Scripture instructs us, again and again, to declare the Lord’s works to future generations. We are to, not just remember what God has done for us, but to then inform those who come after us of his faithfulness.
With my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. – Psalm 89:1
That seems like an incredible promise to make. How can we possibly be expected to touch future generations? It is not with huge inheritances or vast estates that we make a difference. The psalmist knew that he would most affect future generations with his words.
During a recent podcast, I heard Tony Evans say that parents today need to be less concerned with what they leave to their children and more concerned with what they leave in their children.
Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:19-21
Don’t get me wrong. It’s a blessing to be in a position where you can leave financial provisions to your children. I pray to be in a position to do that one day. It is not, however, the most important thing you can do. A spiritual heritage is vastly more important than a monetary inheritance.
I like to tease my dad that he is spending my inheritance on Harley t-shirts. Seriously, if you saw his closet, you would understand. The reality is, however, that my parents are passing on something far more important than a trust fund. They taught me where to place my trust when times were hard. Circumstances will come which can’t be fixed with any amount of money. But knowing that God is in control can change anything.
My mom, jokingly, tells me not to expect a huge inheritance when she dies because she and dad have given my brother and I everything, little by little, over the years. It’s true. An heirloom here. Some college tuition there. A prom dress here. A wedding dress there. They blessed us along the way. I couldn’t help but think that this is exactly how we are to pass on our spiritual heritage to our children. A little here and there along the way.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. – Deuteronomy 6:7
That is how you touch future generations. Prayers here. Bible reading there. Conversations in the car. Blessings over meals. You teach your children and they teach theirs. Before you know it, you have declared His faithfulness through all generations.