Legacy is often something we think of leaving behind or what we will be remembered for. Yesterday, I was challenged by the understanding that a legacy is something that we are building now and what we do in the present bears much on what we will leave behind in the future.
A dear friend of mine who is known for her generosity and hospitable spirit was giving me a tour of her home. She commented on how she had to get used to all the extraLegacies space, but now she couldn’t imagine living in a home without a guest room.
Her brother who was also there responded something along the lines of, “but that’s just our family… to have a guest room.”
Their parents had not only practiced hospitality by having a guest room and someone in said room almost all the time… it was just a part of the fabric of what made them who they were. I don’t think the words “practice hospitality” were listed on a family rule sheet on the fridge. They probably didn’t even give it a whole lot of discussion.
It was more caught than taught.
It made me wonder, what my family’s legacy will be? What will be so ingrained in my boys about who we are that it will become who they are as they go on to start families of their own? We are all to some degree products of our environment so as parents it’s important to live purposefully. It’s good to have rules and enforce discipline, but how I live will bear so much more weight on who they become than what I say.
If Steve and I dream of raising men who will be generous, kind and loving to others, and we don’t model it as parents, that dream will die with us. If we pray for them to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly but don’t pray for opportunities to do so ourselves… then we could distort their image of what that is supposed to be like.
Today, once again, I’m challenged and spurred on by my friends.
What do you want your parenting legacy to be?
In what ways are you building it now?