Leaving a Legacy: How to Leave Your Kids Something of Value

Leaving a Legacy: How to Leave Your Kids Something of Value

Leaving a Legacy

Two years ago I started a legacy project for my kids that will take me eight years to complete. I partnered with Crossway books to use an Heirloom ESV Journaling Bible that is made of genuine leather and will stand the test of time. My hope is that my kids will have at least two years worth of insights, message notes and quotes that reflect what I was thinking in the two year period I was using the Bible that is really theirs. I know that what I say today will be forgotten, that even when I give them the Bible at graduation I’m not sure it will mean as much as it will one day when I am no longer here. My hope is that they will read my words and remember that their dad loved them and prayed for them. That their dad loved the Bible more than any other book. I hope my words point them to God’s word—his perfect revelation of himself.

Here is what I ended up doing:
– I used one color pen to underline verses that stood out to me for an entire year, then next year I changed pen colors so that my kids would know when I read that particular verse.
– I wrote thoughts, notes and quotes in the sides with a micron black heirloom pen and ended each section with that day’s date at the bottom.
– I wrote much of the comments in light of the fact that my kids would more than likely not read this Bible at all until one day when I am no longer here.

Here is what I learned
– I wish I had a Bible like this from each of my grandfathers. I would read it to this day. I am sometimes so curious as to what they thought about a certain passage. To have sermon notes from my grandfather who was a Presbyterian Minister would be priceless. I hope my grandkids will feel the same way.
– Knowing I have only two years and this is going to stay in the family for a long time created accountability to daily read.
– I also read and commented in the Bible while they were eating breakfast so they would one day connect the dots that I was writing to them in front of them.
– I learned that disciplines are modeled more than they are commanded. Your kids need to see you read, they need to hear you pray.
– I found I was more engaged with what I read because I wasn’t just checking off a box in a reading plan, I was writing down thoughts my grandchildren will one day read. That is a crazy sobering thought.

I want to encourage you to do something similar. It is an excellent exercise for you to grow in faith to journal, but it is even more important for your kids to hear your heart and know your thoughts long after you are gone. It is a priceless gift. How do you start? Find a journaling Bible.There are lots available. I loved the ESV Journaling Bible from Crossway; it was both beautiful and functional. You also need some good pens that won’t smudge and have archival ink. Lastly, you need to set aside time each day to grow in your faith and leave a legacy of faith for your kids and their kids. I hope you start today.

This article originally appeared here.

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Sam Luce
Sam Luce has been the children’s pastor at Redeemer Church in Utica, New York for the past 14 years. Currently he serves as the Utica campus pastor and the Global family pastor. A prolific blogger and popular children's conference speaker, Sam has worked in children's ministry for over 23 years and is also a contributing editor to K! magazine.