My youngest grandson recently spent two days with me. Like his father, Cash is mischievous, loving to tease and play practical jokes on his Nana. However, like my other grandchildren, he has a serious side, especially when it comes to praying before meals. I love listening to their heartfelt innocent prayers, filling my heart with joy.
Cash has many role models of the faith. His parents, grandparents and great-grandparents have made it their mission to pass on the “glorious deeds of the Lord.”
Cash will celebrate his eighth birthday this month. He never met my father who passed away two years before Cash was born. Like most of us whose loved ones are no longer present with us, we love to share our family history with the younger generation.
As I drove Cash home after his stay with me, we passed several semi-trucks. One of the many jobs my father held during his lifetime was as a truck driver. Anytime I pass a big rig on the highway, I am reminded of the stories my father shared. I had never mentioned my father’s occupation to Cash. As I began to share some of the stories my father had told me, it struck me how important it is for Christian parents and grandparents to share the wonderful stories found in scripture, to pass on to the next generation the importance of living out our faith in a world that has drifted away from those values.
Author Jim Burns offers parents (and grandparents) “3 Ways to Leave a Legacy of Faith for Your Children.” First, he says, “Be an example of loyalty to God…by remembering there is one God and He is holy. We are to love God with our entire being—heart, soul and strength. As parents, this goes to the heart of the matter: Do our kids observe our loyalty to God?” We can’t pass on a faith to our children if we aren’t willing to be loyal and faithful to God.
Second, we must “demonstrate our faith,” he says. “God specifically places the responsibility for nurturing a child’s spiritual development on parents—not the church.”
Burns gives parents these practical ways to pass on the faith to their children:
- Pray regularly with your children to teach them that “we rely upon God and need His presence in our lives.”
- Worship as a family together at church on Sundays.
- Teach your children. Have a daily or weekly family devotional or Bible-reading time to inspire your children to grow spiritually.
Third, remind your children of God’s importance. Talk about Him at home so faith becomes a natural part of their lives, not just on Sunday and Wednesday. “Don’t isolate spiritual discussions from the daily ebb and flow of life,” he adds.
Nothing is more important for a parent than leaving an enduring spiritual legacy for their children. They are the next generation.