For fathers, there can be a certain amount of pressure that goes along with leaving a legacy that endures for generations. And discovering exactly how to leave a legacy can be a challenge. Fathers often wonder…
- Why is leaving a legacy so important?
- What does it mean to leave a legacy?
- How can I be sure that I am leaving a legacy, let alone one that endures for generations to come?
As time passes, a story about your family’s history and heritage is given to the next generation. Legacy is much like being the author of your chapter within that story.
When your chapter gets added to the ones written by your father and his father through the generations, you start to see God’s plan unfold within the narrative.
Legacy is the ability to look back and see what role the father from each generation played and how God used every one of them to accomplish His will and purpose.
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”—John 15:16
The calling of a father is not only to bear fruit, but also to bear fruit that remains connected to the vine. The story of David in the Bible can shine a light on what legacy looks like through the generations and why it is important, as well as provide an example of how to leave a legacy for one’s children…
Biblical Examples of Legacy:
There are a number of biblical examples of legacy woven throughout God’s Word. One example that fathers can learn from is illustrated in King David, a man after God’s own heart.
King David had a clear vision of the legacy he wanted to leave behind. He wanted to see the temple constructed. However, God had a different plan. God revealed to David that because he was a man of warfare and bloodshed, he would have to pass the task of building a temple on to the next generation. David’s son, Solomon, would be the one to complete the temple.
“But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have made great wars; you shall not build a house for My name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in My sight. Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon, for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days. He shall build a house for My name…’”—1 Chronicles 22:8-10
The transition of legacy from King David to Solomon was deliberate and premeditated. After all, successful generational transfer does not just happen—it is planned. Preparations are made from one generation to the next to ensure success in leaving a legacy.
Although David was not the one God had chosen to build the temple, that did not curb his passion for the project. David aligned himself with God’s will and aided Solomon in the preparations for building the temple.
“Now David said, ‘Solomon my son is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the Lord must be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all countries. I will now make preparation for it.’ So David made abundant preparations before his death.”—1 Chronicles 22:5
David commissioned Solomon and passed on his vision (constructing the Temple) as well as his values (following the Lord) by recognizing that the temple was God’s, not his. Notice also that David does not just assume that his son’s values will match his own. He explicitly elaborates with abundant preparations for what his vision is and why it is important to him.
Passing on a legacy requires intentional preparation—it doesn’t “just happen.”
How to Leave a Legacy:
Legacy is your mark on the world, but quite often it is hard to know where to begin regarding how to leave a legacy. Here are five ways that you can be sure to pass on a legacy to your future generations that will endure time and trials…
1) Live your legacy.
Your children watch and learn from your example. You can tell them how to do something, but they are much more inclined to do it if you show them how. Be intentional with what is important to you and make sure you express it to your children.
2) Share family stories.
Allow your children to share in the richness of your family history. Rather than assuming that the stories won’t interest your child, expect that they will. When you tell them about their heritage, tell it with passion. After all, family heritage is the root system of all that you are.
3) Ground your purpose in something greater.
The best stories are grounded in principles and purposes that are timeless and certainly bigger than we are. Live a story that lasts an eternity. Seek God’s calling for your life and the legacy He wants you to leave. Then walk in His strength to carry it out.
4) Give others the gift of time.
Time, like most resources on this earth, is finite. Children remember your presence more than anything else. They cannot connect with you just through material things. As time with God strengthens that relationship, the connections with your children and grandchildren also flourish when time is sown into them.
5) Talk about your vision so the next generation knows it after you have passed.
Make sure to intentionally prepare your children for their chapter in the story. Share with them what you desire to see them carry out and why. Pray with and for them. Prepare them for a future without your physical presence and teach them to rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance.
You cannot assume that your children will just know how to carry on your legacy without specific instruction of what that looks like. Seeking God’s guidance together will ensure a clear understanding of His will for you both.
It is important to remember that your legacy should always align with God’s will.
“All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits. Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.”—Proverbs 16:2-3
How to Live out a Legacy:
What about living out the legacy that has been passed down to you? Maybe you have a clear understanding of what legacy your father intended for you to carry out. Or perhaps you have no idea. Both are okay! You can still walk in the blessing of legacy by simply starting to live it out now.
The first step to defining your legacy is really knowing and understanding God’s purpose for your life.
That may take a while to discern, but make no mistake—you have a role to play in God’s kingdom! We are called to seek His kingdom first.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”—Matthew 6:33
God is faithful to reveal what He wants from His children, but you have to be sure that you have an open heart to hear what He is calling you to do.
Paul compared the Church—which is God’s kingdom here on earth—to the human body with its many working parts.
“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.”—1 Corinthians 12:12
This scripture reminds us that there are countless opportunities to serve God. Often, when Believers wait for the larger calling, there are so many moments of service that slip away. God’s Word reminds us that whatever we do unto the least of His people we do unto Him.
“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”—Matthew 25:40
Legacy is long term and may require several small steps through several generations of faithful Believers to see it through to fruition.
If you are not living in legacy now, it is not too late to begin. Allow the Holy Spirit to stir up a passion in your heart for anything that furthers the kingdom of God, then with intentionality, walk it out.
Living in Yeshua’s Legacy:
The Bible reminds us that Yeshua left a legacy for all Christians to live out. However, in order to do so, you must understand the rich heritage that you are adopted into. As followers of the Messiah, you are in covenant with God and His faithful promises embrace you.
In order to reap the covenant blessings, you must understand what the blessings are and how you can unlock those blessings through your alignment with God’s desire for His people.
God has left a legacy for you to carry out. [CLICK HERE] to learn more about it by discovering your forgotten heritage through the Jewish roots of your faith.