When we are young, we love spending time with our grandparents. Why? Because they are not the primary adults raising us. For the most part, their job is spoiling the grandkids. Whether that means always having candy in a purse or pocket or taking them for ice cream, most grandparents, especially Americans, view this as their main grandparenting responsibility. A quick glance at television or social media makes it clear this is what the world expects from grandparents. But grandparenting doesn’t end there for the Christian.
Over and over, the Bible teaches us to work hard at raising our kids until their children are grown, passing down beliefs not only to our kids but to our grandkids as well. This isn’t the picture painted by the world today. From the world’s perspective, we should be “hands off” after they leave home. We know this isn’t reality, and most children don’t want parents to stop parenting. The problem is amplified when it comes to financial matters. The world’s perspective insists that parents and grandparents are simply a bank to lend or give funds to kids and grandkids. Again, Scripture teaches that we have a much bigger responsibility to our children and grandchildren.
“A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: but the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just” (Proverbs 13:22).
Proverbs tells us “a good man leaves an inheritance to his grandchildren.” I don’t believe this means skipping children and going straight to grandchildren, but to leave an inheritance that spans multiple generations, a legacy carried through your family long after you are gone.
What does this really look like? Does it mean you need a vast fortune for your kids and their kids and grandkids? Maybe. Does it mean passing down a good family name so your children are well respected and honored by your life? Yes. Does it mean passing down your faith so your family continues to follow Christ long after you are gone? Definitely. Could it mean you need to do all three? Absolutely.
Legacy planning isn’t something you do on your deathbed. Start early and develop a plan to be tested and reworked several times in your lifetime. People who leave a legacy don’t leave one by accident. Be purposeful in your goals and planning and expect to encounter roadblocks and hardships along the way. God never promised us an easy life. He simply promised never to leave us and always to stand by us, but an easy life was never in the plans. Don’t confuse the Christian life for easy street. God expects us to work and strive to live righteous lives and to leave a legacy for our families to follow after we are gone.
**Adapted from ONE Magazine