As I began my walk through the New Testament this year, the first reading was, quite obviously, from Matthew 1. I was struck anew with a sense of awe as I read it and the words came to life for me like never before.
Just last month, my wife and I had our third child (and Jonathan begat Micah). Because of this recent life event, fatherhood had been on my mind more than usual. When I read over is familiar passage, two things stuck out: our parenting doesn’t affect just our kids but also generations to come, and it matters whose you are.
We see it over and over again where one sin causes peril for generation after generation. Cain, Akin, Abram, etc., are prime examples of this.
The genealogies in Scripture should serve as a minder of how much our actions do matter for those yet to come. And when applied to parenting, this increases all the more.
My responsibility as a father to Ethan, Micah, and Parker is the train them for godliness. They will be most significantly influenced in matters of both faith and lifestyle by my actions, words, and training. That is a heavy responsibility, but a welcome one. God has chosen me as a father to these three boys. That in itself is quite humbling.
But He provides me guidance as I provide them guidance.
Through both Scripture as well as the example of my own godly father, I am blessed with a firm foundation on which to live my life as an example to my boys. I can rest in the grace God has extended to me and show that same grace to my boys.
My prayer is that they see that grace, respond to Christ in faith and do the same for their children, they for theirs, and so on.
Remember Whose You Are
When I was a youngster, the last thing my dad would tell me before I went out with my friends was, “Remember whose you are.” I knew the meaning of that quite well. He wasn’t just telling me to not do anything to embarrass him or my mom. He was reminding me to act in a way that represents the character of Christ. It’s one of the most vivid memories I have from my childhood.
Reading these genealogies brings that memory rushing to the forefront once again.
Something that seems as boring as a genealogy was comfort to me and should be a comfort to you as well. For we are to remember whose we are. We are bought with a price. Heirs.
We know who our heavenly Father is. Let us not forget that. We are His, and He is ours. And we are to pass that on.
Jonathan Howe serves as Director of Strategic Initiatives at LifeWay Christian Resources, the host and producer of Rainer on Leadership and SBC This Week. Jonathan writes weekly at ThomRainer.com on topics ranging from social media to websites and church communications.