Changing Your Family Legacy
The mission of parenting is overwhelming. As a father of six, with a baby on the way, sometimes I feel like my wife and I have all we can do to simply “get through” each day. It is so easy to lose sight of why God created our families! God has given you children so that you might do all in your power to impress their hearts with a love for God and equip them to impact this world for Christ. But it doesn’t end there! How often do you think about your grandchildren who are yet to be born? How about your great-grandchildren? Everything that is happening in your home right now is building a generational legacy that will ripple through your family for generations to come.
But what can we do if we did not grow up in a Christian home? What if we have had little or no spiritual legacy given to us? If that is the case, you may be called to be the turnaround generation.
One of the most dramatic family legacy transformations is found in 2 Chronicles 33. King Manasseh was 12 years old when he became King. As king of Judah he worshipped idols and told the people of Israel to do the same. He brought idols into the temple of God and practiced witchcraft. As hard as this is to believe, he sacrificed his own sons to his demonic “gods.”
Eventually, God brought great judgment against Manasseh, and he was taken prisoner in Assyria. His life came crashing down around him. Then the Bible records a great miracle!
And when he was in distress, he entreated the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. He prayed to him, and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God.
(2 Chronicles 33:10-13 ESV)
Manasseh repented! For the last five years of his life, he was a man on a mission. He tore down all the pagan altars he had built. He called the people to repent just as he had done, and to serve the Lord. Have you committed terrible sins in your life? Consider Manasseh, his sins, his repentance, and God’s forgiveness.
It’s possible that the person most dramatically affected by Manasseh’s repentance and radical pursuit of pleasing God was his grandson, Josiah. Josiah was only one year old when his grandfather turned from sin. From age one to six Josiah saw his grandfather worshipping God, tearing down places of idol worship, and pleading with the people to follow God and God alone. Josiah needed that example from Manasseh, because he would become king at the tender age of eight. Manasseh’s repentance blessed his grandson Josiah, and Josiah continued his grandfather’s mission to call the people of Israel back to God. Josiah became one of the most godly and important kings in the history of Israel – and he was launched into that incredible life of serving God through the spiritual leadership of his grandfather!
No matter what kind of family you grew up in, or how you have lived your life up to this moment, it is not too late to repent and turn to God. Your response to the grace and mercy of God and your commitment to love God and follow His Word, can establish a spiritual legacy that will ripple through your family for generations to come.
Dr. Rob Rienow’s most important ministry is loving his wife and partnering with her to lead their six children to love God. He is a pastor, founder of Visionary Family Ministries (www.visionaryfam.com) and author of several books including Visionary Parenting and Visionary Marriage.