“The Legacy We Leave Our Children”
Intro.1. We are adept at raising monuments to events, places, people. 2. But, time fades memories (Eccl 1:11), and monuments become tarnished (cf. Statue of Liberty). 3. What do you want your legacy to be? a. Financial security to your children? cf. Eccl 2:18-19 b. Power? Can be abused (Solomon — Rehoboam). c. Prestige / Fame? It is certainly not long-lasting. 4. We can leave a memorial which won’t fade nor be tarnished — Christ living in the hearts and lives of our family and friends! 5. Parents: What kind of legacy are we leaving our children? Eph 6:4 -“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD… (Psa 127:3) I. THE LEGACY OF OUR LIFESTYLE, Psa 101:2. A. “An Example is the Best Teacher.” (Actions speak louder than words!) 1. Certainly true of family life. (Children will take on the character traits of their parents.) 2. Bible insists upon godly example being set for children within the home: a. They will learn by parents’ actions, Exo 12:25-27 (Passover) b. Their actions would provide opportunity to teach their children. (cf. Worship, morals, language, etc.) c. Neglect contributes to sin and ruin, 2 Chrn 30:26. 3. Where is there more need for our “lights to shine” than in our homes before our children?! Matt 5:14-16 B. “Do as I Say, Not as I Do.” 1. Losing battle when parents teach w/o living what they teach. 2. If good examples promote good character, then bad examples foster corrupt character, 1 Cor 15:33. 3. How do our children see us dealing with: a. Family quarrels (strife), cf. Eph 4:31-32; 5:22, 25. b. Honesty and integrity in work, cf. Eph 4:28; 6:5. c. Conflicts with neighbors, Rom 12:17-18. d. Relationships with brethren (backbiting, etc.), Jas 4:11. e. Priorities of Christianity, cf. Matt 6:33. 4. If our children see unrighteousness/hypocrisy in us they can be disillusioned with the gospel and Christianity! Col 3:21 C. “Christ in our Hearts – Faith in our Lives” (Eph 3:17). 1. Things of God, not worldliness, Col 3:1-2. 2. This must be the legacy we leave our children. II. THE LEGACY OF A WHOLESOME, SPIRITUAL ENVIRONMENT, Eph 6:4 (cf. 1 Sam 1:27-28). A. Put the Word Of God into Our Children’s Hearts, Deut 6:6-9. 1. What will achieve this? Daily Bible study and talk. a. Word must first be upon your heart, 6:6. b. Takes diligent, deliberate effort to train our chi1dren, 6:7. c. Consistency: Make Bible study a part of home’s routine, 6:7 d. Repetition: God’s word a constant part of life; 6:8-9. (Don’t assume a point once heard is forever learned!) e. Study yourself: You can’t impart what you don’t know! Plus, your example in this is vital. 2. Training doesn’t just happen; it takes effort, Prov 22:6. B. Worship Together, cf. Deut 12:12. 1. Make going to worship God a pleasant, joyful event — Not a dreaded burden. (By how we prepare, talk about it, etc.) 2. Set the pattern of its importance by removing all obstacles that can prevent your presence, Heb 10:25. 3. Sing, pray, study together at home – Worship isn’t confined to a church building! C. Insist on Godly, Moral Entertainment (for you and children). 1. Phil 4:8: “Garbage in, garbage out.” 2. Monitor Internet, TV, movies, music, etc. 3. Provide alternatives to school dances, swimming parties, etc. where immoral behavior occurs. III. THE LEGACY OF RESPECT FOR GOD ABOVE ALL ELSE, Matt 10:37. A. Be on the Lord’s Side When Decision Time Comes, Exo 32:25-26. 1. When our children are out by themselves (date, school, work), what will they do?! What we have taught them? 2. Joshua influenced his family to fear God above all else, Josh 24:15 (cf. Abraham, Gen 18:19). 3. On the other hand, Eli, in failing to stop his sons’ ungodly actions, honored them above God, 1 Sam 2:29; 3:13. 4. What a tribute, to know that your children will honor God’s will above all else because you taught them to do so!
Conclusion1. We must be concerned with the legacy we are leaving our children! 2. Epitaphs fade, memories fail and monuments erode, but the works of the righteous have a lasting impact on the world.