By Chere Williams
My grandmother, Eva, was an exceptional Christian whose foundation was built on her faith in Jesus Christ. When the Lord took her home, she didn’t leave me a trust fund, a car, or a home - she left me a priceless gift, a spiritual legacy. I can recall her sitting at the kitchen table with a Bible, a notebook, and a cup of coffee intensely studying the Word of God. Only after her death did I realize that all those hours of Bible study and notes were placed neatly in envelopes labeled with the book, chapter, and verse she was studying. When I stumbled upon these envelopes I discovered a precious treasure that opened my eyes to my grandmother’s faith and love for God. Although no longer physically present, my grandmother continues to share her faith with me.
As a single Christian mother of a four-year-old, I wonder how my daughter will remember me when I’m gone. What nuggets of wisdom will she inherit from me? My hope is to make a deposit in her spiritual life that can’t be depleted or withdrawn.
Every day our children enter a spiritual battlefield where they encounter peer pressure, temptation, and danger. In a blink of an eye they’ll be adults and we may not be there to give them motherly advice. As parents, especially women who are the matriarchs of the family, we have a responsibility to pass on our faith. The Apostle Paul mentions this in 2 Tim. 1:5, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” God wants us to spread His good news and we should eagerly pass on a spiritual legacy for upcoming generations. Try a few of these suggestions to start a legacy your children will cherish:
Incorporate Bible study into your life and your family’s life. I am going to borrow from my grandmother here. When you’re studying the Bible write your notes, Scriptures, and insights into a notebook. If you have more than one child, photocopy the pages and create binders for each of them. Schedule weekly time to gather as a family for Bible study. This is a great way to bond with your family through the Word of God. Your children will remember this as special family time and will likely carry on the tradition when they are parents.
Teach your children to never underestimate the power of prayer. Try to adopt a prayer warrior lifestyle. Allow your children to witness you praying for them, others, and yourself. Pray not only at bedtime and meals, but in all circumstances. Keep a prayer journal to pass on to them containing all of your prayers the Lord has answered and even those He didn’t. Instill in your kids that prayer is the most important communication they’ll ever have with their Father. Through prayer they’ll develop a sustaining relationship with Christ that will continue when you are here and when you are gone.
In Eph. 6:16, Paul tells us to take up the shield of faith to protect us from the enemy’s attacks. When we pass on a legacy of faith we teach our children to believe in the awesome power of God with confidence. Our faith will inspire them to believe that no burden is bigger than God and that He’ll protect and guide them through life’s trials.
Creating Meaningful Traditions
Traditions strengthen the bonds of a family while creating meaningful rituals to pass on to future generations. I cherish the warm memories of attending Wednesday and Sunday services with my grandma. Going to church together is a beautiful tradition that allows families to worship, praise God, and fellowship together. Church plays an integral role in your child’s spiritual life. It is where they learn that they’re a member of God’s household.
Other fun traditions are memorizing Scripture together, volunteering at church, recording spiritual goals as a family for the New Year, and celebrating Christian holidays in a meaningful way that honors Christ.
Parents can become so focused on providing for their children materially that they can lose sight of what matters most - building their spiritual foundation. Pass on your strong reverence and faith in God, just as Lois and Eunice did, so your children and your great- grandchildren flourish as believers in Christ.