A legacy is inevitable. You will pass things down to the next generation. Even if you don’t have much materially to leave behind, you will instill character traits, talents, hobbies, skills and more in your children and grandchildren. But how valuable will your legacy be? Will you leave anything that has relevance and benefit for this life and eternity?
The most valuable legacy we can pass to our children, grandchildren, and other children in our lives is a spiritual legacy – the legacy of faith in Christ. Although every individual must make his or her own decision for Christ, there are things we can do to create an atmosphere where faith can thrive. When we consistently show them the value and relevancy of faith in Christ, that’s a legacy not easily tossed aside.
God knew the necessity of one generation passing the torch of faith to the next. He even laid out a plan for us in His Word. When Israel was poised to enter the Promised Land, God – through Moses – told them how vital it would be to not only model faith to their children, but to also purposefully teach them God’s Word. (See Deuteronomy 6:1-9.) Knowing and obeying God would keep them right in the center of His will and blessing.
Do you want to foster knowledge and obedience of God in the lives of your own children? Here are four principles right from Deuteronomy to help us do just that!
4 Ways to Leave a Spiritual Legacy
1. Start with yourself
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, they’ll learn that life is all about Jesus. Don’t be afraid to live your faith in front of your kids – all the great, exciting, difficult, and messy parts. They’ll see your faith is real. Authentic. Relevant.
2. Give them God’s Word
In a recent survey conducted by Barna, 24% of Millennials (adults 18-29), said they were “skeptical” of the Bible. Almost a quarter of America’s young adults believe the Bible is just a book written by men full of stories and advice. We can stop this growing trend by teaching our children to know and love God’s Word. We must be purposeful. We cannot leave it solely to the church. Make a plan – have family devotions, read Bible stories at bedtime, play worship music that comes straight from Scripture, develop a family Scripture memory program. Instill God’s truth in their hearts any way you can! And “as you walk along the road,” shine God’s Word on all the daily circumstances of their lives.
3. Tell Your Family’s Stories
Share the stories that tell of God’s miraculous activity around you and of His faithfulness to you and your family. Weave them into the fabric of your family history. Don’t let yourself or your children forget! You can help them remember these God stories with spiritual markers. (See “3 Benefits of Spiritual Markers.“)
4. Stand Firm in Shaky Times
Trials not only work our faith, they can also prove our faith works. If you make the truth of God’s Word the bedrock for your life, when difficulty comes you will stand firm. An unshakeable faith in shaky times is the most effective testimony you can give your children. (Also see “6 Ways God Uses Trials in a Believer’s Life” and “Trials Prove Our Faith Works.“)
Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, friends, you will impact the next generation. What kind of legacy will you leave? What are you doing right now with your family to instill faith in Christ in them?
My newest book is coming in September!
Check out this Resource for a Spiritual Legacy
Do the faith stories of your ancestors inspire you? Do the heroes of faith in the Bible encourage you to live out your faith for your family? These 52 heart-felt devotions weave stories of faith and family history with Scripture, beautiful artwork, and ancestry research tips and techniques. Each devotional reading also offers practical spiritual insight to help you live out and leave a legacy of faith for your family. In Heirloom: Living and Leaving a Legacy of Faith, faith from the past will inspire you to live out your faith today in ways that will impact your family tomorrow.Preorder on Amazon Now!