The Multi-Generational Parent
by Andrew Linder
Published on April 27, 2023
Categories: Kids & Grandkids

The Multi-Generational Parent

by Andrew Linder

A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children. Proverbs 13:22

Question: Is it possible that we are in a sense parenting our grandchildren and great-grandchildren by the way we parent our own children now? Is it possible that our life and the decisions associated with it will have a ripple effect upon multiple generations to come?

If it’s true that the choices we make in our families today affect future generations tomorrow, then yes, it’s not only possible, it’s inevitable.

It’s amazing how much can be lost in just one generation. Take for example our own nation a generation or two ago, and consider this as it pertains to moral issues in our society today. In just the last decade or two of one generation, the pendulum has swung so far, more than possibly in any other time frame of history.

And we can count on it, that the ripples of today will seem more like waves in the future generations for our children and grandchildren. God’s Word has already told us this (2 Timothy 3). And while this certainly does not mean that we are without hope, it should raise awareness for us as parents.

When we only think about the moment we’re in, we miss the point of the bigger picture. The enemy is playing for keeps, and he knows the power of each generation.

Whether it be as a nation, a church, or a family, for us to ever think that we are the only ones whose lives are affected by our current choices is not only naive, but foolish.

So with every decision we make, we must also consider its long-term consequences for generations to come. We must ask ourselves the question, “How will this impact my children’s children and beyond?” Because our parenting will outlive us whether we realize it or not.

As parents, we can’t afford to just think in generalities. We must think in generations. 

We have to intentionally choose to be a multi-generational parent. (Psalm 78:1-7)

So what does a multi-generational parent look like?  

Here are a few ideas.

1 – A multi-generational parent relies upon the promised power of prayer more than on the power of their personal parenting.

2 – A multi-generational parent makes family decisions with both current and future generations in mind.

3 – A multi-generational parent is more passionate about passing down transcending and unchanging biblical truth than personal, generational, and cultural preferences (and helps their family recognize the difference).

4 – A multi-generational parent spiritually trains, consistently disciplines, and lovingly models a marriage worth having with the understanding that their efforts will often be reflected in their own grandchildren’s training, discipline, and relationships.

5 – A multi-generational parent seeks to bless their children’s children and beyond with a godly heritage more than anything else they might leave behind.

6 – A multi-generational parent protects those they love by dealing with family curses now so they don’t carry over into future generations that have to address or overcome them later.

These are just a few, although there could probably be many more. Based upon these few, would you consider yourself to be a multi-generational parent? And which ones of these things could you personally possess and change for the sake of your children’s children?

I love how Stephen Kendrick (producer of movies like Fireproof and Courageous) put it…

“When we’re speaking into the ears of our children, we’re also speaking into the ears of our great, great grandchildren. You will see in scripture that one generation’s obedience to God will bless future generations, or one generation’s rebellion against God will cause great consequences to future generations. All of us are experiencing the consequences of the sins of our ancestors, and the rewards of their righteousness and obedience. We need to be thinking in terms of our decisions, our training, and how our lives are going to affect 10 generations down the road.”

May I encourage you to expand the vision of your role as a parent and the longevity of its consequences? May I encourage you to stop and see the big picture? May I encourage you to become a multi-generational parent?

Proverbs 17:6 Children’s children are the crown of old men.

How could understanding this concept change the way you parent your kids this week?

Andrew is a husband, the father of four awesome kids, and a children’s pastor at a thriving church. He is the founder of GodlyParent.com and is passionate about intentional parenting and helping other parents and leaders effectively reach the next generation. He is also the author of the newly released book, Godly Parenting In An Ungodly World: How to raise not just good but godly kids through heart-driven grace-based parenting.

Feature Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

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