A heritage is defined as what you leave as an inheritance, legacy, or tradition after you have gone. Most people only view it in terms of possessions - either monetary or tangibles. Very few people would consider this in the spiritual manner - something intangible yet far more valuable. (Even fewer people would consider the negative things people leave behind too - like debt and not having a will). It is our desire to be able to leave her both tangibles and intangibles. We have recognized that it is our godly heritage that will matter most as she navigates through life - with or without us.
In considering a godly heritage, I always think about how Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of his sons with a heritage, which resulted in the 12 tribes of Israel. But when it came to Joseph, he did something different. He blessed both of Joseph's sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. In other words, he gave Joseph a double portion of blessings through his sons (Genesis 48). Joseph got double for his trouble. Jacob was mindful of the trials that Joseph had endured after his brothers sold him into slavery! Jacob left a heritage for his children and his grandchildren.
As I pondered this topic, I believe there are three main things that are very important for us to leave behind for our children as part of their godly heritage.
1. We leave a godly heritage by teaching our children the importance of spiritual covering and discipleship. It is imperative that we teach our children that praying for other people, ministering to others through the Word of God, and showing spiritual concern for the lost is discipleship at its best. That is what we are called to do. After all, it was Jesus' charge to His disciples in the Great Commission. In the words of Jesus himself, "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
2. We leave a godly heritage by sharing our testimonies about how God has remained true to His promises, shown us His grace and mercy, and sacrificed His son for us. It is important for our children to know that God gave His own son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Also, God's promises never return void and His mercies are new every morning. Our children need to know that there will never be a time that God will turn His back on us, even in a lowly state. In the words of gospel singer J. Moss, "You loved me through my good. You loved me through my bad. You didn't erase my future because of my past. You loved me through my good and my bad."
3. We leave a godly heritage by teaching our children how to love others as Jesus taught His disciples. It is one thing to love our neighbors as ourselves, but it is on another level to love others as Jesus has loved us. In the words of Lionel Richie and the Commodores, "Jesus is love."
I watched an interview between Steve Harvey and Bishop T.D. Jakes. Steve said that he was not going to leave much of his possessions and money behind for his kids, they would need to work to earn their living. Bishop Jakes responded, "It's not what you leave to them; it's what you leave in them that matters most."
So, I leave you with this question to ponder, "Will you leave a godly heritage?"
15 And he blessed Joseph, and said:
The God who has fed me all my life long to this day,
16 The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil,
Bless the lads;
Let my name be named upon them,
And the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;
And let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”