Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
One Generation to the Next (Part 2)
We spoke last week about parents choosing and strongly directing their children into faith in the Lord Jesus. This is true and God's calling on all parents. We make choices of all kinds for our children yet we have abdicated directing them into faith. This has been a grave sin.
However the adage "you can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink" is abundantly true. Even though faith can be taught, it is mostly caught. They will catch it from my words spoken to them but mostly from my actions towards them and the people around us.
Dr. James Dobson tells the story of taking a drive with his small son and daughter. The daughter, a few years older, commented on a X-rated cinema as they drove past, asking if that is where "dirty movies" are shown. Brief comments were made about the sinfulness of theses movies and the issue was seemingly forgotten. A few nights later the little boy prayed, "Dear Lord help me not to go see dirty movies ... where everyone is spitting on each other ". Little ears hear many things.
The Bible speaks clearly about faith being transmitted naturally from one generation to the next in our everyday encounters.
"Fix these words of mine on your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk on the road, when you lie down and when you get up ... so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land ..." (Deuteronomy 11:18-21)
a) We are not transferring a religion but a living faith. If the words of God live in our hearts and minds we will speak about them freely and this will create life and faith in those around us.
b) Even though the bible story / prayer hour is important, it will be lifeless if the presence of God is not with us "when you sit at home and when you walk on the road, when you lie down and when you get up". Our faith is a natural part of life. We need to be naturally supernatural.
The most vital issue in transmitting faith is that we have to have a good measure ourselves. We must realise that my "inner level of faith" will determine my dealings with the outer world. We struggle with the outer world firstly because our "inner faith" is weak or non existent. Those great gifts of the Spirit, "love faith and hope", are often in short supply and we strike out from a place of hopeless confusion.
Our "inner levels of faith" are often completely depleted because we just don't have time. Let me correct myself. We have too many other activities - or idols - that steal our time. That time should be devoted to the Lord and our families. Some of these time thieves are: over demanding employers, ambition, non essential "friends" and social activities, sport and T.V. You are never going to get more time to love the Lord and your family. You have to choose. Joshua made this choice.
"But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, ... But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)
The single most destructive event in the lives of our children is the divorce of their families. Divorce is never only between two people. I want to read a large extract from Dr. Dobson's book "Straight Talk, What Men Need to Know, What woman Should Understand" (Dallas: Word, 1991)
Our walk of faith is more like a relay race. When we think of a walk we often think of doing it alone with the Lord. A relay race describes others who are dependant on us. Our fathers and mothers transfer the baton of faith to us and we in turn pass it to our children.
The danger in relay races is greatest at the transfer of the baton. Our greatest call in life is to carry that baton of faith for our entire leg of the race and then pass it to our children.
Date Added: 2010-04-20
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