What is the most vital and long lasting thing you could accomplish with your life?

 

Extending that out a generation, what is the most long-lasting, significant thing your children could accomplish with their lives?

A cure to cancer? Leading a nation to peace and prosperity?

On this episode, we’re going to dive into what the scriptures themselves tell us in answer to these types of questions… and the answer might surprise you.

LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE

THE HOME YOU GREW UP IMPACTED YOU, SO…

 

Think for a moment about the home that you were raised in. What impact did the people and the environment of your home have on you?

Was it good or bad? If you’re like most people, you can honestly say that there was a combination — some good and some bad.

Some more specific questions…

Were you taught to have faith or did you come out of your home with a lack of faith?

Was it a positive influence on you long-term or a negative influence on you long-term?

Regardless of your specific answers to those questions, none of us would deny that the environment of our childhood home has impacted and has served powerfully in shaping who we are today.

 

HOW DOES THE HOME YOU GREW UP IN IMPACT YOUR KIDS?

 

Let us go a step further — let’s think about how the home you were raised in is influencing your kids.

Now that’s a step removed, a generation removed, but the habits, the patterns, the ways of thinking you developed as a child, growing up in your home are with you today, right? So how are THOSE things impacting YOUR children?

That’s not something we think of often, but it’s helpful to observe it because it points out something significant about the parenting we’re doing here and now. What is it?

The ways we are parenting our kids now WILL influence generations of our family, not just our kids.

That’s a bigger perspective, a bigger picture that opens up a world of thoughts and considerations that are worth digging into.

Parenting is not just about our kids. It’s about their kids, and their kids, and their kids, on down the line of our family history. For that reason, it’s imperative that we make sure that we’re focusing our parenting around Jesus and the fear of the Lord, so that our children are able to pass that on to their kids effectively.

 

GENERATIONAL PARENTING: WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE

 

Mindi and I were well down the parenting road before I became aware of what the Bible says about this subject… and from that knowledge I’ve come to refer to the concept as “generational parenting.” You might also find it helpful to think of it as long-view parenting. In our family, we’ve even referred to it as passing on a “legacy of faith.”

The point is that as Christ-following parents, we want to faithfully pass on our Christian faith, to the glory of God. We want the coming generations of our family to point others to Him as much as we want our own kids to point people to Him.

In this episode we dig into Psalm 78 verses five through eight… it reads this way…

He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers to teach to their children that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and 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, and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.

That passage has lots of “they”s and “them”s in it, so it can be a bit confusing. But to summarize, it’s saying that God gave Jacob (the representative father of the nation of Israel) the knowledge of His ways SO THAT, he could pass it on to his children, who would pass it on to theirs, who would pass it on to theirs, who would pass it on to theirs.

That’s FOUR generations of faithful people represented in the passage… and it’s not stopping there because four generations is all we should hope for. It stops there because it would be impossible to describe it through all generations. But we get the point…

A generational approach to parenting is about passing on God’s ways to the next generation — and it’s to be done in such a way that each successive generation takes the same task seriously and passes on faith to their children.

In our conversation, Mindi and I share some of the practical ways we’ve done that as our kids were growing up in our home. We also explain some of the mindset and motivation behind those decisions… and how we continue it today with adult kids and our grandkids.

I hope you take the time to listen. This concept can revolutionize the WAY you parent, and WHY.

 

Episode Transcript (click to open)

DOWNLOAD A COPY OF THE TRANSCRIPT HERE

 

015: Long-view, generational parenting (Psalm 78)

INTRO AUDIO:

Hey friends, welcome back to God fearing kids and the parents who raised them. Let me ask you a question. What is the most vital and long lasting thing you could accomplish with your life or that your children could accomplish with their lives? The scriptures themselves are going to give us the answer to that question today. And the answer might surprise you. This is God fearing kids and the parents who raise them.

MINDI:

Welcome back everyone. I’m Mindy

CAREY:

And I am Carrie. We’re glad you’re with

MINDI:

Us. Yes. And we would like for y’all to think about the home that you were raised in and what was the influence of that environment on you? Was it good or bad? I’m sure there was some good and some bad. Were you taught to have faith or did you come out of your home with a lack of faith? Was it a positive influence, a negative influence? None of us would deny that the environment of our home as a child has impacted us and who we are today.

CAREY:

Yeah. That’s just pretty much the way the world works.

MINDI:

Right. That’s just the way it goes, but let us go a step further.

