Recently, I preached from Mark 10, a wonderful text that describes Jesus embracing and blessing the next generation in the face of His disciples, who, if they had their way, would have brushed off that generation. It’s an excellent opportunity for us to learn how to pass a blessing to the next generation. Here are my suggestions:
- be affectionate — the next generation needs a blessing, and one of the primary ways that we can pass on a blessing is by being affection. A great example of this is seen in how Jesus “embraces” them in His arms.
- be publicly affirming — one thing I love about this text is how Jesus publicly, in front of his disciples and everyone else, says, “To such belongs the kingdom of God.” That must have been affirming for this young group to hear.
- be teachable — if you aren’t willing to learn, if you aren’t willing to grow, if you aren’t willing to be worked on by God—if you rebel against His work at every turn—then how can you guarantee that you’re not going to pass a blessing to the next generation?
- be willing to serve — many in the next generation walk around with a squinty eye and a chip on their shoulder, dragging their knuckles, constantly ready for a fight, simply because they’ve been burned so many times they don’t trust anyone. By serving them, we exemplify the mode and posture of someone who is willing to help.
- be encouraging — Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way they should go; even when they are old they will not depart from it.” Encouragement is so lacking today that when people encourage someone, that person usually gives them a look that says, “Do you really mean that?” Encourage. Dr. John Gottman at the University of Washington says that the formula should be five-to-one for married couples–that is, 5 positive things for every 1 negative thing that is said.
- be loving — loving is costly, sacrificial, and it always includes forgiveness. The generation after us is making 1000 mistakes, because that’s what younger people do; part of a young person’s learning curve is making mistakes. Remember to love, no matter what.
I hope this helps. If you’d like to hear the message, check out our website here.