But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. 2 Peter 3:18
Do you ever look ahead 30 years and wonder what life will look like? What will your kids be like? Who will they marry? Where will they attend college? What sort of inheritance would you like to leave for your children? In today’s society, we wrongly view success in terms of “likes”, wealth, power, or fame. I’m guilty of idolizing the wrong things at times. My priorities can fall all out of whack! You say, “Wait a minute, we are Christians and we don’t worship false gods!” Here is a quote from John Calvin: “Man’s nature so to speak is a perpetual factory of idols.” First John (5:21) ends with the warning, “Little children, guard yourselves from idols.” We’re in danger, Girl! Hello, College Game Day…
But God views success in terms of the heart. Moses says (Deut. 6:5-6), “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.” The idea of “heart, soul, and might” is total-person love for God. Every part of our being must be consumed with and subservient to this great quest of loving God. I need these reminders often. How can I move this paradigm? Let’s change the eyes of the world? Big prayers? How can I offer my family the best of me and loving relationships? Yes, as parents, we are called to protect our kids but Deuteronomy 6:2 teaches us not only how to raise up godly children, but also godly grandchildren. So our goal and prayer should be that our godly children raise godly children who in turn raise godly children. Well, that sounds daunting!
First, how do I create a godly legacy? Be the example. I have to ask myself what does my daughter see? Am I “growing in grace” as I was instructed in 2 Peter 3:18? We grow in grace by reading God’s Word. The Scriptures contain all the knowledge we will ever need to learn of God, His Son, and His Spirit. And we should teach them diligently. Deuteronomy 6:7 “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” “Teach diligently” in Hebrew means literally to sharpen or whet. Your teaching should penetrate your child deeply so that it has an effect on him (the NIV translates it “impress”).
Also, be consistent. Don’t be afraid to live your faith in front of your kids – all the great, exciting, difficult, and messy parts. They’ll see our faith is relevant. Share the stories that tell of God’s activity around you and of His faithfulness to you and your family. let’s start with ourselves – the best way to prove to your children the value and relevance of faith in Christ is to be a living demonstration of that truth. If we compartmentalize our faith or allow our priorities to get out of whack, they’ll “learn” that Christ really isn’t all that important. But if we make Christ central in our lives, if we diligently foster our relationship with Him and imbed God’s Word in our hearts, & “grow in grace” they’ll learn that life is all about Jesus.
So let’s constantly ask ourselves, what kind of legacy are you building? What things in your life need to be re-prioritized so that you can focus more strategically on training your children? Are you striving for earthly position? When you are gone and your children and their children look back at your life, what kind of priorities will they see?
Lord, We praise you as the authority over all people. Keep us from shrinking back from the challenges and opportunities you have placed before us. Strengthen us to boldly share our faith with the children you’ve entrusted to us. We know you are faithful to your word. Help us to create a spiritual inheritance for all of the coming generations.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.
“but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20:6 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Roberta Smith, Faith and Family Coordinator