November 2019 –What am I going to leave my children? This is a question I often ask myself.
I’ve often heard that when people are on their deathbed, they never say, “I wish I had worked more,” or “I wish I had made more money.” The overwhelming sentiment among those facing the end of life on earth is the regret that they didn’t spend more time with family and loved ones.
Why? Because at the end of the day, these are the most important relationships. One of the saddest things I’ve heard of is a man in the hospital in his last days, and he has no visitors or family with him. That is heartbreaking.
Today’s culture emphasizes the here and now. What can I do for myself today to make my life better? What can I buy to make me happier? How can I get my co-workers to make my job easier? This is the way many people live.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with taking care of your own physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. In fact, it is necessary that we do so. In order for us to be a helping hand to others, we need to properly take care of ourselves.
When it comes to taking care of family, the apostle Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 5:8, “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
This is a stern warning. A real man is to take care of his family first. This is the relationship I want to focus on.
Legacy is a word used to describe what parents leave their children once they’ve passed from this life into the next. There are three things that we should want to leave to our children and grandchildren as part of our legacy.
Fidelity in marriage
First, we should want to leave a legacy of a faithful marriage for our children and grandchildren to imitate. This is something that my wife and I benefit from greatly in our family. Including our parents and grandparents, we celebrate more than 275 years of faithful marriage. What a powerful legacy to encourage and challenge us to be faithful spouses.
Second, we should want to leave our loved ones financial stability when we’re gone. This means eliminating any debts that we have as we begin to age. If you’re still young like me, this means having a substantial life insurance policy that would take care of such debts.
There are few things worse than having a funeral on Saturday and on Monday trying to figure out how to pay off a mountain of debt someone left. I’ve never experienced such, but I know people who have.
Faith in God
Last, and perhaps most critical, as a believer in Jesus Christ, I want to leave a legacy of obedience to Him. This will result in all other priorities falling right into place.
What do I want to leave my children when my race is finished? Faithfulness to God as a disciple, a spouse, and a steward.
For over 40 years, the American Family Association has been focused on ensuring that we leave a legacy for generations to come. From fighting back against filthy television to promoting Scripture as the inerrant Word of God, my grandfather Don Wildmon began this ministry with one thing in mind – the next generation. I’m thankful to be part of this legacy.
Remember the old saying, “You should leave a place better than you found it.” That’s the way I view everything in life. I urge you to do the same. This mentality will result in leaving those you love a proud legacy.