Enjoying a Goodly Heritage or Leaving a Legacy for Good ~ Which is Better?
After living a half world away much of our grandchildren’s childhood, family times hold special meaning for me. No doubt my growing up years in Africa as a missionary kid, far from family, also contributes to my appreciation for those significant relationships.
There is something about our relationships with family members that is uniquely impactive to our psyche, sense of identity, emotional state, spiritual stability – to our life as a whole. These relationships have the power to imprint us like none other – for good or for ill.
I am incredibly grateful for a godly heritage of several generations back.
I’m confident the influence of their gracious wisdom, their love for God and His ways, their respect for truth and honor, and their appreciation for decency and beauty have contributed to who I am as a person in ways I can’t even imagine.
My mother died at a young age (54) while we three children were barely adults. One of her dying requests to my dad was that he give intentional efforts to keeping close relationships with us children and our families. And he did just that, admirably. Nothing was more important to him than his relationship with his God and his relationships with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
This summer we’ve been privileged to travel across the country, visiting family. I think the older I get the more meaningful relationships have significant value for me.
Being present for special events in a family member’s life builds cherished memories for a lifetime. Celebrating mile-markers. Sharing the load during challenging chapters. Just spending time together – just because . . .
In this fast-paced techy society, I think it’s more important than ever to intentionally carve out time just to be together. When there is so much chaos and confusion about what is really truth and who you can truly trust, I think it’s critical to consistently live your values in the home. When it seems that dark and sinister attitudes, behavior and expressions have become the indecent norm, I think it’s ever more imperative to reflect the beauty of Jesus in all you do and say.
A multi-generational perspective bears significant influence.
Perhaps as a grandma of teenagers, I see and feel this more keenly in our rapidly changing society. My observation has been that young people need the sense of stability and identity of the historical viewpoint of their elders – whether they recognize that need or not. Over the long term of their lives, the influence of a godly heritage implants unfathomable value into the character building process through childhood, youth, and young adulthood.
It has been said that the largest mission field for the church in America today is the grandchildren of the boomer generation. Often grandparents are the only Christian influence in the lives of their grandchildren. God help us all, of every generation, to find new and creative ways to shine Jesus’ light and love into every emerging generation! So that our own family doesn’t join the “post-Christian” panorama littering our land.
It’s all about passing the baton to the youth. It’s all about preserving decency, truth and righteousness in society. It’s all about building wholeness into coming generations.
For us, in our times, it’s all about leaving a godly legacy for good.