By: Shari A. Miller
I treasure my family history. I love learning about things from the past, what my grandparents and great-grandparents were like and how they lived so long ago. The legacies our families leave us are everything. They make up who we are, who we will become and what we can overcome.
The picture above was taken during the dust bowl days in the little farming town of Cimarron, Kansas. The tallest girls pictured were my aunts. The little one in front, with the golden curls, holding the purse, was my mother. She was smiling and my aunt to the far left was frowning because it was her purse.
My grandparents had their hands full with three boys and four girls during the 1930’s. My mother still brags to this day how wonderful a cook my grandmother was, and how she could do just about anything. My grandparents were very intentional in how they raised their children.
They taught them how to love Jesus, to be kind to one another, and to work hard. Life on a wheat farm was not easy back then, but they all pitched in together to make it work. They were taught the value of a dollar, and that the most important things in life were free, their love for God and family.
In 1952, my mom married my father, he also grew up on a wheat farm and learned the value of hard work as well. Together they raised three children to know the Lord and live for Him.
Now, it’s our turn.
Together with my husband, it’s our turn to take the legacies that have been handed down from each generation and create new legacies for our two children. In order for the legacies to be established well, it takes hard work, just like with anything in life.
Teaching our children to love the Lord and accept Him as their Savior, to have good values, to be kind to others and to work hard doesn’t just happen. It takes hard work and intentional planning on both our parts to plant the seeds that will grow and prosper in our children’s lives.
The following list is how my husband and I approach being intentional parents with our children
- We come together as a couple in prayer and reading God’s Word to learn how He wants us to teach our children.
- We try to model the same behavior to our children that we want them to model. By no means are we perfect at this, we are both sinners saved by God’s grace. However during the times we do fail, we use those moments to teach our children. We use them as examples for what not to do next time, and look at how things could be done better in the future.
- We go to church and have family devotions together. There’s nothing more important than having a family who is centered on the Lord, who learn that no matter what they can go to Him in good times and bad alike.
- We teach our children how important it is to work hard, and to do whatever they do to the best of their abilities.
- We have fun together. We want to teach our children to laugh and enjoy life and to treasure the good times that comes their way.
- We are very involved in our children’s lives. We want to take advantage of every moment we can possibly have with them, and use those moments for training and teaching them.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
When we work at accomplishing these things, our own legacies are formed that our children can take from and add to when they grow and have children of their own.
What type of type of legacies were left for you, that you want to pass down to your children? What are some ways that you intentionally parent your children?