If you remember, at our last Family Legacy Workshop (and our first!), we defined Spiritual Legacy – for the purposes of these workshops – as this:
Generational faith that is learned, owned, and taught from parent to child, and from parent to child, through multiple generations.
Has this been your personal experience? Is part of your heritage one of generational faith? Was there someone in your family, generations before you, who made a decision to follow Christ and imparted a legacy of faith down to their children, who imparted that to their children, on down the line until your parents imparted that faith to you – and now you have the privilege of passing that faith on down to your children?
Or… are you the first? Has your heritage been one that lacked any kind of spiritual-faith component? And now here you are, trying to pass along a faith that you’re just now trying to figure out for yourself? You wouldn’t be alone!
No matter where you are on the spectrum of generation faith – one more link in a long line of spiritual legacy, or the very first link in what you hope will be a long line of spiritual legacy – God is cheering for you! He wants you to succeed, and has promised that He will be there for you no matter what!
It can be a challenging and overwhelming notion to think that the legacy God has for your children rides on YOUR shoulders! Because, yes, to a large degree, it does! But I want to encourage you this week to know that you CAN do this. And when things seem complicated or overwhelming, or you find that you’ve lost sight of your faith goals… to just keep it simple. Here’s what I mean…
Having a family devotional each morning, where you all sit around the living room, peace and quiet surrounding you as you take turns reading from God’s word, sharing a brief thought about how God is working in your life, and then praying over each other individually… that would be wonderful! IF that works for you….
Having a time of praise & worship each evening, where you break out the guitar or keyboard, or put in a worship DVD and all sing along to some great praise music, worshiping the Lord together and allowing His Spirit to wash over you as you join hands and lift your voices… that would be amazing! IF that works for you…
However, if those things do NOT work for you, then you are part of the vast majority of us who have busy lives, and you’re blessed if you can personally tuck your child into bed yourself – or all sit down for a meal together – more than 3 times a week!
I want to encourage you to keep things simple. Because as great as a morning family devotional time is, and as wonderful as an evening praise service would be in the comfort of your own living room, your child’s lasting faith will be built upon the foundation of smaller moments of time, spent each day as you encourage them, lead them, and model for them, an honest faith in a living God!
How many times a day could you tell them “God loves you!”? How often could you remind them in an encouraging way that God treasures them, and wants to be with them forever? How easy would it be to let your kids know daily that God has a special plan for them, and you can’t wait to see how that unfolds in their lives?
Enjoy the “big” events when you can – those real deep and meaningful conversations or intense prayer time together – cherish those! In the mean time don’t neglect the brief moments of opportunity you have to reach your child’s heart. Start today – remind them that they have a heavenly Father who cares for them deeply. Say a short prayer together… ask them to say a short prayer to God… give them a hug or a high-five as your remind them how special they are to you – and to God… sit quietly with them for 30 seconds as you both listen for His voice…
Your spiritual legacy starts as you provide a safe place for them to develop a real relationship with God, and quietly speak Truth into their lives. Every day is another step in that direction. And no matter what yesterday was like, God is cheering for you to take another step forward today…
And so am I!
Children and Family Pastor