It Runs in the Family... Or Does It?


“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 4

The teacher asked her class to say why they believed in God. There were a variety of answers from “I don’t know” to “I just believe it”. When it came time for Jimmy to give an answer, he didn’t hesitate. He shrugged his shoulder and said, “It runs in the family.”

I was blessed to be part of that kind of family. I have vivid memories of my parents and grandparents kneeling in their living room with other believers praying for the lost in our city, and that their children and grandchildren would walk in the truth. While I am grateful that our daughters know the Lord and are teaching the truth to their children, I cannot take for granted that my grandchildren will embrace the truth simply because it runs in the family.

The apostle John is right—there is no greater joy than to know that walking in the truth runs in the family. I also know that it doesn’t happen automatically. It requires intentionality.

I remember my pastor saying to me when I was a young boy, “Cavin, you have a rich heritage of faith demonstrated to you through your grandparents and parents. But their faith can never be your faith unless you choose to make it your own faith.” It wasn’t long after that when I knelt in our family room at home with my father and asked Jesus to be MY savior too.

There are many who come to Christ without that kind of family legacy. If you are one of them, you have an incredible opportunity to establish a new legacy of faith for your family and the future generations that will follow should the Lord tarry. Grandparents have a unique and influential position to represent Christ to the next generations.

As I’ve already said, intentionality, perseverance, prayer and patience expressed through a life that is lived with authenticity, compassion and grace is essential. God has positioned you in this time to make much of Christ through your own example of godliness so another generation will long for the same kind of relationship with the Lord that you have.

Here are two suggestions for being intentional:

  1. Pray, not only for your grandchildren, but with them. If they don’t live close by you can still do this by phone or Skype.
  2. Speak a word of blessing over them when you are with them. Again, if you’re long distant, send a text regularly with a blessing or Scripture to encourage them and remind them they are valued, not for what they do, but who they are.

May God strengthen and embolden you for this grand privilege to lead another generation to know, love, and serve Christ. May you one day you have the blessing of hearing your grandchildren also say, “It runs in the family”!

GRANDPAUSE: “Nothing motivates me more to do all I can to bring my grandchildren to Christ than my desire for our family circle to be unbroken when we get to Heaven.” –Ila McIlvain

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Latest Comments

  • Is Your Easter Focused on Trappings or Truth?

    04.16.2017 16:22
    I agree and feel a sense of seriousness in what I teach my grandchildren. I use daffodil bulbs as ...


  • It Runs in the Family... Or Does It?

    04.11.2017 08:22
    I've been reading your book, Courageous Grandparenting over again. This weekend I was in Chicago with ...


  • It Runs in the Family... Or Does It?

    04.10.2017 16:19
    LOVE - LOVE - LOVE this message! And do I ever agree with your quotation by Ila McIlvain: “Nothing ...


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