January 30, 2023

Teach It To the Children

The far-reaching power of a Godly heritage; do we fully appreciate the potential impact of our daily testimony on future generations?

Psalm 78:5-6, expands brilliantly,

For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children…”

ReadingEssentially, a godly marriage of two ordinary individuals who want to obey God in the matter of child-discipleship will have an effect even to the fourth generation! Humbling, isn’t it. The future depends on our obedience. Makes marrying the right one take on a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?

But let’s explore this a bit more, using history as our teacher. You could look at the descendants of Abraham and Lot, and how the nature of both men’s choices impacted their offspring. However, the state of New York did a *study years ago on the five generations descending from both Jonathan Edwards (the evangelist who had such great impact during the Great Awakening) and Max Juke (moral degenerate).

Here’s just a few stats concerning the legacy Jonathan and Sarah Edwards left:

12 college presidents, 65 college professors, 100 clergymen, 75 army officers, 60 prominent authors, 30 judges, 80 public officers, 3 congressmen, 2 senators and 1 vice president. A few of the more famous of their descendents include: Mrs. Eli Whitney, Winston Churchill, VP Aaron Burr, Robert Treat Paine (one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence), Grover Cleveland, Ulysses S. Grant, and Edith Carow (widow to Theodore Roosevelt and mother to his 5 sons).

By contrast, the five generations of Max Juke included:

300 died in infancy, 310 were professional paupers, 440 wrecked by disease, 50 were prostitutes, 60 were thieves, 7 were murderers, 53 were criminals of some other kind. Many were alcoholics.

So teach it to your children. Who knows, the next revival may hinge upon it.

*the first site I linked recommends sterilization of individuals such as Max Jukes, a sentiment I do not agree with. However, I thought the stats were worth the link.

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8 thoughts on “Teach It To the Children

  1. This is very interesting. I wonder how many descendants of John and Sarah Edwards died in infancy? Since it seems to only hit the highlights of the offspring, and the lowlights of Jukes’ offspring, I have to wonder if there were NO good kids after Jukes’? and NO bad kids after Edwards?

    Im not doubting the truth of the statement. I believe it whole heartedly, however I think it would be better expressed through complete statistical information instead of what you have here. Since statistics can be easily warped to say anything you want them to. (and I do know these are not YOUR statistics, I have seen this before.) But if it were a complete comparison we might have a better case, less room for doubt.

    ANyway I agree…

    Mrs Meg Logan

  2. Well, one source for Max Juke’s offspring, (that I didn’t link to) said that the ones that died in infancy b/c of poverty and a harsh lifestyle (of the parents? I’m assuming). Yep, I wish I had better stats too, in any case, it’s still amazing.

    And, kids raised right can rebel but they usually return in the end.

    I’ve also heard generational studies of William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, they’re really impressive, and also the family of Hudson Taylor…if we kept track of geneology as the Bible did, wouldn’t that be awesome to see?

  3. Wow, those are imcredible statistics. Jonathan and Sarah Edwards left quite a legacy! I would like to read more about them, as from all I have read, they seem to be wonderful examples.

  4. This is exactly why I say that the greatest impact we may ever have in this world is through our kids. I don’t think we fully grasp the impact that we may have through our lifestyle and our example on our children. Those things that we do in the mundane have a chance to grow tremendously.

    Sheer numbers: If you were you have 6 children, and each of your children were to have six children you would have 36 grandchildren. If each of them were to have 6 children you would have 216 great grandchildren. You may not be around, but you would have the great grandchildren in number comparible to that of the size of a medium sized church. By the fifth generation you would have close to 8,000 offspring (bigger in number than many of the towns near where I live). Do you see the impact?

    Regardless of what happened to them, look at the quantities of children and the possibilities. You’re having an impact in your child’s life and they will do about the same in their child’s life. In labor (of children) your are seeding the next generation and those with the most children in the next generation will have an effect on into the future.

    This is why feminism, birth control, and the whole 1 or 2 chilcren per household thing is so damaging to to a society– besides the fact that it belies the selfish idea that the parents are the most important thing there is and lulls them into the concept that they only need to live for their generation, it is robbing us from having good parents passing on Western/Christian values to the next generation.

  5. MIN so right on about the robbing of future generations through lack procreation. Lets think about that for a second. If we only replace a couple, so two kids per couple, then in the next generation there will only be the same as there were when we died, those two kids marry and have two kids… hmmm if everyone is doing this then the population would stagnant and never increase.

    If each couple only has one child or none at all, then the population will decrease steadily, and there will be far more elderly than there are young to care for them.

    Frightening thought. If it continues in that way, population would decrease so that there were eventually only two people again.

    “Go forth and multiply” He says it twice, once to Adam and once to Moses. His will still stands, go forth and multiply. My husband likes to imply that this means at a bare mionimum we must have what is it?? four kids? to be multiplying not adding?

    anyway… I want lots of kids and I hope that they will have lots of kids, and when people ask my why I have so many I” just tell them I’m “taking over the world, Binky”.

    Mrs Meg Logan

  6. It is interesting, however…
    Children are a blessing not given to everybody.
    Children deserve to be born in good families, of two loving parents.
    It is not always so obvious to find a spouse that fits this plan when you are young.
    Hence – sometimes there is not enough time to have all those children you dream about…

    And believe me – I know, becoming a mother when I was 36 and 41.
    I hope that people who have many children are not too judgemental on us who do not. there are many reasons for that. Please think about it…


  7. Anna, sometimes these posts come across as judgmental, but so often we’re exploring what we want or what we believe is God’s best for us. Sure it would be wonderful if every family could have as many as God wanted them to have, but as you pointed out, it’s not always possible. And in that case, then you have the two God wanted you to have. Personally, the only emotion I have when a family stops at having one or two, is sadness, never judgment. And the sadness is usually triggered by someone in their mid-twenties who decides to get their tubes tied because two is “enough”. Not for health reasons or whatever. I know of so many couples that regret that decision later.

    I’m so glad you were able to have the two that you did! For you to have a baby at age 41 speaks volumes about your heart. My mom was 40 when she had me and the dr told her I’d probably be either deformed or retarded. Happily, I’m neither. But I would have been loved either way. All children are precious…

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