The BIG PARENTING question remains: “What is the essence, core purpose, or bottom line of our parenting?
What do we want to leave behind and instill our children, and why?
At the end of our lives, what would we like to leave behind and pass on to our children?
What heritage, legacy, or inheritance will you leave?
What will they say about you when you are gone?…and you and I will be gone one day!
More importantly, how will they live when you are gone?
Our job as fathers and parents becomes paramount and hugely important for our kids!!
I believe some of that legacy incorporates the following…
- A foundation of faith in God
- Our/Their hopes ,dreams and visions
- Learning contentment and satisfaction
- Children learning to know who they are, and God
- Our kids understanding their strengths and weaknesses
- To know they are loved
- To understand fundamental knowledge and wisdom
- To own and live out real values and ethics
- To live a life of thankfulness and appreciation
- To possess as their own a love for God, people, the earth, and all living things
- To be able to apply wisdom, knowledge, and understanding… and so much more.
Why are we leave a legacy is as important as what we leave as a legacy.
You must ask yourself why you’d like to be a parent of the highest quality?
What is in it for you, your child, the world at large, and your children’s children?
What is your answer?
I want to leave my children a large heritage:a legacy for generations to come. I have a BIG vision for this stuff.
But herein lies the challenge…
I’d like to leave an inheritance for my children and to keep it for them, but I also need to keep them for it.
What I mean to say is I want to leave my children a large inheritance, but also to prepare my children for that inheritance. Acquiring and keeping an inheritance for them, but also keeping them for that inheritance is key to my motivation.
I know I must love them unconditionally, making them my priority and focus, and to accept and respect and receive my children. These are starting points for a quality inheritance for generations to come.
If not you, who?
If not now, when?
So why not you, and why not now.
The fifth and most important “tool” is a genuine relationship with God, both as an individual and as a family.
Writing about our relationship with God is extremely difficult. So let’s start with what it is not.
It is not:
- About attending church
- About giving money
- About being” good “
- About being religious
- About being condemning, condescending, or arrogant about one’s faith
- About religious activity, service, or lifestyle
What it is about could take up several pages of a blog.
But we’ll start with the following:
- Knowing and understanding God’s Word–the Bible–reading and meditating on it regularly
- Understanding and having a genuine salvation/saving relationship with God by faith in Christ
- Being a person who prays on a regular basis, who has two-way conversations with God
- Being a person who’s quick to repent, be humble, and truly make things right, admitting it when wrong
- Being a person who’s willing to serve others, even at their own expense
- Living an obedient life, not out of obligation, but out of thankfulness and deep gratitude for all God has done
- Allowing God’s full expression in me, in my thoughts, my deeds, my words, my motivation, my attitude, my resources, and so much more
- Being a person who puts my walk with God as my number one priority in life, through prayer, Bible study, praise, worship, sharing my faith, serving my church and community and fellow humans.
- Obeying God in the small stuff… being sensitive to details and doing the right thing even when no one is looking.
- Relaxing, taking deep breaths, simply appreciating the life and the love God has given me, realizing I can not add to this love. I can only respond to it by living in the moment, and being the obedient son He’s asked that I be
- Utilizing the gifts and the resources He’s given me in the way that He leads me to do so
- Having a heart attitude and disposition that seeks to glorify God in every aspect of my life
Much of this has to do with what I call a “heart attitude”, the core belief system that governs all behaviors, words, deeds, and attitudes.
It stems from the realization of all that God has done for me, is doing, and will do in the future. It comes from a heart of deep gratitude, which seeks to please, not repay, or pay penance, to the God who loves me and has given his all for my life and eternity.
It’s just this… fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and faithfulness, and self-control… against such there is no law.” These are the heart attitudes which demonstrate Christ’s likeness. They only come with a genuine long-term walk with him.
Be careful to understand that not speaking about perfection… we are all human,, fallible, frail, weak, and prone to making all manner of mistakes. The giant difference is having a heart of repentance. It’s quick to humble, turn, pray, and make course corrections when we discover we have sinned against God or people. We need to be good repenters.
This doesn’t mean that everything is a bed of roses, in fact Christians suffer as much or more than others. The difference here is:” God works all things together for good for those who love him and for those who are called according to his purpose.” This means that even the worst challenges, problems, and disasters are actually blessings in disguise for trust God to work it all together for good. When a person can live this way, and a faith walk with God, all of life takes on a brand-new adventure and excitement, knowing that no matter what happens, I’m going to become closer and more like my Father in each and every situation.
This is the foundation for a great life,, marriage and family. it makes for a stability, a joy, and the love that permeates a family and a marriage with the sweetness and a sanity that is rare and precious.
To call this Walk with God a “tool” is to misrepresent and underestimate what’s being written here.
This Walk with God is the life-giving, dominant feature of the dedicated Christian family and individual. With God at the vanguard of our lives, life really becomes worth living.