Sylvester Graham allowed his passion to become his highest calling. In the 1830s, he become a pastor and established himself as a fiery speaker. He became convinced that vegetarianism could cure alcoholism, so he focused on promoting a strict diet of vegetables. Later, he came to believe that carnal desires could be cured by eating whole wheat flour. He dedicated his life to convincing people to stop eating bread of any kind other than whole wheat bread.
While Graham’s ministry as a pastor bore little fruit, his passion for ground wheat flour lived on. Even today you can purchase a box of what Graham gave his life to produce. It’s his enduring legacy, and it’s named after him––Graham Crackers.
The legacy of Sylvester Graham was a cracker.
What will your legacy be?
In a culture hostile to godly virtue and spiritual character, any father who bucks the trends, lives out the truth of God’s Word, and shepherds his family deserves a standing ovation.
One Old Testament believer named Enoch made a radical change in his life after he became a father:
When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. (Genesis 5:21-22)
Enoch Walked with God
What does it mean to “walk with God”? It means walking in a way that pleases God. Each day we say, “Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I want to walk in a pure and wholesome manner. And whenever I trip up throughout the day, convict me so that I will confess quickly and get back in step with You.”
Walking with God does not mean we no longer sin, but it does mean we confess sin quickly.
When you take a walk with your friend, spouse, or child, you choose to walk in the same direction and at the same pace. Likewise, in order to walk with God, you agree with the direction He’s going and the pace He’s choosing.
Enoch walked with God for three hundred years. What an incredible legacy!
Enoch Abandoned Passivity
The text tells us that only after Enoch became a father, he walked with God. Something about becoming a father ignited his spiritual engine. He went from spiritual passivity about God to spiritual passion for God. He went from spiritual apathy to spiritual activity.
That’s true of many men. Becoming a dad sparks in them a renewed interest in God and the truth of God’s Word. Perhaps this comes from recognizing that someone is now taking mental notes on how they live.
Men, your children are always watching you. They love wearing your shoes and trying to keep up with you. You are indeed larger than life to their kids. Your children define father by what they see in you. Your life shapes what they believe about their heavenly Father.
Holding his newborn son, Enoch knew it was time to get serious.
Enoch Taught the Truth
Enoch named his son Methuselah, not because he wanted to embarrass him, but because the name had prophetic meaning. It carried the nuance of coming judgment from God. Evidently Enoch had received revelation from God that judgment was coming when his son died.
And that’s exactly what happened. When Methuselah turned 850 years old, his grandson Noah began building an ark. When Methuselah was 969, the animals arrived. And the very same year Methuselah died, the flood of God’s judgment covered the earth.
The world had ignored the warning. Except for Noah’s immediate family, the entire population of the earth perished.
Enoch not only gave his son a prophetic name, but after becoming a father, he also faithfully proclaimed the truth of coming judgment, as the New Testament book of Jude informs us (Jude 14-15). He offered an invitation to his world to walk with God.
Being a godly father requires that you speak truth and model biblical integrity to your children. You have been entrusted with a message that you must instill in your children. Your message is Enoch’s message: “Judgment is coming. As long as you are alive, God can save you . . . don’t wait.”
What is the Enoch example? It’s the example of a man who walked with God, lived with passion, and spoke the truth.
Even if you happen to invent a cracker, let me encourage you to leave behind the legacy of Enoch.