Leaving an Eternal Inheritance
Last fall, I read the book Your Legacy by Dr. James Dobson and one of the quotes in this book changed my outlook as a parent. Dr. Dobson wrote,
“The objective to living is to pass on a heritage of faith to those you love and to be with them in eternity.”
Isn’t this the greatest inheritance you can give your child? I’m sure some of you reading this think that this is just crazy talk. There’s no eternity! What if you’re wrong?
Now, passing on an eternal faith to your child means that you yourself have an eternal faith. Think about it, as a parent you’re passing on some sort of faith to your child. Even if it is an unnoticeable faith, that is the faith you’re passing on to your child. So, the question you have to ask yourself is what it kind of faith are you passing along to your child? What kind of inheritance are you leaving?
You see, many of us just give lip service to our faith or we post some sort of spiritual quote or article on facebook and we think that speaks to our faith. But faith is more than that. Faith is surrendering to and putting your trust in Jesus Christ. Does your child see you do this? Faith is committing yourself to God. It is a decision to allow Him to be present in your life to guide you, to support you, and to rule every aspect of your life. Faith is throwing open the doors of your life and inviting God to enter, not merely as your guest, but as your Lord and Savior. Does your child see you do this? Faith is obedience to God. “By faith Abraham obeyed” (Hebrews 11:8). Faith is a willingness to trust and obey Him who has called us to faith in Him. Do your children see you being obedient to God? Finally, coming to faith doesn’t mean having a new idea. It means recognizing who God is, what He is like, and responding to Him in our hearts. As Christians, we don’t just believe, we believe in someone and it is our faith that links us to God. It is not just believing that He exists, it is about securing ourselves to him and knowing that no matter what challenges we face in this life, our faith will hold us firm to God. What kind of faith does your child see in you?
You see, in order for us as parents to pass on a heritage of faith to our children, they must see our faith. Faith is not meant to be passive, it is meant to be active and life changing. This kind of transforming faith can’t be taught to a child. It has to be witnessed and caught by the child. So, self-evaluation time, what kind of faith do you have? Is it a faith you want your child to catch?
This week, read Hebrews 1:1 – 12:3. The passage opens up with a definition of faith, “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). What this means is illustrated by the trust of the individuals mentioned in the remainder of the passage. Each of them believed that God could be trusted, and they acted on the basis of that faith. Each of us can learn from their example and trust God as they did.
“For nothing is impossible with God.” – Luke 1:37