Open In App

Upholding the Family Name

Growing up in a wild, Greek family taught me the value of a family name. Not only did generation after generation share names, the family’s reputation was based on the generations that preceded yours. You didn’t “own” your life choices. In many ways, the whole family did, and not only those who were still alive but also those who preceded and succeeded you.

It didn’t seem fair at the time. In fact, it seemed stifling. But when I meditate on the character of a generational God, the God of “Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,” I’m reminded of the practical outworking of what it means to have been adopted into the divine family of God the father, by grace, through faith in Christ, so that Jesus becomes “the firstborn of many brothers.”

All of us are carrying on a singular work of upholding the family name, and the family name is Jesus. Our modern, individualistic, technological culture teaches the young to follow the old until they’ve mastered the past, having learned enough to move on to something newer or truer. Family is merely a starting point, not a finishing line.

But in the church, chronology doesn’t make for superiority. That’s what so appropriate about Peter quoting Joel 2:28 to characterize the bursting forth of the church. The new work in Christ shattered generational assumptions. Even young men can offer prophetic vision. Even old men can dream of a future. And even the mouths of babes and Infants could establish praise.

Like what you just read? Download the NewSpring App for an even better reading experience. You can read, share, and bookmark your favorites quickly and easily from your phone.

We want you to have a safe experience while using our site.

Unfortunately, there are security risks associated with your browser. To keep you protected we will be discontinuing support to this browser. Please visit for a secure browser update.