Frances Price Baxter has been described as a salesman and a visionary. At one time he served as an elder in the church, but he had a lot of grandiose ideas, most of which did not work out. Eventually he obtained a divorce from his wife and abandoned his family – going off to marry someone else and showing no further concern for his family. The family never spoke of him.
According to some, that should have doomed his descendants to failure, maybe even justified them in taking to a life of crime.
But the son of Price Baxter did not allow his father’s wrongdoing to ruin his life. He became a preacher and eventually a college president. In fact, that son of Price Baxter served as the president of three different colleges (Abilene, Lipscomb, and Pepperdine).
Yes, it is true, some of us had better home lives than others. But the point is that things can be turned around. Price Baxter abandoned his family. His son decided to do better. He had such a peaceful home that his only son would later say that his parents only had one major disagreement of which he was aware. That disagreement was settled by a brief walk in the garden.
In a single generation the Baxter family went from the tragedy of divorce, to a level of harmony rarely experienced in any home. And in the next generation the Baxter family produced one of the finest evangelists of all time.
We have a choice. We can use our family history as an excuse. Or we can learn from it and do better.