My little granddaughter, Ava, said, “Daddy, I want to build stuff like you do when I grow up.” My youngest son, Jason, is a children and youth pastor, but on the side, he makes gorgeous furniture and pallet-wood signs.
It’s a gift that was given to Jason by God, but those same skills were handed down to him from previous generations. My husband, Paul, (Jason’s dad) is a building contractor. Paul’s dad, Roy, was a master carpenter. Roy’s dad, Granddaddy Tom Cox was also a master carpenter. My grandfather and uncle were in the building industry as well. I love that we can ride around our city and neighboring towns and see their handiwork on buildings, churches, tunnels, and roads.
My oldest son, Jeremy, is also in ministry . . . and building . . . and in farming. A love for the land and raising cattle is another gene that’s been handed down from family members who came before us.
But the similarities from previous generations don’t end there. You see, Jason and Jeremy’s grandfather seven generations back was also a pastor—a circuit-riding preacher—and now my two sons are in ministry. I love the continuity of that.
One of my great-great-great grandfathers was a chief chaplain in the Civil War, and he and other family members have helped to establish and build numerous churches through the years. A favorite photo of my husband shows Paul high in the air working on the roof of our new church building. We’ve even worked on churches in Costa Rica as a family. I love how those things have been passed down from generation to generation.
It’s been fascinating for me as I’ve worked on our family genealogy to see how the gifts, talents, and interests of our ancestors were the same as what many of us are doing today. But none of those touches my heart like looking back and seeing how our faith has been handed down from generation to generation.
I see it in family heirlooms like my grandfather’s Bible and in precious church-related memories. And now as a grandmother, it gives me great joy to sit in church with my grandchildren. To see the torch of faith handed down to another generation. To hear those little ones quote entire passages of Scripture. To hear the sweetness of childish voices as they sing hymns and songs of praise to God.
I’m grateful for all the gifts and talents that those before me left behind, and I hope we’ll be as faithful to carry our faith and love of God to another generation . . . and another . . . and another.
Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. Joel 1:3