At church this week, we heard a sermon on Legacy. It was a good sermon and topic for Father’s Day. I’ve thought about this before myself and when I did a little research on the old English word,I found out something interesting.
Often when we define the word Legacy we immediately think about what we leave behind. It’s kind of my mark or fingerprint on humanity and if not humanity at least family. But the concept is much richer and fuller than you know.
The old English word was used when people were left behind in a brand new location to start a new way of life. They were basically being sent into the future as opposed to being left behind. When I considered this idea of legacy, it really changed the way I looked at life and how I lived.
As disciples of Christ we are to prepar people for the future that God wants for them, not just leave behind good memories or even godly stories. Yes of course we are to model Christ but the concept is not about the past: it’s about the future!
How would you live differently if you started thinking about legacy as the future you are helping your kids create instead of the stories you are leaving behind?
Three things about crafting a legacy for the future.
Invest in talents, gifts and abilities your kids possess.
As parents, mentors and coaches we need to develop the skills kids have. This takes a keen eye along with much patience and practice. It’s important that we notice and encourage what they are actually good at and desire to do as opposed to having them live out our dreams for them. Helping them develop their passion is just as important in helping them develop their profession. What a joy when both can happen simultaneously!
Prepare your kids with real life skills.
Yes it’s important that they know how to have fun, excel in their sports etc. but they have to have experience with real life skills. Teaching our kids how to deal with finances, doing daily chores, and interacting with other people are things that will essentially make or break them in the future. We have to make sure they can function in society, knowing how do properly deal with money, deal with people, deal with loss and success. These real life skills require teachable moments and sit-down-and-talk/training times. Schedule it and make it happen if you really want to create a lasting legacy.
Teach kids about conflict resolution.
There is going to conflict. Where two or more people are, there will be conflict. Teaching our kids how to resolve conflict is critical for their successful crafting of their future. So many students truncate their futures because of the inability to properly deal with conflict. Instead of handling things with grace and clear-minded judgement, they turn to violence and feed anger. Teaching them how to navigate the murky waters of conflict must be part of our teaching and equipping them for the future.
Leaving a legacy is challenging but crafting a meaningful legacy can be done with intelligent choices and intentional living.
These are just three things I see as essentials for creating such a legacy. What do you think?