Lord has said that the gates of hell will not prevail against His church, and that He will find faith upon the earth when He returns. However, nothing says the faith He will find will be here, in America. We need not travel far to find communities that were once hosts to thriving churches - great soul-saving stations for God. Today these churches are only shadows of their former selves, if they exist at all.
How could this be? How could folks allow this to happen? Since churches are only as strong as the families who comprise them, I believe the answer lies mainly in the homes. Homes where parents were not heard praying or seen reading God’s word. Homes where children did not see parents depending on God to meet their needs or direct their decisions. Homes where parents did not provide consistent discipline and training for their children. Homes where children were not taught the importance of getting saved, joining the church, choosing a Christian spouse, and making a life-long commitment to serving the Lord. In short, homes in which God and His work were not given the preeminence.
In the span of a single generation, such failure can start a downward spiral that will end in the spiritual ruin of those yet unborn. Lord, save us from such a fall! Grant to us the grace and determination to serve you faithfully, and to make our homes the ideal spiritual environment for raising children who will do the same. With your help, O Lord, we can look with hope toward the future of our churches. Through your help, O God, we can pass along a spiritual heritage and fulfill our duty as a generation of Christians.