CAREY:

Yeah. And let’s think about how the home you were raised in is influencing your kids. Okay. Now that’s a step removed, just generation removed, but think about the habits, the patterns. I mean, I can think about it. A lot of the ways my dad parented, I kind of default to that sometimes in my personality and in my tone and things like that. So I have to be careful of that. If it’s a negative thing and I have to be thankful for it, if it’s a positive thing, but think about your situation. And the reason we’re having you think about this is because our parenting is not just about our kids. It’s about their kids, because the way we raise them is going to influence their kids somewhere down the line, either good or bad. And obviously we want to make an effort to make sure that we’re adding Christ into our parenting and God fearing things into our parenting so that our children are able to pass that on.

CAREY:

And that’s a positive benefit to their kids. We’re going to be talking today about, you might call it generational parenting or long view parenting. We’ve even referred to it in our family as a legacy of faith that we’re passing on. And that kind of work that we do now is one of the ways we, as parents are going to have a long term impact in this world. And that’s not the point it’s that God’s glory is, is extended into the generations of our family, but it really is a thing that he does through us. So let’s look real quickly at what the Bible says about this long view, generational form of parenting mind. Would you read Psalm 78 versus five through eight?

MINDI:

Yes. It says he established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn and 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 and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.

CAREY:

Okay. Now that’s kind of a long passage and there’s lots of days and thems and he’s and all that in there. It can get a little confusing. So let’s walk through it real carefully. All right. So God gave his word to his people. That’s what it means. When it says in Jacob and in Israel, he gave his word to his people and they were to learn it. They were to obey it from the heart. So we can kind of picture ourselves in those shoes. That’s us. Imagine God gave you this commission to be his servant, his follower, and you’re to learn his ways. And he did all that. So that that generation, you and me would model and teach his word faithfully to their children. So that’s you and me passing on godliness and godly faith to our children. And then he says that the next generation, even those unborn would know it and live it out. So that’s your grandchildren that we’re talking about. And then he says that they, your grandchildren would tell it to their children so that we’re talking four generations down. You, your children, your grandchildren, your great-grandchildren, that’s what God had in mind when he outlines how this progression of faith should happen, it should happen through generations, within a family.

MINDI:

And I just want to say, there’s absolutely no room for any Christian parent to not talk to their child about how to be saved by Jesus and hope that they will understand and come to that understanding of what way they want to go. You hear parents talk about I’ll let them decide when they get of age, no way,

CAREY:

Or I’ll let them make their own choice.

MINDI:

Right? It’s just like saying I will let my child decide if they want to run out into the busy street when they become of age, while that’s ridiculous. Because when there are two or three, they’ll tole into the busy street and they’ll get

CAREY:

Killed, they won’t be around to make the decision, right? Yeah.

MINDI:

It’s as deadly to your child for you to do the same thing spiritually, and just hope that they will come up with the right decision about asking Jesus into their heart. When they’re of age, no, you need to clearly guide them and teach them from the moment they can start understanding your words. And even before they understand your

CAREY:

Words. Yeah. I think that’s a well-placed admonition. We, as parents are responsible to start this generational ball rolling, and we can’t assume that that’s going to happen. If we’re not intentionally teaching our children who Jesus is and why they need him in their life and what he does in forgiving and saving and sanctifying and all those churchy words that we hear. Now, the big question on this generational chain of faith, so to speak is why did God set it up that way? Well, it tells us right here in the passage, it says so that they should set their hope in God. We talked about that in a heart check episode, we did quite a while ago that our focus has to be on God himself. Our focus is, is to put our hope in him, not in all these strategies for parenting and all that.

CAREY:

So that’s one reason. Another reason it says here is that they would not forget the works of God. So our kids need to hear the works of God. The things he’s done in our lives, the changes he’s made, how, how we were before we knew Christ and how we are now, they need to hear all of God’s works. And not only do we hear that in the Bible, reading the story of the Exodus and Joseph and Daniel and all the great Bible stories, we have our own story that should be passed on as well. And it says also a reason God set it up this way was so that they would keep his commandments. So parents, we talked in a episode or two ago about a scripture memory. And part of that was a resource called a children’s catechism. It’s teaching our kids the truth. It’s teaching our kids the reality about God that they need to know and what his commandments are, his ways for living so that they grow up understanding these things. And then there was a fourth reason that’s on the negative side that they would not be like the stubborn, rebellious, fickle people of the past, who are not faithful to God. So there’s three positives, one negative. And I think of that negative. And man, that’s a motivator to me. I don’t want my kids to be stubborn, rebellious, fickle, people who push against the living God.

