Beyond Wills: Nurturing a Spiritual Legacy for Your Children and Grandchildren

Facebook
LinkedIn
Email
Twitter

Maybe because I’m middle-aged, I’ve been musing about nurturing a spiritual legacy for my children and grandchildren. My reflections prompted the writing of this post.

Beyond wills.

Our lives shape the future lives of our children and grandchildren …

Most parents have a legal document itemizing the distribution of their assets and the care of any minor children after their death. I have a written, notarized will. Every parent and grandparent should have one. But a legal will, as crucial as it is, isn’t as important as passing our Christian values and beliefs from one generation to the next.

A legal will, as crucial as it is, isn’t as important as passing our Christian values and beliefs from one generation to the next. Click To Tweet

Pericles, the Greek politician and general during the Golden Age of Athens (5th Century BC) said, “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”

A spiritual inheritance is more important than a physical inheritance. The Scriptures say, “We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done … that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” Psalm 78:4, 6-7.

Note the phrase “that the next generation might know them.” God expects us to tell our children and grandchildren the stories about Him so they will know the truth and live for Him. This isn’t something new. It’s a sacred practice dating back to Genesis 49:1-33 and Deuteronomy 32:46-47. And it’s what every Christian parent and grandparent should prioritize.

Nurturing a spiritual legacy.

What kind of inheritance are you leaving your children and grandchildren? Author Leanne Cabral says, “A legacy of faith is built on one seemingly insignificant act of obedience at a time.” To leave a spiritual inheritance, you must be a living legacy. A God honouring life isn’t something you do on Sunday or when it’s convenient. The inheritance we leave future generations is informed by the choices we make every day. And our choices require sustained intentionality to bear fruit for future generations.

To leave a spiritual inheritance, you must be a living legacy. Click To Tweet

Karen and I have three children, each married to a wonderful spouse, and eleven grandchildren. Lord willing, and if Christ doesn’t return in my lifetime, I may live to see many great-grandchildren. The best thing I can do for them is to stay in step with Jesus. Living for Jesus is a more excellent gift for my next of kin than any heirlooms, trust funds or properties. As American author and teacher Leonard Sweet said, “What you set in motion is your legacy.”

A heritage that lasts.

Is your inheritance in shape? Your children’s and grandchildren’s legacy begins in your heart, in your love for God (cf. Psalm 112:1-2). The evangelist Billy Graham said, “The greatest legacy one can pass onto one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”

So, what are you spending your time on? I don’t think any of us wants to wake up twenty years from now realizing we spent most of our time on what matters least and the least of our time on what matters most. As someone once said, “Our children are messengers we send to a time we will not see.”

We shouldn't spend most of our time on what matters least and the least of our time on what matters most. Click To Tweet

Don’t minimize the importance of a life well lived. King Solomon wisely said, “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous” Proverbs 13:22. All of us leave something behind when we die. What will you leave for your family? Will it be a legacy of righteousness or unrighteousness, faith or unbelief?

I’m convinced the only legacy worth leaving is Jesus. Contemporary Christian rock band Casting Crowns, in their song Only Jesus, sings: “I don’t care if they remember me. Only Jesus. And I, I’ve only got one life to live. I’ll let every second point to Him. Only Jesus.” The song is the ringtone on my phone. Why? Because I’m convinced that a heritage that lasts is determined by the Christian values and beliefs that make me who I am today.

We value your comments (click on the link below). What are your thoughts about nurturing a spiritual legacy for your children and grandchildren?

Related Articles

More Is Caught Than Taught

Parenting With Purpose: Aligning Your Goals With God’s Will

© Scripture Union, 2024

2 Corinthians 4:5

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

bible reading resources

subscribe

subscribe
to christian parenting basics

Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest blog posts and resources.