The Roots of a New Kind of Family Tree

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If things are ever going to be different, somebody’s got to do something different.

Many of you have godly parents and grandparents and you are continuing the legacy of your forebears. Others of you are what some people call “first generation Christians.” Some of you are somewhere in between. Your parents are or were believers, but you have decided to go far beyond the “faith of your fathers,” to give your whole life to Jesus, and to train your children to do the same.

You first generation Christians and those of you going beyond the faith of your fathers are the roots of a new kind of family tree from the one you knew before. I believe it is imperative that you hold on as tightly as you safely can to your parents and grandparents and that, by all means, you honor them as God commands.

But you must also do things differently so that things will be different.

This is a tall order — a very tall order. Whew! It takes faith and prayer and wisdom and trying and failing and getting up and trying again every day. It can be done but it can be exhausting.

The first Christians were all first generation Christians. Except for the ones who were Jews, their parents were pagans in the truest sense of the word, real idol-worshiping pagans. No wonder God kept inspiring Paul to write them letters so they would know what to do when they got up every morning.

Homeschooling mothers I know have parents or grandparents who are faithless or lovers of money or alcoholics or child abusers or adulterers. I met a sweet homeschooling mother this year whose grandfather was a Nazi. She shared deeply with me how she has dealt faithfully with that reality in her heritage.

Every homeschooling mother I know has parents and grandparents who are sinners . . .

. . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:23

Whatever the “sins and the iniquities of their fathers” (Nehemiah 9:2) many homeschooling mothers are daily overcomers. When they have times when they don’t overcome, they get up the next day and try again.

You are not alone as you try to do things differently so that things will be different for the precious children you love. It’s worth the effort. I’m proud of you for every victory — and every attempt at victory.

Family Tree from North Dakota Farmhouse, 1937. Courtsey Library of Congress.
Family Tree from North Dakota Farmhouse, 1937. Coutesy Library of Congress.

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
Psalm 1:1-3






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  1. This brought me to tears!!! Thank you soooo much for the encouragement and reminder that I’m not alone in this. You’ve truly touched my soul! God has been having me study that Psalm for a week now. Coincidence? I think not. 😉

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