Often times young men and women live their lives thinking only about the present and neglect to think about how they will affect the generations that will proceed from them. Given that, I think the words Voddie Baucham Jr. shares about the influence of Jonathan Edwards had for his family line should be an apt exhortation for all to live in such a way to bless the generations to come.
“Jonathon Edwards is perhaps the most influential American theologian of all times. Born in 1703, his books are still a mainstay in Christian colleges and seminaries…However, far to few people know the others side of Edward’s story. He was not only a remarkable preacher, professor, pastor, and prolific author. He was also a loving family man. He was devoted to his wife, Sarah, for thirty-one years until his death in 1758. He led regular family worship and oversaw the education of his eleven children. Moreover, his was a multigenerational legacy seldom seen before or since.
In 1900, A.E. Winship studied what happened to 1,400 descendants of Jonathon and Sarah by the year 1900. He found they included 13 college presidents, 65 professors, 100 lawyers and a dean of law school, 30 judges, 66 physicians and a dean of medical school, and 80 holders of public office, including three US Senators, mayors of three large cities, governors of three states, a Vice-President of the United States, and a controller of the US Treasury. They had written over 135 books and edited eighteen journals and periodicals. Many had entered the ministry. Over 100 were missionaries and others were on mission boards.” (Taken from “What He Must Be If He Wants to Marry My Daughter”, p. 24)
My verdict: Edwards was a boss. May the Lord raise up men and women who have such a legacy for the generations to come. Always remember, who you are today is the greatest indicator of who you will be tomorrow.