The Pattern for Passing the Faith

November 10, 2023

He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them—even the children not yet born—and they in turn will teach their own children. Psalm 78:5-6 NLT

This week a woman reflected with me on her journey of faith. She said she came from a home with no faith values and she developed a fascination with a young man in high school from a faith-filled home. “He was so different," she said with a smile. “I couldn’t be with him enough. We developed a friendship, and he started taking me to church with him. But my turning point didn’t come there. It came as I spent time with his family and saw how different they all were. I was falling in love with them before I fell in love with him. I will never forget spending my first Thanksgiving dinner with them. Before his dad prayed, his mother asked everyone to join hands around the table. She very simply shared her heart. “I love you all so much,” she said. “It is my deepest prayer that this family circle will be complete in heaven. That depends on our choices and following Jesus today.” Honestly, the thought that the kind of life they lived could last forever and continue with a relationship with Jesus—well, I never got away from it. I wanted a relationship with Jesus like that and a man and family like that.”

Today she and her husband (yes, that guy 😊) are grandparents of five. They have two married children, and she said the prayer of her heart and the work of her life remains passing on the vital faith in Jesus in every way they can.

The psalmist was giving us a pattern for it. Our personal relationship with Jesus is vital but not private. It is a faith to be shared, not only with our own offspring but with the people they bring into our lives. We have a great privilege and responsibility to teach them of God and His mighty works with such intention and priority that they get it. They understand this is the family torch; this is what they carry into the future for new generations, for children yet unborn. Christ in us in any generation IS the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).

Today is a good time to consider the people God used to put hope and a future in your heart—those in your biological family, and those who became family because of Jesus. That kid who hangs out with your son—he might not be a bad influence to drive away; he might be a Jesus-follower in the making if you have the eyes to see and the willingness to work with God.

  • Father, You are the author of amazing stories. May You open my eyes to the purpose and potential You have invested in the people around me and may I selflessly and purposely work with You in a chapter of hope and love.