What legacy do you want to leave your children? Do you want to leave a legacy of wealth by giving your descendants money, estate or trust funds? Money magazine estimates that 70% of rich families lose their wealth by second generation and lose 90% by third generation. Not only do they lose their wealth, but many have broken families due to squabble over inheritance, become dependent on drugs, alcohol, or other dependencies, or even something more tragic.
Not all wealthy families fall into this statistic, but if 90% of third generation lose their wealth, leaving wealth to our children is not a good legacy to leave behind. If the descendants do not know how to manage the wealth really well, then it will be more harmful than good.
What about the intellectual legacy? Teaching children the importance of knowledge and education. Helping them and encouraging them to study, sometimes pushing them to study further than they are able to. After all it is said that “The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.” – B.B. King
The intellectual legacy in very important, but is the intellectual legacy the best inheritance that we can leave our children? Is there something better?
As Christian Parents, we have something that is better and much more important. It is our faith in the Lord Jesus. It is the faith that bring peace into our hearts at times of turmoil. It is the faith that brings tears of joy when we worship Him. It is the faith that will guide our children through the sea of troubles that they will face and they will overcome.
How to we leave a legacy of faith?
It begins by leading a faithful life. The children learn from the parents. Please read my article on “Early Childhood Training – Child’s Brain …” Children mimic what we do. In most cases, if we read books, then children will have interest in books. But, if we lay on couch watching TV, eating snacks, that is what our children will do. Setting good habits before our children in early years will be crucial in forming their habits to be used for the rest of their lives.
The best habit that we can instill upon our children is to pray and worship at home. Attending church together with your children on Sunday is absolutely necessary, but is not enough. Parent(s) must worship and pray with their children at home. At our house we pray and worship twice a day, ever since our children were toddlers. Once early in the morning and once in the evening. We invite our children to participate during our worship at home. Our children know all the flaws in my wife and I, but they also know that their parents are praying and worshiping parents.
Secondly, as they become of school age, enroll them into a Christian School. Please read my article on “Why Early Christian Education is Important”
If you leave your children in public school system, where their curriculum is based on evolution, they will be confused. Parents teaching them that the Bible is the truth versus the school teaching them that the Bible is not entirely true. As they grow in public school system, many grow to accept what the school teaches them. Barna Research states that only 3 out of 10 young people who grow up with a Christian background stay faithful to the church during the transition from teen to adulthood. That means 7 out of 10 kids from the church drop out of church.
Christian school will cost more and it may require other sacrifices from the parent(s). But aren’t any sacrifices are worth it for our children. If you don’t, the alternative is that there is about 70% chance that our children will drop out of church. Not only that, if a child decides not to attend church, then it will be extremely difficult to maintain the relationship between the parent and the child.
Now I ask again, but this time, I ask what legacy WILL you be leaving your children? Are you on the path of leaving a legacy that will deter your child away from faith in the Lord or are you guiding your children to leading a purposeful life for Him?
The Story of Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards was a great American theologian in 1700’s. He and his wife, Sarah, raised 11 children. Every evening they pass on their faith to their children by praying over them and conversing with them. An American educator A.E. Winship studied Edward’s descendants up to 150 years after his death and found that there were 1 US Vice Presidents, 2 University Deans, 3 US Senators, 3 governors, 3 mayors, 13 college presidents, 30 judges, 60 doctors, 65 professors, 75 Military officers, 80 public office holders, 100 lawyers, 100 clergymen, and 285 college graduates.
About the same time there was another man named Max Jukes. He became notable, when 42 New York prisoners traced back to him. Jukes’ descendants included: 7 murderers, 60 thieves, 190 prostitutes, 150 other convicts, 310 paupers, and 440 who were physically wrecked by addiction to alcohol. Of the 1,200 descendants that were studied, 300 died prematurely.
Their legacy is illustrated below:
Thank you for reading my article, if you have any comments or questions, please do leave them below.