MINDI:

And also, as we bring examples of our own lives to our children, it’s also good to bring examples of other people around us, other people in our church, other Christians relatives to highlight God’s work in their lives. Yeah. Or to highlight disobedience or rebellion in their lives and to help our children analyze and to see, oh, look what they did. They really trusted the Lord. And, and look what the result was, or look at my cousin was really rebellious and look what happened. He was put in jail or, you know, whatever, always be bringing things to our children’s attention so that they can reason and analyze into discern God’s will for

CAREY:

Them. Yeah. How many times have we watched a video or a, a movie about some inspiring Christian person and the effect it has on us to see God’s faithfulness in their life. One that comes to my mind all the time is George Mueller. I mean, just the faith the man had and the amazing things God did. And they’re kind of like those heroes stories you read in the Bible, but these are people generations after the scripture was written and, and those kinds of stories continue in our day in the people around us in our lives. And we’ve got to be careful to share those things with our children as we go. So as we look at this passage from Psalm 78, do you see the four generations mentioned, can you see how it could represent you and then your children and then your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren. This is what I call a generational approach to parenting. You’re thinking beyond just what you’re doing today as for your children’s sake. And you’re thinking this is going to have a lasting impact. This is a generational legacy of faith that we’re passing down. Now. I think there’s a very important question. Once we see this pattern, why did God set it up this way? I mean, did you have any thoughts on that?

MINDI:

One reason he set it up this way, because one schools, it’s not the school’s job to teach our children how to grow in their faith.

CAREY:

Yeah. Even a Christian school,

MINDI:

Right? It’s not the government’s job to do that.

CAREY:

God gave governments a very different job of protection and kind of order in society,

MINDI:

Right? Even churches, Sunday schools, although they are teaching God’s word youth groups, that’s their desire and hope to teach children God’s word. And, and that is done most of the time, but there are support to your family, their support to your teaching. They’re not the main area in the way that your children are going to be taught. You need to be doing it at home.

CAREY:

Yeah. I mean, if you have the mindset, well, I raise my kids going to Sunday school. Why are they turning out the way they’re? Well, it’s not the Sunday school’s job. It’s your job. Sunday school is mind set is a support they’re to come alongside you. And we’ll talk in the next episode about what role Sunday schools and youth groups in AANAs, stuff like that play in your child’s life and how you can maximize that within your home for a generational passing on of faith. So the point of all this being families are the ideal conduit for the transmission of genuine faith. And they’re intended to pass it on through the generations that’s God’s plan. You might think of it as God’s plan of evangelism for the world. That’s really what he’s doing.

MINDI:

Another thought in that is the great commission where God says going to all the world and make disciples. You as parents, that is your job. You’re making disciples of your children. So in your own home, in your own home and what a beautiful thing, yes, you want to be reaching people outside of your home and telling them of the Lord and hopefully being able to disciple them, but just know that the higher priority as a parent is to be discipling your children, even though it is very important to be reaching those outside of your home, don’t think that you’re getting the job done of the great commission. If you’re forgetting about your children.

CAREY:

Great point. I think that what that does when we get that mindset just firmly embedded in our, in our brains and in our hearts is that we begin to see what happens, not just in a family, throughout the generations, but what happens in a culture, in a society and in the broader world when parents Christian parents do not obey this pattern. Okay. So let’s think about it. If you, as a Christian parent are not obedient to disciple your children and to teach them well, then they may not carry on the faith. And I say, may not because someone outside your family may lead them to Christ and praise the Lord. They come into the kingdom, but if you’re not faithful, they may not. And then as a result, their are likely not going to be believers in Christ, their children, their children, on down the generations.

CAREY:

It just gets harder and harder for those people to see what a faithful legacy looks like, because they’ve never experienced it themselves. And so the future generations of that family will become God hating rather than God fearing. That’s just the way it works. Now here’s the cascading effect because societies are made up of families and as the families go, so goes the society. So the influence and the prominence of God’s ways and truth are going to be less and less and less in the society. As Christian parents are less and less obedient to this evil is going to grow more powerful. Morals and ethics are going to wan in that society. Corruption’s going to become prevalent means anything I’m describing sound familiar.

MINDI:

Absolutely. If you look at our society, our families are falling apart. Families are falling apart in the church. And this is why, I mean, it’s, it’s very sad, but parents have dropped the ball generations be in the past. And we find ourselves where we are today, where America for one is not a Christian nation anymore. That’s for sure. We have missionaries coming to America. Yeah. Which is sad.

CAREY:

You know, if this podcast was called God fearing men and the families they lead, I’d be laying this at the feet of the men right now. You know, men, you’re the one responsible for this. If you’re a dad, if you’re a husband, you’re the one responsible to be leading your home in this direction. And, and just want you to think about that. This is a big deal that affects the world. So what should parents do if they find that man, I’ve kind of first off, I didn’t even know about this generational mindset. So I want to get on board with this, or I kind of knew about it, but I wasn’t being diligent. What should parents do now? Let me just say first, our next episode, we’re going to give you some very practical examples of things we did when we were raising our kids to facilitate this generational mindset and the generational passing on faith. But first we have just some general ideas for you here. First off, adopt a Psalm 78 mindset think and pray and act with the generations in mind, not just focusing on your children. Now that doesn’t mean you’re going to do anything less or more with your children than you normally would, but you’ll have ways of parenting that will embed it and instill it in their minds so that it’s passed on to their kids. Even more effectively.

