THE FAMILY HERITAGE—

A heritage is “something that comes or belongs to a person by reason of birth; something reserved for one; the heritage of the righteous; any property, especially land, that devolves by right of inheritance” (Random House Dictionary). Let’s also think in terms such as a legacy, bequest, estate, bestowal, or birthright. What then should specifically included when thinking of a family heritage?

• Leave a Spiritual Legacy: This is your history of your walk with God, it’s viewed as “His” story in you life as you have lived it and are living it out. It’s the blessings you have experienced and received in your life. It’s your day by day Christian living so your off-spring can see your love for the Lord by the actions of your life. It’s your faithfulness in church attendance, acts of kindness toward others. It’s an example of a life-style that is modeled before your next generation. Tell the stories of your personal experiences and blessings of God that you have seen and experienced. How about regular prayer times, Bible reading on a consistent basis, family devotions, and how others are respected and many more. Write you own list.

• Leave a Real Life Example of Integrity: Our world is quickly becoming a place were there are no boundaries, or moral values, no black and white, no more rights and wrongs, no more “thus saith the Lord” and everything is a mushy mishmash of political correctness. There is no better place to live a life of integrity than in the life laboratory of our homes! Today’s society is short of integrity and honesty in all phases of life and living. Living it out falls directly to us so we have a positive expression of integrity in all of our life circumstances to leave behind. Integrity even if it is painful and even if no one is around to see an action. Remember, little eyes and ears don’t miss a thing. This is a life quality you cannot finesse. This is demonstrated in what you do…not in what you say!

• Leave an Example of Unconditional Love: There might be a whole lot of misses and a few hits…ups and downs…good and bad…misunderstandings…but love covers a multitude of sins. If your progeny knows that no matter what happens in life and living…that your love is unconditional, life can go on. Forgiveness and grace make it possible to keep on trucking. This must be a constant in every family situation! This does not preclude actions of tough love, either! “Greater love has no one than this…that a person lays down a life for others!”

• Leave Lots of Pictures and Good Memories: Our oldest son and his family, recently, experienced the total, I mean total, destruction of their home in a four-alarm fire. In a matter or minutes and short hours, they managed to save only themselves, their house pets and the clothes on their backs. That’s all. No life was lost, but one of their most painful losses were their pictures and memory books and journals and logs. Irreplaceable. With today’s many technologies, this is easier to do. But do not only create them…store a back-up in a fire-proof cabinet, safe or in digital cloud storage. Pictures can identify family members to other generations whom they may never have met. Each picture conjures up good memories.

• Leave Something of a Financial Legacy: Again, I remind you of this admonition: “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children” (Prov. 13:22). Yes…don’t forget your own children, either. Most of us have only modest means and can only do a little something. Others of us have enough wealth to leave a continuous legacy in funding your home church, Bible schools, hospitals, foundations for good, orphanages, vital ministries, rehab centers and so on. Such are these legacies that produce ongoing rewards as they change lives for the better. Make sure you have a strong will, even better is a family trust or a foundation. (Please make sure you have used some professional help so that this is done in such a way that the government does not get it all. Know what I mean? Yes. Good. Just a word to the wise.)

Are you getting this concept? This suggested list is only the beginning of what you can do! Add to it, make it personal, make it in such a way as to reflect your life values that must be passed on to the next generations! (from Passing the Baton by Robert Strand)