The most precious thing we can pass down to children is our faith--the confident conviction that God is who He says and will do all He has promised. Timothy's strong relationship with Christ didn't materialize out of thin air; it grew as a result of his mother and grandmother's example.
Here are ways we, too, can hand down a rich legacy to the next generation:
- Teach practical biblical principles. Kids need to know God's views on material wealth (Ps. 24:1), meeting needs (Phil. ), and direction in life (Prov. 3:5-6).
- Model character through lifestyle. How we live--whether with transparency, peace, and perseverance, or with fear, anxiety, and self-reliance--loudly communicates what we believe about God.
- Serve God by serving others. Actions show that our faith is real (James ). If we want kids not to develop a self-centered perspective, servanthood is key.
- Intercede for them. Children won't forget hearing us pray regularly for them.
- Communicate love. Young people need to know we love them the way God loves us--unconditionally rather than based on what they do or don't do. Spoken words of love breathe life into their hearts. And as we affirm them for trusting God, they see that we value their spiritual growth.
As parents, we must be intentional about leading and inspiring our sons and daughters to follow Christ. But even those without children of their own can leave a legacy. The example to follow is Paul: though neither married nor a natural parent, he was a spiritual father to many (1 Cor. 4:14-16).
~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~