“Bringing up children is like working on a concrete pour, and as anyone who has worked with concrete can tell you, after forty-five minutes, you are all done. Time is a key element in this task, and after that time has passed, the thing is done.” Federal Husband by Douglas Wilson
“Tell me who your father is and I’ll tell you who you are.”
Every father leaves a legacy with his children-no exceptions. The only question is, what kind of legacy?
A few years ago , a team of New York state sociologists attempted to calculate the influence of a father’s life on his children and the following generations. In this study, they researched two men who lived at the same time in the 18th century. One was Max Jukes, the other Jonathan Edwards. The legacy that each of these men left their descendants stands as a study in contrast; they are as different as night and day.
Max Jukes was an unbeliever, a man of no principles. His wife also lived and died in unbelief. What kind of lasting influence did he leave his family? Among the 1,200 known descendants of Max Jukes were.
- 440 lives of outright debauchery
- 310 paupers and vagrants
- 190 public prostitutes
- 130 convicted criminals
- 100 alcoholics
- 60 habitual thieves
- 55 victims of impurity
- 7 murderers
Research shows that not a one of Jukes’ descendants made a significant contribution to society-not one! To the contrary, this notorious family collectively cost the state of New York $1,200,000. Not much of a legacy.
What about the family of Jonathan Edwards? Regarded as the most brilliant mind America ever produced, Edwards was a noted pastor and astute theologian. This renowned scholar was the instrument of God used to bring about the Great Awakening in colonial America. Later, he served as the president of Princeton College.
Jonathan Edwards came from a godly heritage and married Sarah, a woman of great faith. Together, they sought to leave an entirely different kind of legacy. Among his male descendants were:
- 300 clergymen, missionaries, or theological professors
- 120 college professors
- 110 lawyers
- Over 60 physicians
- Over 60 authors of good books
- 30 judges
- 14 presidents of universities
- Numerous giants in American industry
- 3 U.S. congressmen
- 1 vice-president of the United States
There is scarcely any great American industry that has not had one of Jonathan Edwards descendants as its chief promoter. Such is the lasting influence of one godly man. Now, that’s a legacy!
Excerpt from Leaving a Legacy by Steven J. Lawson
The great guide of the world is fashion and its god is respectability-two phantoms at which brave men laugh! How many of you look around on society to know what to do? You watch the general current and then float upon it! You study the popular breeze and shift your sails to suit it. True men do not so! You ask, “Is it fashionable? If it is fashionable, it must be done.” Fashion is the law of multitudes, but it is nothing more than the common consent of fools. – Charles H. Spurgeon
God’s dazzling display of sovereignty in Creation was a primer on His right to rule in matters of salvation. God, who commanded light to appear on day one of Creation, soon would order gospel light to shine in the darkened hearts of spiritually blind sinners. God, who separated the waters on day two, would cause an infinite chasm to separate Himself from sinners. God, who gathered the waters together on day three, would gather sinners to Himself. God, who created the sun, moon, and stars on day four, would omnipotently create saving faith. God, who began to create the animal kingdom on day five, would graciously send His Son to be the Lamb of God to take away sin. God, who created Adam and Eve on day six, would soon re-create sinners into His image. His free grace would perform the second Genesis in the salvation of lost men and women. – Excerpt from Steven J. Lawson’s book – Foundations of Grace ‘A Long Line of Godly Men’