Daniel 7:9 refers to God as the "Ancient of Days." God has no need for sleep and nothing has been hidden from His sight. God has been God through every single day of your heritage. If you are dealing with some ancient ruins, He was there when they crumbled. He knows every detail. He knows exactly how you have been affected, and His expertise is reconstructions. After all, Jesus was a carpenter by trade. Nothing has ever been allowed to crumble in a Christian's life or heritage that God cannot reconstruct and use.
The Generational Effect
Psalm 78 speaks of multiple generations, each of whom has an opportunity to exert positive influence. No matter what atrocity has taken place in your family line, God can raise up a new generation of godly men and women. Your grandfather could serve a life sentence for murder, and your grandchild could serve God in a lifetime of faithful evangelism through which thousands come to know Christ.
Between every unfaithful generation and faithful generation is one person determined to change. You could be that link. Perhaps no one in your family was overtly sinful, but they were simply uninvolved in Christ's kingdom. Maybe you would like to be a link that takes your family line from an unfulfilling life of religion to a passionate life of relationship with Christ. Perhaps your prayer for your grandchildren and great-grandchildren might be a love for missions. Whatever it may be, you can be that link!
The Future Generations
You can be absolutely certain that God's will is for your generation to give way to godly children. I aggressively pray for my children and their future children. I want my children to learn how to walk with God daily through prayer and His Word. My husband and I hope to give our children this gift. I pray constantly for my children and theirs to love God passionately and serve Him fervently.
On the other hand, I am not naive to think we will not hand down a few unwanted characteristics to our children. I pray they also will be able to discern and reverse any negative cycles they see in us. God certainly blesses our prayers and our hopes, but to break cycles and provoke lasting change we must also be willing to deliberately cooperate with Him. Among the most treasured gifts we could pass down is authenticity. We accomplish little good when we tell of the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord but live lives inconsistent with His Truth.
The Choice to Be Faithful
The "Ancient of Days" is anxiously waiting to build a solid foundation that your descendants can live on for years to come if they choose. God is not asking us to rebuild ancient ruins by ourselves. He is simply asking us to be one of the tools He uses. God knows exactly what went wrong and exactly where the cracks are in the foundation. He was there.
Many people yearn to be part of something significant. We want to make useful contributions to society and look at people who do with an envious eye. Yet do we realize what kind of contribution we can make to our own family lines? I cannot think of anyone to whom I would want my life to be a blessing more than my children's children and their children's children. If you do your part for one generation, God will do His part for a thousand. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
This article was featured in ParentLife magazine.