Just recently I had a friend ask Ty “If you were to die today what would you want written on your tombstone.” As I waited for his answer I felt my heart hammering in my chest. What does my son think of himself? What would he want people to remember him for? Does he know who he is? Or where he is going in life. Ty simply said “I don’t know.” I have been wrestling in prayer with this question/answer for a week and I just now have found some peace.
Reputation is what men say about you on your tombstone; Your reputation is what men think you are…. Character is what angels say about you before the throne of God. Your character is what God knows you to be.
So how do we teach our sons/daughters to strive to have a reputation that shows their true character. How do we impact the lives of our children in a way that when they stand before the throne of God he says to them…. Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased… Mark 1:11
My Great Grandfather just passed away this last month. He had a life verse that has been running through my head… MY WHOLE LIFE! Really it has been entering my mind with out ceasing. Every time I think about my kids this is what pops into my head.
A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children… Proverbs 13:22
I am sure just like with my Great Grandpa that when you read this money is the first thing to enter your mind. But let me share with you what enters my mind when I read this verse.
Legacy is defined in the dictionary as:
leg·a·cy [ léggəssee ] 1.bequest made in will: money or property that is left to somebody in a will 2.something from past: something that is handed down or remains from a previous generation or time 3. outdated or discontinued: associated with something that is outdated or discontinued
As parents our goal should be to leave a lasting legacy of godliness for those who come behind us. My Great Grandfather did this, his intention when sharing this verse with us kids for our whole life was to assure us that he was working to leave “an inheritance”. What he did not realize is he was showing us the whole time what Godliness looked like, and how to hand it down from generation to generation.
Solomon knew a lot about wealth. He was one of the most wealthiest men of all time. He also had a lot of wisdom. If you know Solomon you will remember that he came to the conclusion that there are some things which are much more valuable than silver, gold, and things. He shares with us in Ecc 12:13 what they are…: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Each day our children are inheriting things from us. Awesome right! I don’t know about you but it makes me want to throw up! The things that we are passing along to them, passing down to them is creating who they are going to be. What reputation they are going to find and what character they are going to meet Jesus with.
What are our children, and YES are soon to be grandchildren inheriting from us ? Our kids will inherit our principles. Even if they walk away from them for a while the basic principle of life will be stitched into the fiber of who they are.
Deut 6:6-9 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates !
The greatest thing my Great Grandfather did was he taught us how to have a relationship with Christ. He left a grand inheritance beyond anyone’s wildest imagination to his children’s children… a Love for the Lord. He gave us the foundation to properly, and adequately teach our children about the Lord, and his word….the words must first be in our own hearts ! Because of his love for the Lord we get to teach our kids how to love Jesus. And I promise the best way to teach them is to show them.
So how do we teach our kids to grow up with a reputation that shows their true character? We must “‘Love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength and with all our mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Luke 10:27
My Great Grandpa Loved God with all his heart, soul, strength and mind. He Loved each of us as himself. Indeed he has left a lasting inheritance that will be carried on for generation after generation.