Passing the Baton
How to actively transfer faith from generation to generation.
A few months ago, I heard a song on the radio by an artist named John Mayer. The song is entitled "Daughters," and you hear it several times a day if you listen to pop music stations. It's sung by a man who can't seem to understand the woman he's falling in love with. While she seems to be interested in him, at times it seems she's unable to receive or return his love. At first, he figures it must have something to do with him, but then he comes to realize that it has more to do with the other man in her life—her father, and his failure to be the person she needed him to be when she was growing up.
It seems that at a critical moment in this young girl's life, her father walked out on her. That experience still haunts her, years later, sabotaging her ability to love and be loved. And so the singer reminds fathers and mothers to consider the impact their decisions have on the children who look up to them. Later in the song, he broadens his message to include more than just mothers and fathers. On behalf of every man, he says, looking out for every girl. He's reminding us that we're all in this thing together; that we all play a part in the development of the children and young people around us. What we do matters; how we live will mark the lives of those who follow us—for better or for worse. So let's be good to the children in our lives.
It's certainly not a Christian song, but it is a biblical truth. We learned last week from Psalm 78 that each generation bears a responsibility to pass faith on to the next generation. We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord so that the next generation would know them, even the children yet to ...
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Bryan Wilkerson is pastor of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts.