Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Let's leave a spiritual legacy without getting preachy

I lost track of how many times my former pastor, Sid, urged us to leave a spiritual legacy for our children and grandchildren.

His messages made me want to holler from my back-row seat, “Amen! Everybody needs to write a memoir!”

One Sunday he reminded us of Deuteronomy 6:4-9:

. . . Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and your gates.”

In other words, God gives parents a responsibility:

to teach children,
to encourage them,
to inspire them—
night and day—
to love Him with all their heart, soul, and strength.

God gives grandparents such roles, too—see Deuteronomy 4:9, Deuteronomy 6:1-2, and Proverbs 13:22.

In Psalm 127:4, Solomon said children are like arrows in the hands of a warrior.

That might be confusing, but Pastor Sid challenged us: “Put feathers on those arrows!”

That takes time, he said, and skill.

It takes time to sharpen arrows, and it takes skill to aim them so they hit the target.

When built well and aimed correctly, arrows fly straight.

You and I have a responsibility to invest in “arrow-making”—to equip and nurture the children in our lives so they fly straight and arrive at the right place.

One way to do that is by talking with kids and grandkids—telling them your God-and-you stories, “wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night” (Deuteronomy 6:7, The Message). In telling your stories, you’ll leave a spiritual legacy for your children and grandchildren.

But let’s be realistic:
Of the stories your parents and grandparents told you,
how many do you remember?

I have forgotten 95% of the stories my family told me.

You know where I’m going with this:

Another way to “make arrows” is by writing what you’ve seen God do in and for your family—writing it and placing it in the hands of your kids and grandkids.

Preserving your God-and-you stories in writing means even generations not yet born can read your book long after you’re gone.

In doing so, you’ll leave a spiritual legacy—for who knows how many generations!

One caution: Don’t preach! Refuse the holier-than-thou attitude.

No lectures.

No self-righteousness.

Let’s not be offensive.

Instead, let’s remember what Madeleine L’Engle said:

“We draw people to Christ not by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it.”


  1. Thank you so much for this post! I'm slowly documenting stories for my grandchildren. And I understand that now is the time to be more intentional about it.

    1. Hi, Alida, thanks for stopping by. Congratulations on writing your stories for your grandchildren! What a priceless gift that will be for them! You're right, being intentional makes a lot of difference. Let me know if I can be of help. Thanks again for stopping by and leaving your comment.

  2. Replies
    1. Joyful, thank you for your encouragement. You are a gem, a gift from God. :)