I believe strongly that one of the primary responsibilities of a generation is to leave a legacy for the generation that follows them. That means that when we are gone, our kids and grand kids will carry on life with the same values, beliefs, passions, and traditions, in most regards, that we have. In order to do that, we have to be active to model for our kids how to conduct ourselves, talk about what we believe, demonstrate how to pray and worship, and involve them in the process of active Christianity, not just the religious expression of it.
In that vain, I would like to share a few things that I believe every parent needs to hand down to their kids:
- The knowledge that God has a plan.
Jeremiah 29:11 makes this clear, and or children need to understand it. They need to know that no matter what, no matter how confusing life is, and no matter how difficult it becomes, God is in control and He has a plan for us. He intends to use us, if we will let Him! See also Romans 8:28, 1 Corinthians 2:9, Isaiah 64:8 for further verses on this.
2. It is more important to be right than to be popular.
2 Timothy 2:22 tells us to ‘run away for the evil young people like to do’ (NCV). Pleasing others is fine, as long as pleasing God comes first. Many times, the two will be in conflict, and if you are a person of character and integrity, you’ll be more focused on what God thinks than what others say, even if it means the loss of a friendship or two. In the end, our standing with God will matter much more than our standing with the cool crowd, anyway!
“Nobody is good by accident. No man ever became holy by chance.”- C.H. Spurgeon
3. If you don’t celebrate life, nobody is going to celebrate it for you.
Psalm 118:24- This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
each day is filled with new possibilities and opportunities. However, each day only comes once. As we endeavor to use this day for His glory, we can also celebrate the fact that we have we have this time-with family, friends, and even those in school or work with us. As we celebrate the time we’re given, it will help make us more grateful to God even in the times when things don’t seem to be going as well…and that is especially when others will take notice!
‘Joy is the serious business of heaven.’ C.S. Lewis
4. It is important to serve.
Psalm 100:2- serve the Lord with gladness.
Jesus Himself said that he came for the purpose of ‘serving and giving’. If that was the thrust of His life on earth, how much more should it be ours? May people consider serving to be a menial task, but throughout history you find often that those who become great leaders and people of influence did so because they learned to serve others in some way. If you truly want to be a success in any area of life, then serving is the best way to accomplish the goal!
“Service is the pathway to real significance.”- Rick Warren
5. You can control the direction of your thoughts…and you should
Philippians 4:8- whatsoever is true…honorable…just…pure…lovely, whatever is commendable-if there be any more excellence and if there is any praise- dwell on these things. (HCSB).
We often focus on the negative aspects of life. This can create cynical and faithless children who then turn into cynical and faithless adults. Beyond that, the temptations of this world that can bore into our minds through what we watch, listen to, and who we are around, can wreck our spiritual lives as they bring guilt and shame to us on a daily basis. Using the tools of the armor of God (Ephesians 6) we can learn to overcome thoughts that corrupt and destroy and think about things that edify, build up, and affirm. It isn’t easy, and is a daily process, but it is so important if we want to live the kind of life God intends!
“Every major spiritual battle is in the mind.’- Charles Stanley
These topics are things I certainly believe in, and I have inserted my own observations. But I got inspiration, quotes, and scriptural support from Family Christian Stores book “30 things I need to tell my son” copyright 2008. For more, pick up the book or others in the series for daughters, wives, and husbands. And make sure you are leaving a legacy that you can look back on and thank God for. Your kids will not do what you say. They will do what you do!