I had the privilege to sit with some dear friends last night. They are treasures to my husband and to me, we are the richer for knowing them. We shared stories, laughter, insight and wisdom about parenting, our faith, our hopes. It was such a sweet moment of fellowship for me.
One of the topics we discussed was parenting children as they prepare to spread their wings. I found myself listening with a keen ear to glean what I could about how to encourage my children to fly and still remain connected to the ground.
As a parent, I watch my sons grow and mature like they have been sprinkled with “grown-up dust”– no longer the pixie-dust of childhood. This is where my husband’s and my teaching shows fruit. Did we train them up to love others more than their selfish desires? Did we teach them to serve others and to use their gifts for the Glory of God and not the glory from man?
Our friend, the father of daughters and sons, encouraged and challenged our boys to be men of honor in their actions and relationships. Sharing stories of how he required young men to meet with him and understand the perspective a father has for his daughter.
All of the stories our friends shared were intentional, focused on more than the here and now. Their focus was on the legacy of their children, but also the reality of what their children would leave as a legacy. How would they impact the world for Christ? Would they draw others to Christ? Would their decisions be wise, would they serve others, would they love, listen, and honor their future spouses?
It reminded me of the purposes Moses spoke about in Deuteronomy.
These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3 Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 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. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates (Deuteronomy 6:1-9).
O Father, may we as parents look to you as our Heavenly Parent to see what the Ultimate Legacy looks like. Impact, being Intentional, Love, Mercy, Courage, and Honor. To the Glory and Audience of One. Amen.