The Bible asks: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). We might add to that question by asking what shall it profit our children if we leave them whole world but they lose their souls? Now material wealth can be a blessing to leave to our children (Gen. 13:2), but it might also be a curse if it’s not accompanied but some things of far greater value. Solomon points out that “Wisdom is good with an inheritance, and profitable to those who see the sun” (Eccl. 7:11). The simple point I wish to make is that there are some very important things that Christian parents should be focused on regarding their posterities’ inheritance. Peter said to the lame beggar: “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). This, of course, was a demonstration of the saving power of the Gospel, and our lives should provide a similar demonstration of the grace of God for those who come after us; they will need healing as well. We all leave a legacy; an inheritance for our children and our children’s children. Some of that inheritance might include material things; but it always includes much more. A few things come to mind right away:
- First, your children should have no doubt, whatsoever, that their parents love the Lord Jesus Christ and His church. That must be a settled issue in your mind and theirs. They will see this in your commitment to Him, His Word, His worship, your giving, your sacrifice, your hospitality, etc. They will carry those images with them forever.
- Second, perhaps the next most important thing you can give your children is a mother and father that love each other. This is something that will make up for many other parental shortcomings. Education, competence, manners, money; all of these pale in the light of parents who love each other. While you probably show your love for your children in many other ways, it’s more important for mom and dad to demonstrate (by their love for one another), the love between Christ and His Church than in any other way. Your children need to see this regularly.
- Third, leave your descendants a legacy of integrity; a good name. Always tell the truth; always keep your promises; always keep your commitments; not only to them but to everyone. They’re watching and they’ll remember. You want them to recount: “If my mom, or my dad said they would do something, you could bank on it.”
- Fourth, may your children inherit a legacy of respect―not only for you, but because of you―because they saw continually how you respected others. They will always remember how you treated authority and how you treated the lowly; they will inherit that from you.