A Godly Legacy
As a father I often think about what am I passing down to my children, what am I leaving them with that they will pass on to their children. The Bible says in Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord..the word heritage is the same word legacy or inheritance, something that was or can be passed from one person to another. A few years ago I was reading the Word and came across Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. I stopped and thought on that verse and asked the Lord about a number of people I’ve seen that were brought up in church, their parents were God fearing but their children, all of whom are now adults ran from the Lord and are no longer serving God. I know the Word is true but I wondered how does this happen? Yes, I know there are a number of things that people may say contribute to a person no longer walking with the Lord but really most of the answer to that question is in this verse. While I don’t know the whole story of all those individuals, there were some observations made and as I was thinking back on this, the Lord spoke to my heart and said - If it’s not important enough for you to share with your children do not think it will be important to them when they are older. I knew exactly what the Lord was saying, he was specifically referring to the things of God.
In today’s culture, parents are always on the go, whether that is for work, taking the kids to sport practices, school events, etc. It’s very easy to get very busy and consumed with the day to day responsibilities of parenting but every now and then we need to do a check up on our priorities. Running our kids around the city from one thing to the next, taking them to the park and going to the movies are all fun and good but it’s not the same thing as “training up a child in the way they should go”. Seeing the latest Marvel Super Hero movie may be fun but won’t teach our kids how to be a man or woman of God like learning about Bible heroes will. The point I am making is that sitting down and talking to our kids about the things of God should be done on a regular basis and should become a priority. Understand that this is not meant to condemn parents but challenge all of us to come up to a greater level in Godly parenting.
1 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV) says. For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive.. I know everyone did not grow up the same way, many come from broken homes or did not have a mother or father that taught them in the ways of God. That’s why it’s important to be involved in a church family and surround ourselves with elders that have more wisdom and experience than we do. This type of wisdom and experience is what I received. I had something to draw on, something that was passed down to me, something that was deposited into my life growing up. In Genesis 18 starting in verse 17 it says.. (KJV) And the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, 18 since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord…
There is a lot in these verses but what is obvious is that God could trust Abraham because he knew Abraham would train his children in the ways of God. Now this requires time and sacrifice. My parents were born again when I was pretty young but I was still old enough to see and realize the transformation first hand, prior to them being born again we never went to church, I didn’t even know about God until my parents were saved. I recall shortly after my parents were born again, specifically my father, besides leading us to attend church, would regularly bring us together as a family and we would read the Word of God, he would talk to us about what the Lord was saying. He would gather us to pray and to worship the Lord together. My mother would have my sister and I memorize and meditate on different scriptures like Psalm 91 among others. The Word of God wasn’t just a book it became what we lived by, our lifestyle changed and The Lord became real to us because of these things. Looking back they could have easily just taken us to church and let the church do all our spiritual training. But I don’t believe, in fact I know a couple hours a week at church hearing someone else teach us without having the Word being reinforced at home would not have produced the same long lasting results. During this period of my life I am not sure they were even aware what they were doing, but they were creating a legacy, a heritage, an inheritance was being passed down. Now that my wife and I have children of our own the Lord has helped us to value this inheritance. In Deuteronomy 4 The Lord commands Israel saying..
(KJV) 9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but TEACH them THY sons, and THY sons' sons; 10 Specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that THEY may TEACH THEIR children.
You can see that the Lord commands us as parents, and I believe more specifically Fathers based on other scripture throughout the word, to teach our own children, it's OUR responsibility not solely the church or christian schooling. They need to see us taking the time to read the Word with them, praying and worshipping the Lord as a family, they should be regularly hearing what God has done for us and what he has helped us overcome. He says it again in chapter 11 verse 19 (NIV) TEACH them to YOUR children, talking about them when YOU sit at home and when YOU walk along the road, when YOU lie down and when YOU get up.
The Lord would not have specifically instructed them to do this unless the success of the next generation depended on them obeying these commands. It’s no different today, you don’t have to be blind to see that the current generation is suffering because men have failed to follow God’s commands concerning their children. I know I have made mistakes in this area myself and there are things the Lord is always showing me I need to do a better job of. I know every person’s situation is not the same, you may be divorced and hardly see your children, maybe your kids are already grown but that doesn’t mean you can no longer influence them or have a positive Godly effect on their lives. There is something you can do if your kids are still young and you only get to talk to your kids on the phone-then read the Word of God with them, pray with them, tell them how the Lord helped you that day. If they’re older and want nothing to do with you or God, you can still pray for them, but don’t just do nothing, give God something to work with. Again don’t feel condemned The Lord is merciful, don’t feel behind and overwhelmed. The Lord will help and show you what is important for this season and time in their lives. We don’t have to live stuck in the past, we can obey the Lord today. Of course this doesn’t mean that our children will do everything right and won’t make any mistakes. But we can do our job and we can chose to continue depositing into their lives and when they’re older they will have a huge inheritance to withdraw from and they too will pass down A Godly Legacy!