Many families have been destroyed after a loved one passes on, leaving a material inheritance behind. A better legacy to leave behind is a spiritual one. While we usually associate the word “inheritance” with material possessions, a spiritual legacy cannot be measured.
A spiritual inheritance is passed on during our lifetime through godly words, actions and prayers. However, as stewards of a spiritual legacy, we have to develop our own spiritual lives first.
If we have a desire for the Lord, it becomes contagious.
As a mother and grandmother, I’m seeing the fruits of my own spiritual growth and prayers. Recently, I drove over four hours one way to experience the joy of my two oldest grandchildren’s decision to follow Christ. Although they received the Christian sacrament of baptism when they were younger, they didn’t fully understand the implication. Cheyenne, 12, and Brennan, 11, chose to celebrate their decision to receive Christ as their Savior and Lord once again by being baptized through full immersion.
My heart’s desire, for my sons and my grandchildren, is to see them dedicated to a lifetime of spiritual growth and serving God faithfully. Each morning, my prayers include those requests.
Pastor Charles Stanley offers these components of a spiritual heritage:
- A desire to follow Jesus. If we have a desire for the Lord, it becomes contagious.
- A reverence for God’s Word. As parents, we have a responsibility to see that our children understand the message in His Holy Word. Let them see you reading the Bible.
- An understanding of how to listen to the Lord. Teach your children the importance of learning to listen to God through His Holy Spirit. When children seek guidance, instruct them to ask the Lord for direction and wait patiently for answers. Help them to search the Scriptures to confirm if what they heard lines up with His Word.
- A pattern of obedience. The best way to teach obedience to children is through modeling. Let them know when your actions are done out of submission to God.
- A faith that conquers the trials of life. We might want to protect our children from life’s trials, but when they see how we trust the Lord in hard times, they learn about God’s faithfulness.
- A forgiving heart. Our loved ones need to witness a forgiving response from us when we’ve been wronged by someone.
- An orderly lifestyle. Teaching our children to have a disciplined life is part of teaching them responsibility. As Dr. Stanley says, “We cannot be focused on God and His plans when we’re living hectic and cluttered lives.”
- A servant’s spirit. Teach your children the benefit of serving others. Do you have a servant’s heart?
- A generous hand. When children see us sharing our money, possessions and time, they understand the joy of giving.
- Sincere love. All children need to feel loved—genuine, unconditional affection from us. We do this by pouring our lives into theirs and not by the things we give them.
Are you leaving a spiritual legacy?