Occasionally we hear about parents who boast that they are not training their children in any religion so they can choose for themselves without any outside influence.
I am reminded of what happened to the Israelites after they finally entered the land of Canaan from which they’d been “exiled” for 400 years in Egyptian slavery and then 40 more years in wilderness wanderings. The book of Judges starts out with two sobering statements:
“The Israelites served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and the leaders who outlived him—those who had seen all the great things the LORD had done for Israel.” (2:7)
“After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the LORD or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did what was evil in the LORD’s sight…” (2:10-11)
What happened? The parents’ generation had all these things going for them:
They’d seen God’s miracles during their lifetime and heard of those that their parent had experienced.
They had seen their own parents die in the wilderness because of their unbelief in God. (Numbers 26:64-65)
They had heard Moses’ dire warnings of what would happen to them and their descendants if they would ever “forget” God and turn away from Him. (Deuteronomy 28:15-68)
They had vowed solemnly to serve the Lord alone. (Joshua 24:16-27)
Did they forget to teach and train their children? Who dropped the ball? Why didn’t the torch get passed? Are we parents and grandparents diligent in our responsibility of passing on the faith to our children—through our teaching, our lives, and our prayer? What could be more important? (See Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children live in the truth. (3 John 4)