A godly legacy

May and June were always a time to do an age-graded emphasis when I served as a pastor. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, school graduations, senior adult day all fit well. I usually added a children’s musical or something that would highlight the youngest attenders. There is no greater need in our culture than to put the spotlight on the biblical nuclear family.

Just because the culture has rejected or redefined the family, it doesn’t mean that the biblical model is no longer valid. As a matter of fact, the Bible is the only measure for the family. Marriage is uniquely constituted by one man for one woman. A family can have biological or adopted children. Divorce or death might create a single-parent home. God can sustain those who seek him for guidance regardless of the circumstances that arise in a home.

I was blessed to have a mom and dad who loved me very much. My cousins and others would say there is abundant evidence I am spoiled, having been an only child. I grew up in a Christian home. We had prayer, Bible reading, regular church worship attendance and sensitivity that the Lord was present in our home. My dad loved me unconditionally. I didn’t fully realize what I had until he was gone. Mother was the perfect example of a strong-willed woman who spiritually submitted to my dad. Time does not permit me to cite the numerous examples of how she poured herself into me.

My wife, June, is a wonderful wife and mother. I suppose since I have my mother’s strong will, I needed a soft-spoken encourager. My sweetheart is incredibly precious as she ministers to me. She has made my life wonderful. June and my mother are opposites in a lot of ways but they possess the same values that model Jesus for their children.

Third John 4 says, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” This is true in my family. When I look at our daughters and how they are raising their children, I have great joy.

Rebekah and Rachel pray with their children and teach them to pray. Hannah, Julia and Harrison memorize Scripture. While one mother is better at singing than the other, they both instill music about Jesus into the hearts of their children. Hannah has trusted Jesus as her personal Savior. She has been baptized. Hannah is growing in grace. Both of our girls married men who love Jesus. When I watch our daughters with their families I see June’s godly influence extended through our daughters.

June poured her life into our children. Our son, Nathan, professed faith in Christ when he was a young boy. He worships regularly, reads his Bible daily and has a prayer life. He lives a life free of drugs and alcohol. As Nate finishes college this December, we are praying for him to be in the will of God in every area of his life.

We are blessed with a wonderful family. I am so thankful for my mother and my wife being the hearts of our homes. You may not have had life experiences like me. Regardless, you can encourage someone who has ministered to you. By word or example you can share God’s standard for the family. The only hope for our churches to experience a true move of God is for our homes to return to the biblical model.

Join me this month in expressing appreciation to those who have touched our lives for Jesus. Although my mother and dad are in heaven, I can still honor them by living for Jesus. I can say to my wife, “I love you. Thank you for being a godly mom.” I can tell our daughters and son how thankful I am for their love for Jesus. I pray you will be blessed during this special time of the year.

Executive Director Emeritus
Jim Richards
Southern Baptists of Texas Convention
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