One of the grandest things you can do in life is to leave a legacy that extends beyond you to generations to come. There is no better place to start than with your children and grandchildren. What are you passing on to the next generations after you? Is it something that brings pride or shame? Is it what you want to be remembered for or something you would rather have others forget?
I was reminded of the importance of leaving a legacy through a recent blog post on the Grandparenting Network website. The blog was called “Five Ways to Pass Your Legacy to the Next Generations.” The post was based on the Hebrew scripture from Psalm 78:4, “Tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power and the wonders he has done.” As parents, grandparents and responsible adults, God intends for us to leave something that will last far beyond our lifetime.
As I look at my children who are all married and in their 30’s, I’ve got great pride in what I observe. They are good-looking like their mother. They all have at least a four-year college degree. They are successful in their careers. They are growing in their intimacy with God. They have learned to develop healthy relationships. And some of them are parents or parents in-waiting and doing an awesome job of passing on their solid values to the next generation.
Here are some things I’m learning about passing legacy to the next generations (inspired by Catherine Jacobs, founder of Pass the Legacy) :
Tell Your Story – Our children and grandchildren love to hear stories about our lives. We talk about our successes and our failures. In the process, they learn that life has its ups and downs, the good and the bad, but God is available to walk with you at all times.
Intentionally Make Memories – We have always wanted our children and grandchildren to have great memories imprinted on their minds and hearts. Even common or painful events can be transformed into powerful memories that bring warm feelings if you are intentional and careful about choosing a positive attitude and response to those situations.
Create Meaningful Traditions – In today’s turbulent culture, children long for security and stability. Regular and unique traditions provide much-needed consistency and steadiness that builds trust and confidence in children and grandchildren.
Encourage Intimacy with God – This is a relationship of utmost importance for now and all eternity. Model it. Nurture it. Encourage it. Facilitate it. This once place where you want to make sure the “No Child Left Behind” policy is high-lighted and practiced.
Speak Words of Affirmation – No one can give greater encouragement than a parent or a grandparent. While the words of teachers, clergy and other adults are vitally important, kids and grandkids still long for the affirmation of family. Watch their faces light up as they soak in every word of blessing you give them. Your words of support and unconditional love will bolster self-esteem and empowerment like nothing else.
Every minute of purposeful investment in future generations is fresh seed sown for a fruitful harvest. This week, leverage your opportunities to pass it on.
QUESTION: What suggestion would you add to pass the legacy on? Share it below.
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