More Than a Good Name: Leaving a Legacy that Lasts
by Jennifer Waddle
“…when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.” Joshua 4:6-7
Leaving a legacy involves far more than handing down a monetary inheritance or passing on a good family name. For those things will surely pass away and forever be forgotten.
A lasting legacy, one that continues for eternity, is set in stone. Written on our hearts, and the hearts of our loved ones, belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of the Living God and Savior of the world is the legacy that lasts.
As our children grow up, they may not see faith as something precious and invaluable. Especially if they have been raised in the church and surrounded by Christianity their whole lives, the value of a godly heritage may not be immediately apparent to them. However, as they grow up, the hope is that they will remember the “stones” of faith we have gathered for them, taught them, and lived as examples for them.
I think we can all ask ourselves the questions,“What are the foundations of my legacy? Are they superficial things of earth or everlasting things of heaven?”
Just as the Israelites were instructed to carry stones from the middle of the Jordan, and set them up as a memorial of God’s faithfulness, we too can gather “stones” that represent our legacy. Here are a few ideas:
> Write a family mission statement together. Ask questions like, “What do we want to be known for? How can we live our lives as a testimony of God’s faithfulness? What are the most important things to us? Frame your statement and hang it in your home. Also, make copies for each of your children to take with them as they grow up.
> Speak often about how God has worked in your own life. Consider having your personal testimony recorded for future generations.
> Keep a family Bible in your living room and encourage every family member to underline passages and write notes in the margins. Discuss often, how God is speaking to each of you through His Word.
One day, when your grandchildren or great grandchildren come to you and ask, “What does faith mean to you?” Then, you can answer, without hesitation, and tell them about all the beautiful and miraculous things God has done, is doing, and will do.