Godly Legacies Aren’t Left By Accident

If you want your children to grow up loving Jesus, are they seeing that authentic example in your home? Godly legacies aren’t left by accident; you must become intentional if your children have a chance to follow Jesus well.

When my sons were young children, they always wanted to be outside. They loved to be active together as a family. My favorite part of my day was playing outside with my boys in the evening. When the sun began to set, we rode cars, pushed wagons, and played ball. After we sweated and got ourselves entirely out of breath, we usually ate a popsicle and got ready for bath time.

When we were teaching the boys to throw and kick the ball, something unique happened one evening in the front yard. I attempted to share the ball with the boys, but their favorite thing was not to have the ball themselves. They wanted Dad to have it. 

Do What I Can’t Do Yet

“Daddy, kick the ball high?” Unwilling to disappoint, I would kick the ball as high as possible. They would run, chase the ball down, and bring it back to me. 

“Daddy, kick the ball high?” 

“Thanks, buddy, but why don’t you kick the ball? Here you go.” 

“Daddy, kick the ball high?” 

I kicked that red ball all night long. They knew they could kick it, but they also knew that Dad could kick it higher. For whatever reason, watching their father kick it higher was better than kicking it themselves. 

Something exists in the heart of children to watch their parents do what they cannot do yet. They stand in awe at early ages of what their parents can do. While my ability to kick a ball high may be impressive, I desperately want my children to stand in awe of how I live for God.  

Do What I Need to Do Next

I don’t care if they are impressed by the house in which we live, the details of our vacation spots, or the hobbies that I master. I want them to see me living for Christ all of their days. When asked about their greatest spiritual mentors, I pray that they model after our church ministers, but I deeply want to make that list as well. 

  • Could I live in such a way that my children would know what it means to follow Christ if no one else taught them but me? 
  • Can I model obedience to God rather than just mentioning its importance? 

This world is challenging for a child to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. The solution is not the hippest youth minister in town, the most alluring programs, or the church gymnasium where all the cool kids hang out. 

The solution for your children is you. Children need their parents to invest spiritually in their lives. 

We need to be the ones telling them the gospel. We need to model what it looks like to live for Christ. Our lives should be the most excellent sermons they ever hear. 

If that idea intimidates you, I promise you are not alone. Every honest parent would admit that evangelizing and discipling one’s children is daunting. While the challenge is great, disciples are known for their willingness to risk everything and be used by God in what seems improbable or even impossible. 

You have a limited window of time with your children in their formative years. How will you spend it? You may be an empty-nester who has a list of regrets longer than your list of approved accomplishments, but it is not too late to make an impact on your children. We are all leaving a legacy, but what each of ours will be has yet to be declared. 

No one leaves a godly legacy by accident. God revealed biblical principles and parental practices that we should use to make disciples of the next generations.