How to Leave a Soulful Legacy

As a parent, I’m increasingly more aware of what I’m passing on to my children.

My sweet little mirrors have revealed to me three-fold some of my quirks, habits, and blind spots. More than ever I believe the parenting itself is a spiritual discipline. Many of us miss this, and we also pass on an essential way God is seeking to shape our hearts and the hearts of our children. But if I take time to humbly consider what my children are reflecting back to me, I receive a soul-changing opportunity to be made more into the image of Jesus.

And yet, the discipline of parenting involves multiple souls.

If my children pick up and portray my weaknesses, they are also capable to embodying my strengths. In my weaknesses, I can image the appropriate response of repentance, dependence upon God, and submission to the Spirit’s work. In my strengths, I give them a glimpse of the Jesus I claim to follow and desire for them to follow as well.

It actual falls in line with what many in the Church have taught as a principle for the Church universal that I simply apply to my life as a parent – discipleship.

Jesus gave this command to His followers:

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:19-20, NIV)

So, if I apply His teaching to my life as a parent, I am to be about the practice of making disciples of all nations – starting in my home.

As I’ve been working through this with my family, I’ve been picking up on some key ingredients involved in leaving a legacy of something more than tradition. It’s about leaving a legacy of a Jesus-following soul.

  • Be aware of your soul. Parents usually try to maintain a sense of “having it all together.” But we don’t. It’s more important for us to be honest than to uphold a false image before our children and struggle to look at ourselves in the mirror. We’re still in the process of becoming, and we can receive soul-shaping as much from our children as they can from us.
  • Be devoted to one another. We’re too often living life in different rooms, separate buildings, and isolated relationships. In order to disciple well, we must have time together. We should become devoted to spending time as a family while we can. Many of the most soul-changing moments in our house have happened during a meal, while playing a game, or just enjoying nature together.
  • Be involved in a bigger story. It’s easy to let our soul priority fall into the background if it remains too abstract or too boring. Genuinely following Jesus is anything but boring! But if we aren’t actively involved in something bigger than a religious routine, then we start to doze off. The same is true with discipling our children. Spiritual conversations taking on real-life meaning when we’re living out our love for God by loving other people. Find a passion you can grow as a family and start making a difference together.

May we be alert to the soul-shaping moments we experience as a family and determine to live with passion and purpose for the glory of Christ!

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