MINDI:

Another thing that you would want to do is repent of your neglect, where needed and prayerfully break the power of a sinful past in your family or in your personal life repent so that God will forgive and then therefore cleanse you. And then you can start fresh and clean, obey this mindset as a parent.

CAREY:

And if you feel like the home you were raised in, or maybe the generations before you carried on sinful practices and God hating sorts of things, as a believer in Christ, you have the authority to break those chains. So do some spiritual warfare, pray asking the Lord to set your family free so that the generations to come can be free to know Christ and, and thrive in his presence.

MINDI:

This is also important. Communicate this Longview generational perspective to your kids regularly, as they grow up, help them to see the value of how we’re living in our family today is important because they will want to teach their children and their children want to teach the, you just, it’s just very valuable to give your children future perspective in all areas of life. It’s a beautiful thing. When you see your children doing it, like our oldest son, we hear him speaking that way to his four young boys right now saying the types of things that we said to him, he’s instilling in them a future mindset. And this is exactly God’s plan.

CAREY:

Yeah. And we, we used the future in conversations with our kids all the time. I remember you telling our sons, you want to treat your sister well, because that’s how you’re going to learn to treat your wife. Well, someday you would tell our daughters, you know, you want to learn this skill because you’ll need it when you’re married someday. You know, we’re always thinking about the future and helping our kids get a vision for their future. That is just saturated with God’s presence and his way of doing things. Another thing which I really think is kind of the overall mindset behind all of this, that we’re suggesting is that you have the opportunity to hold up this model of parenting as the most significant thing that your children can achieve in their lives. It’s not whether they become a neurosurgeon or come up to cure for cancer or lead some nation.

CAREY:

Politically, those are inferior goals. Folks, mm-hmm <affirmative>, you can instill in your kids a mindset that they have the great privilege and opportunity. And also the empowerment from God’s holy spirit to raise a godly family that can pass it on to the next generation who can then pass it on to the next generation. And this reminds me of those, those multilevel marketing charts that you see of Amway, you know, know where it starts with one person and goes to three and goes to nine mm-hmm <affirmative> and goes to, you know, 27 and gets bigger and bigger as it goes on. That’s what the Christian faith is supposed to be like, and it’s supposed to happen through families.

MINDI:

Amen. And that’s something that we have said to our children in all different ways that we want them to seek the job. For example, with our sons, I seek to seek the job that the Lord is laying on their hearts, but what’s most important is for them to be raising their children in a godly way to have a godly marriage. That’s better than being a rocket scientist, a brain surgeon, a influential teacher in school, or, you know, whatever it is that an engineer, it doesn’t matter if they were to succeed highly and get all their awards in their career. If their children do not know the Lord, we’ve said those kinds of things to help our children to see that this is what is most important.

CAREY:

And when you instill that perspective in your kids, it combats some of the cultural mindsets that we see in our day where your job has to be fulfilling. Your job has to be something that brings you joy, those kinds of things. I think those are worldly mindsets. I mean, it’s a bonus and it’s a blessing when God makes that the case, but our real job at home, our real job is focusing on providing for our families so that we can raise them with a godly attitude and perspective. It’s not about our fulfillment and joy. And so that enables your son or your daughter. Let’s just take a son for example, to be a ditch Digger, or to be a construction worker or to be cleaning toilets. If that’s what the Lord has for him, so that he can then do his work at home and raise a godly family. See, it’s not so much about career and about worldly success as it is about success in God’s eyes and this generational Longview way of parenting and thinking of it that way helps us to keep that framed in the right perspective.

MINDI:

Thank you so much for listening today. We hope you were blessed.

CAREY:

Yeah. And as we wrap up, let’s pray together. Father, I still remember the season in my life when you put this generational perspective of parenting on my heart and you made me aware of it, that it was much bigger than just what was going on between me and my kids and Lord, I don’t really even know the specifics of how to describe how that changed the way I parented. But I know at the very least I began talking about my kids’ kids and I began talking about future generations. And we began thinking together about the great work you could do in the world through generations of faithful Christian families. And Lord, I just imagine right now, if 10 families listening to this, got this vision and for the next five generations, faithfully transmitted to faith, to the, the children within those families, where that could be thousands of people, depending on how many kids they have and all the offspring Lord, we just pray that you would give us as your people, an obedience and a vision for this that would energize us and give us a dependence and reliance on you. That is, is just motivating and, and passionate and gives us discernment about how to raise our children, to seek your heart and to pass on that knowledge of the greatest treasure in the world, to their children, and then their children on, through the ages where we ask it in Jesus name, amen.

CAREY:

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