How do we Influence Our Children’s Destiny?

“How to fatherhood verse of the week,” is what we like to call this one. Jeremy is going to take it here in a second and this one is how do we influence our children’s destiny? Now, I don’t know about you, Jeremy, but every time I hear that word destiny, I just think of back to the future where Marty McFly’s dad goes into the little diner and totally butchers the line to Lorraine and says, you are my density. It’s like one of the best lines in the movie. And then he’s like, what? And then everyone’s confused. So that’s when you fail a pickup line, if anyone’s who’s ever done that before, I have as well. But yeah, what would you say to this? How do you influence our children’s destiny?

Yeah, so one of the things that’s challenging about this whole conversation on multigenerational family is, it’s difficult to know how interconnected the future generations are to things that have been done in the past. Like how much am I being influenced by something my great, great grandfather did or said? And one of the things that you get in the Old Testament, because it’s a multigenerational story, is you actually have an opportunity to see a God’s eye view of the interconnection between the generations. How what happened to one matriarch or patriarch in the distant past impacts, a thousand years into the future. And I’m always fascinated by these. I’m going to give you guys one example here. So, in Genesis 29 you have this crazy competition going on between Leah and Rachel and their servants, who are all trying to have more kids than the other person.

And Leah’s goal is really clear in this competition, she wants to win her husband Jacob’s heart, but she’s having a really hard time doing it. And so let me read this to you guys and just… something just to ponder because this is not stuff we ponder very often, but if you’re going to build a multigenerational family, it’s definitely worth thinking about.

So Genesis 29 says, “When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he enabled her to have children, but Rachel could not conceive. So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, the Lord has noticed my misery and now my husband will love me. She soon became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon, for she said, the Lord heard that I was unloved and has given me another son. Then she became pregnant a third time and gave birth to another son. He was named Levi, for she said, surely this time my husband will feel affection for me since I’ve given him three sons. Once again, Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah, for she said, now I will praise the Lord. And then she stopped having children.”

Oh, I get chills every time I read the last line of that. There’s something deep going on in that final, and it’s all about what happened inside of Leah’s heart when she gave birth to Judah and why she gave him that name, which, sort of, means praise the Lord. Judah became… and you look at… there was all these older sons and there was all this stuff that happened with Joseph, but Judah became the line of the Messiah. And if you were to trace… If you were to ask the question, why is it that, a couple thousand years almost, in the future, the Messiah comes from Judah? You’d have to go all the way back to a moment in the heart of a woman who is feeling unloved by her husband and is having all of these sons and just wishing, so much, that Jacob would notice her and then finally has this final son and realizes that what she really wants is the Lord’s affection.

And she has this change of heart and Judah’s destiny from that moment forward, and this multigenerational family that’s based on Judah’s legacy, gets cemented, I believe, at this moment. I think that this is a clue into why Judah’s destiny turned out the way it did. And so guys, I don’t get how all this works. There’s no formula for this, there’s no magic. This is all in the heart of God as an incredible author and an incredible storyteller. But there’s something about the way that we live that is impacting the destiny of future generations.

And this is why, guys, I think it’s so important for you to take this seriously. What is in your heart? What is happening in your relationship with the Lord as you are raising your children and calling their destiny forth? I don’t understand it. Again, it’s not a formula. There is some way in which we are impacting the future. And I really encourage you guys, we got to take this seriously, we got to think about this. And I get really… This is a clue from the story of what was going on inside of the heart of Leah as she was having these boys. But yeah. Jeff, what are your thoughts on that?

Actually, I’m going to call an audible and say that’s… I got nothing. That was powerful. And so I think, just dwell on that, you guys. That’s the encouragement for today is, man, what would that look like to just sit, pause, and think on this reality and on this truth that, mysteriously, but truthfully, how you live now will impact generations to come?

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