As a little boy, he grew up in a poor, broken family with a distant father and a mother who hopped from abusive relationship to abusive relationship.
By all measures of society, he didn’t have much of a chance to succeed or positively impact anyone around him.
Thankfully, his grandparents, on both sides, stepped in to help him mature into a man.
His grandfathers taught him about hard work and the outdoors while his grandmothers desperately prayed for him.
He saw what true love and affection looked like, in how his grandparents loved him and each other.
That’s not to say they were perfect. His grandparents made mistakes, and he found his way into trouble as any teenage boy will do.
When he was drug to church, he would volunteer to run the sound booth to sleep through the sermons.
As he entered adulthood, he met a girl, and they fell in love and married, and that’s where I come into the story.
Growing up, I didn’t have to face many of his challenges. Because my dad was willing to fight the brutal battles and break generational patterns, he laid a solid foundation for me to begin building my life upon.
The young man who used to sleep through sermons is now often the first to the altar.
The teenager whose dad didn’t show up at sporting events rarely missed one of mine.
The little boy who grew up in a broken home has been married for over 25 years to my mother.
It all began with my great-grandparents reaching out and loving him the best they knew.
A life changed, not a family transformed, beginning with a single prayer, but it didn’t stop there.
“Freedom isn’t found in a one-time prayer. Freedom is found in partnering our prayers and our choices to overcome completely.”
While my dad was saved as a young man, that didn’t mean the negative patterns he grew up watching in his family disappeared the instant he accepted Jesus as his Savior.
Over time watching the positive patterns he saw in his grandparents’ lives, he chose to pursue the positive rather than the negative patterns.
Thus, he laid a solid foundation for future generations through his prayers and choices.
I see my dad, much like King David fighting all the battles in his youth so he could hand a kingdom of peace to his son Solomon.
I am the beneficiary of my father’s prayers and challenging work.
Now’s your challenge. You might be the one who must do the hard work of breaking generational struggles through prayer and making the right decisions.
As one who has benefitted from that task, I highly encourage you to listen to Nike’s slogan and “Just do it.”
This isn’t only about today or tomorrow. This is about changing your family tree. This is about forever transforming future generations through the power of Jesus Christ working alongside you.
It only begins with a prayer and the decision to follow Jesus.