Our Children Will Be Our Legacy

American humorist, newspaper columnist, and bestselling author Erma Bombeck, had a writing career that spanned three decades. From the mid-1960’s through the mid-1990’s, she wrote several books and received fifteen honorary doctorate degrees.

Three years before she died of complications following a kidney transplant, she told an ABC-TV interviewer that no matter how many columns she had written, her legacy would be her three children. “If I did a bad job with them” she said, “then everything else [I] do isn’t very important.” In her brief life spanning 69 years (1927-1996), Ms. Bombeck acquired riches, fame, and the goodwill of millions of readers, but she realized that her top priority was taking care of her children.

While no parent can be guaranteed that his or her child will turn out to be a godly model citizen, those of us who are parents must start with Erma’s attitude. Our motivation is to provide spiritually, physically, and emotionally for our children — for our children will be our legacy (cf. Genesis 18:17-19; Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 22:18; Acts 3:25; Gal. 3:8).

This means: (1) Teaching them by example, the importance of "studying" God’s word (2 Timothy 1:2-5; 2 Timothy 2:15); (2) Providing spiritual guidance (Deuteronomy 6:1-9; Deuteronomy 11:18-21; Psalm 34:11-14; Psalm 78:1-8; Ephesians 6:4); (3) Praying for them (2 Timothy 1:1-3; cf. 1 Timothy 1:2); (4) Encouraging them to find mentors who can guide them in godly living (Philippians 3:17; Philippians 4:9; 2 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 1:13; 2 Timothy 3:14-15).

There’s no question that raising children is a challenge, but it’s also a battle — a battle that must be won. Often it’s expensive in time and energy. But the value of a child and the future of our country overshadows it all (Psalm 78:1-8).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets

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