I have a married couple who are very dear friends of mine, I’ve known them for about 25 years now. I’ve moved many times since they became friends of mine, and a significant distance now separates our homes, but our friendship remains steadfast. Every time we get together is a joyous time of catching up and enjoying each other’s company. We all are moving towards the senior stage of our lives.
They were wonderful parents, and it seemed to me that they really took the time to invest in their children’s lives. Part of that investment was raising their children with a strong, sound foundation in their Christian faith. I don’t remember them having much, if any, real strife while their children were growing up. Both of their children have grown into wonderful, caring, productive adults who are married. And, they also have three granddaughters. We recently met them for dinner when we took a detour while on our way to Chicago to meet them at my favorite place to eat.
While we were waiting for the wife to join us, Jim & I chatted with the husband. I asked him how the children are doing. And, the husband skipped right over that question and went right to his granddaughters. His face light up as he talked about each one, including the newest who was born after the first of the year. After the wife joined us, the conversation drifted back and forth, but we did talk about those grandchildren again. They see their grandchildren frequently, if not weekly, and they are actively investing their love, devotion upon those little girls. The word lavish comes to mind, and I don’t mean lavishing those girls with physical things, but lavishing love and attention upon them. Those little girls are very special, and I think that they will grow up knowing how much their grandparents love them. I think that the girls in turn will take this model of love that they get from their parents and grandparents and spread it forward in future generations. All because their grandparents, laid the groundwork for them.
Even if we didn’t have parents or grandparents that lavished love upon us and modeled positive behavior, we can look towards a better, more solid example: God.
“But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.”
Exodus 20:6 NLT He, God, says that He requires two things:
1. Love God – Love Him with your whole heart, keep Him first, don’t let other things take His rightful place.
2. Obey His commands – Know what He expects from us, and practice those commands.
When we do these two things, even if we mess up (which we all will), God will direct our paths. I also believe what Wendy Pope said about this verse — that not only will we be blessed, but we’ll also be blessing our children and future generations.
How about you? How can you be an instrument of allowing God to lavish His perfect love on future generations?