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Nature or Nurture?

We all observe others and notice inherited tendencies and family traits. There is certainly a strong case for inherited tendencies. All you need to do is observe fathers and sons, mothers and daughters. The resemblance is often striking, and children mimic or imitate their parents quite readily. The Word of God reminds fathers to “bring them (children) up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4b It is extremely important to train young people at a very early age to live their lives in a way that pleases the Lord. The character traits that are exhibited by parents will often be seen in the lives of their children. Our current society is not concerned with training children and young people to live pure, righteous and God-fearing lives. So this task comes to those parents and church members who realize the power of a positive example. Paul reminded Timothy to be “an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” I Timothy 4:12

Jonathan Edwards, a well-known preacher and missionary, married a Christian girl, Sarah Pierpont, whose father was the founder of Yale. Jonathan Edwards’ descendants include the following: college professors and college presidents, U. S. Senators, judges, lawyers, doctors, army and navy officers, preachers and missionaries, prominent authors, public officials and a vice president of the United States. His descendants are said to have had a disproportionate influence on American culture. This was all for the good, I might add.

Andrew Murray, a Christian minister and writer, had 11 children. Of those children, five of his sons were ministers, and four of his daughters married ministers. His grandchildren included 10 grandsons that were preachers and 13 of his grandchildren married missionaries. Quite a family tree for the service of our Lord and Saviour, was it not?

Here lies the power of positive examples!

Kirk Piccott
Principal, First Baptist Academy

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