The story of these two families told over a century ago contains lessons that are more relevant now than ever.
Family number one. Did you know that the father of acclaimed New England reformer and pastor, Jonathan Edwards, was a clergyman? And his mother was the descendant of a minister? In fact, Edwards’ family includes 14 college presidents, more than 100 university professors, 100-plus lawyers, 30 judges, 60 physicians, over 100 clergymen, missionaries and theology professors, and some 60 authors. Throughout history, there’s scarcely been a great American industry that hasn’t featured an Edwards family member among its chief promoters. Such was the product of one Christian family reared under the most favourable conditions.
Family number two. Members of the infamous Jukes family couldn’t be made to study, wouldn’t work, and are reputed to have cost the state of New York millions of dollars. Their entire record is one of pauperism, crime, and insanity. From among their descendants, 310 were professional paupers, 440 were physically wrecked by their own wickedness, 60 were habitual thieves, 133 were convicted criminals, and 55 were victims of impurity. Only 20 actually learned a trade (10 of those learned it in prison), and this notorious family produced 7 murderers.
The fact is: if Dennis becomes a menace, he can poison the stream. But if he’s raised to be godly, he can bless an entire family, as well as influence the world for generations to come. So what’s the bottom line here? Simply this: as a parent, if you’re wise, you’ll seek God’s guidance every single day of your life.