As a father, have you ever thought about the type of legacy you are leaving for your children?
For fathers, there is usually a certain amount of pressure that goes along with leaving a legacy that endures for generations. Fathers often wonder…
- Will the legacy I leave matter?
- Will the legacy I leave be one of hope?
- How can I be sure that I am leaving a legacy with a purpose that honors God?
Legacy is like a book in which each generation writes their values, beliefs, and impacts. Over the course of generations, the story becomes bigger and bigger. Each generation builds upon the next. The question becomes, “How can I leave a legacy of hope that others can build upon?”
You may have heard someone say, “I want my floor to be my child’s ceiling.” This is the story of legacy. As a father, you want to leave your child with something that lasts. You want the words and chapters you add to the legacy story set up the foundation of continual hope for the generations that come after you.
When your chapter gets added to the ones written by your father and his father through the generations, you start to see God’s plan unfold within the narrative.
Legacy is the ability to look back and see what role every father, from every generation, played—and how God used each of them to accomplish His will and purpose.
”A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…”—Proverbs 13:22
The Role of a Godly Father
A godly father wants to see his children thrive as they stay connected to their heritage. This is a picture of how our Heavenly Father also wants to see us prosper, thrive, and be involved in kingdom restoration.
Characteristics of a Godly Father…
1. Teaching Biblical Principles: As a father, you likely believe that teaching God’s Word to your children is a given. However, godly teaching is more than simply giving a list of rights and wrongs. It uses God’s Word to guide and train your children, so they know how to leave their children with the same principles. Teaching biblical principles goes beyond behavior and taps into the heart, explaining the why of rules—ultimately pointing everything back to Jesus and embracing the power they have because of the Holy Spirit.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”—2 Timothy 3:16-17
2. Surrendering to God’s Will. As parents and fathers, we tend to be busy and understand the need to take action to get things done. Stopping to seek God’s will, then surrendering to it, can be a challenge. But if we intentionally aim to submit to our gracious Father, we will show our children what godly heeding looks like. Further, our children will be much more likely to seek our advice and counsel when they need direction in life as well.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”—Proverbs 3:5-6
3. Modeling Biblical Stewardship: As parents, we envision our children understanding the ins and outs of managing resources. But that’s the finish line; we have to first teach them and model biblical stewardship ourselves. This isn’t just about taking care of what we have in terms of what is inside our homes, but also our land. We must be careful not to make stewardship an idol; however, it was God’s intent from the beginning for us to take dominion and multiply. Stewardship is not a natural trait, but rather a steadfast, persevering attribute that takes time to develop. After all, planting and harvesting occur during seasons of growth. We can apply that to the concept of teaching our children biblical stewardship.
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: …a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted.”—Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2
Practical Ways to Leave a Legacy of Hope
Legacy is your mark on the world, but quite often it is hard to know where to begin. Here are five practical ways to leave a legacy of hope to future generations.
1. Live your legacy.
Your children watch and learn from your example. You can tell them how to do something, but they are much more inclined to do it if you show them how. Be intentional with what is important to you and make sure you express it to your children.
2. Share family stories.
Allow your children to share in the richness of your family history. Rather than assuming the stories won’t interest your child, assume that they will. When you tell them about their heritage, tell it with passion. After all, family heritage is the root system of all that you are.
3. Ground your purpose in something greater.
The best stories are grounded in principles and purposes that are timeless and certainly bigger than we are. Live a story that lasts an eternity by planting seeds your children will watch grow long after you are gone. Seek God’s calling for your life and legacy and walk in His strength to carry it out.
4. Give others the gift of time.
Like most resources on this earth, time is finite. Children remember your presence more than anything else. They cannot connect with you through material things. Just as we require time with God to build that relationship, your children and grandchildren need to know that you love them enough to spend time with them.
5. Talk about your vision once you are no longer here.
Make sure to intentionally prepare your children for their chapter in the story. Share with them what you desire to see them carry out and why. Pray with them and pray for them. Prepare them for a future without your physical presence and teach them to rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance.
Just as you needed to be taught, your children also need instruction as to what the heritage and family legacy can look like.
Seeking God’s guidance together will ensure that you have a clear understanding of His will for you both.
Alignment with God’s will is the best way to have successful generational transfer that brings hope.
“All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits. Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.”—Proverbs 16:2-3
Living in Israel’s Legacy of Hope and Redemption
Israel is a land that God speaks about prophetically and repeatedly in the Bible. Redemption is a theme woven throughout scripture regarding Israel.
“For the Lord has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His special treasure.”—Psalm 135:4
God refers to Israel in a unique way, unlike how He addresses any other land on Earth.
If Israel is God’s legacy, then shouldn’t His children and His Church be intentional about passing that legacy of hope on to future generations?
To pass on God’s legacy, you must understand the rich heritage that you've been grafted into. Scripture declares that—spiritually speaking—when you receive the Lord, you become a Jew. If you are a Believer, you cannot be consistent with the whole of Scripture and take a position that is passive toward the Jews and Israel.
“…he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.”—Romans 2:29
In order to reap the covenant blessings, you must understand what the blessings are and how you can unlock those blessings through your alignment with God’s desire for His land and His people.
God has left a legacy for you to carry out. [Click here] to learn more about that legacy and how God is calling His Believers to carry it out.