What am I going to leave my children? This is a question that 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 when someone is facing the end of their life on earth is to spend time with their 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 when someone is in the hospital in their last days and they have no visitors or family with them. That is heartbreaking.
Today’s culture emphasizes the here and now. What can I do for myself today to make my life better? This is the way many people live.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with taking care of your own physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. 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. Men are to take care of their family first. This is the relationship I want to focus on.
Legacy is a word used to describe what one leaves their children once they’ve passed from this life and into the next. There are three things that we should want to leave to our children and grandchildren as part of our legacy.
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 have benefited from greatly in our family. Between our parents and grandparents, there are more than 275 years of marriage.
Second, we should want to leave our loved ones financial stability when we’re gone. This means eliminating any debts that you might have as you 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 that someone left. I’ve never experienced such, but I’ve know people who have.
Lastly, as a believer in Jesus Christ, I want to leave a legacy of obedience to Him. This will result in all of the priorities mentioned above 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.
Remember the old saying, you should leave a place better than you found it. That’s the way I view everything in life. This mentality will result in leaving those you love a proud legacy.