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Why Does Your Spiritual Legacy Matter as a Parent?


I have never heard anyone say their favorite verses in the Bible are the ones that list generations of genealogy. As a matter of fact, many people just skim or skip those parts; and when they do read them, it can be a struggle just to pronounce all of the names. Even the best of phonics skills won’t always help with those names! So why even include all of that?! 


Genealogy is tracing a lineage or a continuous line of descent, as far back as possible. When you think of who descended from Jesus’ lineage, back to Abraham, it’s so neat to think of what spiritual legacies were passed down! Abraham fathered Isaac; and even though Abraham was promised a son for many years, he was strikingly close to giving Isaac up as an offering, just as God initially commanded him to do. As we know though, Jesus is a descendant of that very child, Isaac. Had Abraham not obeyed God to the point of taking Isaac up to that mountain, his spiritual legacy would not have been one of obedience to God. But because of Abraham’s faith and immediate obedience to what was commanded of Him, he had an incredible spiritual legacy that carried on after him, into nations upon nations, from generation to generation.



Abraham did not seek out to leave a legacy of titles, riches, or material wealth. As a matter of fact, there were different times where he gave half of what he had when departing from one place. He split land with Lot, and even gave Lot the choice of which land he wanted. Although Abraham had much wealth in his lifetime, that was not where his heart or his focus was. Why? Because in the end, that isn’t what matters, and Abraham knew that. If his focus were to build his kingdom on this earth, he would have totally missed his purpose and held back on a spiritual legacy that would outlast him, and carry through generations - from King David to Solomon, from Jacob to Joseph, and everyone in between. And as you know, Joseph was the husband of Mary, who gave birth to Jesus. Isn't that AMAZING?!!


Did you know that you as a believer, in faith, are a child of Abraham too? Did you know you have the same opportunity to leave a powerful spiritual legacy behind as well?


What is a Spiritual Legacy? What is it not?


A spiritual legacy is what we leave behind once we exit this earth. It reflects an earthly and an eternal impact. Our spiritual legacy includes many things, but there are three things that it isn’t. Our spiritual legacy is not monetary. Ouch! That sentence might hurt or even upset a lot of people who wake up each morning and set out to reach goals, in which outcomes are money (or even ranks and recognition).  I am definitely guilty of that! That isn't to say following God's callings for your life will not lead to great wealth and possessions. Often in the Bible, God gave those things to His people, who loved and served Him. But our spiritual legacy is not monetary.



Our spiritual legacy is also not temporary. It will outlast you. My pastor used the example that, if you were to go to a cemetery and look at all of the grave stones around you, you'll notice each of them have dates for when they were born and when they died. In between those dates is a dash (-). That dash is where we currently are. We are living in the dash. What are you doing with the dash? What about your life will carry beyond the dash?


“Let each generation tell it’s children of Your mighty acts; let them proclaim Your power.” Psalm 145:4 (NLT) 


Our spiritual legacy is not voluntary. You are creating your spiritual legacy everyday, whether you like it or not, whether it’s a good one or not. This is incredibly important for us to realize as a parent. Our children are creating their spiritual legacies as well. It's not something that starts once we hit adulthood. It begins at birth. Children are watching the lives we model, the things we say, and the priorities we place in our lives. They are impacted by everyone and everything around them. If we are not diligent in how we live our life for the Lord, we will not be intentional to teach our children to live a life of faithfulness and obedience to God either. 



“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.” Ephesians 4:1 (NLT)  


Paul literally begs us in this verse, to live a life that screams a spiritual legacy for the Lord. As he was near dying, his last letter to Timothy expressed that he did just that; and that we too, are called by God and should live worthy of that calling.


“As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.” 2 Timothy 4: 6-7 


And boy did he! We are still seeing the fruit from his faithfulness. Would you be able to say the same?  The good news is that, as long as there is breath in our lungs, we opportunity to change that!


In a world that pushes ideas like, “Do what makes you happy.” or "You do you". In a world that tells us to make more money, earn higher ranks, have bigger this and better that. In a culture that glamorizes things, and encourages us to give our kids the things of this world; that we need to wake up each day and pursue our dreams; because that money, house, vehicle, and life is possible for you...


I would ask you to consider it all a dangerous lie. Those things ARE possible; but in the end, those things will perish and eternity is ALL that will matter. And if it’s all that will matter then, it’s certainly all that should matter now.


How do we build a spiritual legacy? 


How do we build a spiritual legacy, AND how do we make sure we are teaching our kids to do the same?


Intentionality! I say it all the time, and I’ll say it on repeat. We need to be extremely intentional about how we live. I know I have to talk with God about this at times in my own life.



Wow! So much to unpack and digest in that one verse alone! It’s a great verse to print and read each morning before you so much as place one toe on the ground. :) Click here for a printable card with this verse and three others from this post!



Another area that affects our spiritual legacy is being intentional about where we give. We do not want to waste this short life that we have. Consider how much of your life is already gone. Again, another hard one for me to think about in my own life. Where do you give your time? Your energy? Your money? How would your kids answer that question about you? The Bible tells us not to boast about what we do, tell others about it, or let our left hand know what our right hand does. We are just called to do these things all to the glory of God. We want to teach our kids to do the same. What better way than to model it in how we live, love, and serve others humbly!




To keep it short and sweet - You can invest your time or spend it, but you cannot save it. So what will you do with the time you have left?




Are you spending energy in God’s Word, allowing Him to guide your steps each day? Are you wasting it chasing money, approval, self-fulfillment, comparing yourself to others, beating yourself up about the past or over something you’ve done but can’t change now? Are you being lazy, angry, hurt but not healing, stressed and anxious? Are you working so much that you have no energy left to pour into your children? (And I don’t just mean showing up for their sports events; but rather reading devotions, giving to others together, having hard conversations, speaking into their character and life with the truths of God’s Word, and even just spending intentional time with them doing what they want to do.) Mama, there is no wasted energy when it comes to teaching your children to actively and intentionally follow God.





Your money will follow your heart and will expose your values. When we take our last breath and leave this earth, we will take nothing with us - no money, no earthly possessions. Where does your money go? Who is it helping? What is it doing for the kingdom of heaven? 


If we are not intentional about these things, the vapor that is our life will be gone before we make these things right in our lives; and we are unable to go back and change any of it. We will not be able to go back and tell our children what should have mattered most to us; and we will leave them to build their own spiritual legacy with only the example we left for them and the whispers of the world that show up everywhere they go and in everything they do.


And lastly, we need to be intentional about who we influence


We are on this earth to know God and to make Him known. That’s our purpose. That’s the Great Commission. We have been saved and sent. I talk more about our purpose and how that differs from our calling in my blog, "How to Discern Your Calling". If we pour our life out like Jesus, that’s a true spiritual legacy you can die confident in, just as Paul did. 



It’s not too late to change your story. It’s not too late to have a heart of humility. It’s not too late to repent. It’s not too late to treat people well, to serve people generously. To live a simple life and love people. It’s not too late to pour into your children’s spiritual life. Yes, it’s easier said than done. But can I tell you mama, it’s worth it.

"What we do for ourselves will die with us. What we do for others and for the Kingdom of Heaven will outlive us, and will become our spiritual legacy!" - Savanna Wilson


Don't forget to share this encouragement and accountability with your mama friends!




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