The simplest definition of legacy is something that is passed on. And as grandparents, we have the opportunity to pass on all kinds of things to our grandchildren. Whether it be happy memories, family heirlooms, or even our personality traits, our #1 legacy is our faith in Jesus.
As we let His light shine through us, we’ll leave a legacy of faith, hope, and love – the greatest of these being love. And I don’t know about you, but I want to be remembered as someone who loved Jesus with all her heart, mind, soul, and strength.
Here are four ways to leave your grandchildren a legacy of faith.
Speak Often of the Savior
As King David once penned, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” This is a wonderful prayer for grandparents as they seek to leave a legacy of faith.
Sometimes, we feel like we can’t talk about Jesus for fear of offending others or being seen as fanatical, but how will they believe if they do not hear? The apostle Paul said it this way in Romans 10:14: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”
We don’t have to preach to our grandchildren, but we can often speak of the Savior and His love for them. We can also share our testimony – of how the Lord brought us to Himself. You never know what lasting impact this can have on your grandsons and granddaughters.
Speak often about the Savior and tell of His wonderful deeds; then, trust that God will use your words to plant seeds in the hearts of your grandchildren.
Make the Word of God Known
Photo credit: ©Getty/Halfpoint
Just as we are hesitant to talk about our faith, we are equally hesitant to share the Bible with our grandkids. Yet, it’s the Word of God that will not return void. As Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
We can share specific Bible verses that relate to what our grandkids are going through. Whether it be a tough time at school or other issues, the Word of God has the answers for life!
If you’re unsure where to start, I suggest returning to the beginning. Share the first few chapters of Genesis as a reminder that God is the Creator of everything. Emphasize that God made them in His image and has a divine purpose for them. Invite them to study the Bible with you, memorizing Scripture and learning more about God’s character.
Remember, the Bible is more than just a book. It contains the very words of God and is powerful to move in people’s hearts. Make His Word known to your grandkids, and pray they will develop a hunger for His truth.
Pray with Others in Specific Ways
I think it’s safe to say that most of us pray for our grandkids regularly, but how many of us have a prayer team of people praying alongside us?
Something powerful happens when you enlist others to pray specifically for you and your loved ones. Not only does a prayer network provide a sense of unity and camaraderie, but it also covers your family in much-needed intercession.
I highly encourage you to call on 2-3 trusted friends to join you in specific prayers for your grandchildren. Address topics such as emotional, physical, and spiritual issues. Here are several specific things to pray for:
-Their Heart: First and foremost, pray for your grandchildren’s salvation – that they will understand the gospel and follow Jesus all their days.
-Their Mind: Ask God to fix their minds on Him and give them His peace.
-Their Friendships: Pray for your grandchildren’s relationships and ask God to protect them from harmful people.
-Their Education: Intercede for your grandchildren’s education, that God will provide a safe and healthy learning environment.
-Their Safety: Ask the Lord to send His angels to guard your grandchildren and protect them from harm.
Be Salt and Light
In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Your example of faith is displayed through a life of devotion to Christ. It includes a heart of service to your family as salt and light. The more you invest in their little lives, the greater your impact will be.
Here are specific ways to be salt and light:
-Listen…really listen. Be a sounding board for your grandkids and take a genuine interest in their life. Chances are, they’ll grow to trust you as a safe person who always has their best in mind.
-Find things to do together. This can include going to the park, hiking, painting, or cooking. The memories you make will be cherished for decades to come.
-Be a voice of reason. You have a lot of experience and wisdom to share.
-Walk by the Spirit, displaying His fruit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control will go a long way in ministering to your grandkids.
Finally, leave a legacy of faith by walking the narrow path. While you cannot make your grandchildren believe in Jesus, you can show them what it looks like to walk in unity with the Savior. Your #1 legacy is your faith, and what a beautiful legacy it is!
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Tom Merton
Jennifer Waddle is the author of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer, and is a regular contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is EncouragementMama.com where you can find her books and sign up for her weekly post, Discouragement Doesn’t Win. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth.