What if every grandfather who claims to follow Christ understood the critical nature of the legacy, or inheritance, they are building for their grandchildren, and determined to proactively live it out? I believe the impact would be so huge it would rock entire nations.
In my previous post, I talked about grandfathers staying involved. You can’t build a legacy that matters if you’re not involved. Your grandkids don’t need an absent grandfather. They need, and want, YOU engaged in their lives!
Not only do your grandkids need an actively involved grandfather, they also need to know your story. This is the second simple way you can proactively build a legacy that matters…
2) LEAVE A WRITTEN or RECORDED LEGACY: Your story needs to be told, but it also needs to be written down or recorded so that it is not forgotten among future generations. May I suggest three key things you need to put in writing or record for your children and grandchildren?
- Your family history. I encourage you to involved your kids and grandkids in this piece by creating your family tree. Don’ be afraid to expose the skeletons in the closet and some of the shady members of your family ancestry. It’s all part of who you are and helps each member of the family understand why they are who they are.
NOTE: Don’t fear being transparent about your family history. There are good and not so good in all our trees. This is a great opportunity to face those things together and find new freedom in Christ to overcome them.
- Your own life journey. This is more than your family history or lessons you’ve learned along the way This is YOUR personal story or journey in that family history. It is your story within God’s bigger story. What led up to your personal relationship with Christ? How did that decision point impact the trajectory of your life? How has God directed your steps since in that journey? What are some of the challenges you faced, and how did you get through them?
- Important lessons God has taught you in life. What is it that you would want to pass on to another generation that is of first importance (priorities, financial decisions, relationships, family, faith, character, serving others, etc.)?
There are numerous journals on the market that can help you write down your story. Author Lana Rockwell has a book called Passing On a Written Legacy (available on Amazon). I highly recommend it to get you started writing your stories.
At CGN we have a Legacy Journal that is specifically designed to help you tell your story. Even though it is out of stock for now (we are planning a new online version), we do have a downloadable version for only $5.00 per set. Click Here to get your copy.
There’s also nothing that substitutes for your own voice being heard by your grandchildren. It’s easy to get a digital recorder (either audio or video) and sit down with family members to record your stories. If you prefer to record them privately, determine what are the important stories you want to leave to another generation, then schedule times you can sit down and record them. With cell phones and tablets, it’s very easy to do. If you need help, ask one of your grandchildren to help with the project.
Psalm 78 says, “what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us, we will not hide them from their children (all the descendants to come); we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power and the wonders He has done.” Your story will reveal those very things. Don’t let them be forgotten.