There is an old hymn called “Faith a Of Our Fathers”, that talks about how we follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before. Legacy is a large part of religion. Some people even say they are a Christian simply because their parents were; never owning it for themselves.
It is good to hold to the faith of our fathers, after all they are wiser than us, have lived longer, and are the authority over us. We are to love, respect, and obey our fathers, God commands it. They are a picture of our Heavenly Father. Fathers set the example, the mandate for the rest of the family. So, the father must be careful what he does and what example he is setting for his wife and children.
No man is perfect, many are far from it, but in such cases as the father has been negligent of his duties in the family, he can no longer be the standard to follow. A good father raises his children to fear and love the Lord. He teaches them right from wrong and instills the virtues of honor, humility, courage, and respect in their hearts. A good father sets the example of righteousness in his own life that his children may follow after his faith. The father’s faith is the child’s faith when the father takes his responsibility from God seriously and trains up his children in the way they should go. That commandment comes with the promise that when they are old, they will not depart from that way.
However, though having the faith of your father is a good thing, following the Godly example of your authority is not enough, you should claim that same faith for your own. Do nothing by half measures, if you understand the reason why your father trusted, then own this faith, this trust yourself. God is not a God of fathers and mothers, He is a God of individual souls. The faith of your parents will not save you. Nothing on the earth or in heaven can save you except faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Pastors and evangelists will often say in their invitations to come to Christ: do you want Jesus to be your personal Lord and Savior? Or they will say something similar when baptizing a person. If Jesus Christ is not your own personal Lord, He is not your Savior. He becomes Lord of your life, and then He saves you, not the other way around.
So, take the faith legacy handed down by your father and own it for yourself. But for those whose fathers have handed down only a legacy of abuse, of mistreatment, of neglect, anger, drunkenness and rage, or maybe you never had a father: your Heavenly Father sees, He knows, and He cares for every little detail about your life. Consider the lilies of the field, they do not weave or make clothes, yet not even the great King Solomon in his splendor was so richly arrayed. Consider the birds of the air who neither sow nor reap, nor take any thought to what they will eat or drink, yet your Heavenly Father provides. How much more valuable to Him are you than the lilies and the birds? You who are made in His own image, how much more He loves and cares for you. God is faithful, even when men fail. Your earthly father may not have always been there for you, but your Heavenly Father has and always will be. He’s calling to you, “Trust me. Come home.”.
Faith of our fathers, faith in our Father, let the legacy live on to be passed down to our children and their children until the end of the world. Jesus Christ is a rock in whom we place our trust. Lift the standard, live the standard.
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist