When we talk about Legacy, we need to understand that the most important legacy that we leave will be with those who are closest to us-our family. In the busyness of life, though, this can be a great thought but practically difficult to do. While there are a lot of ways to approach the idea of leaving a legacy with our family, three things have helped to put this in perspective for me.

  1. Provide an example to follow. None of us is perfect and the ones closest to us know this better than anyone. The average of our life though, our life after we factor in the ups downs and average days, should be one of living the life that we tell others to live. Setting an example that is actually worth following. If those closest to you had only your example to follow, would they end up in the right place? Provide an example to follow.
  2. Provide the road map. Someday you and I will not be able to influence others by our presence. This is the essence of legacy. Leaving something behind for others to follow. That makes letting our family members know where they can find direction when they find themselves on an uncertain road is so important. I do not want to give the impression that I am the one with all of the answers and that when I am gone the answers are as well. I want to point to the road map given by our Creator, the Bible, so that long after I am gone there will be a clear direction for those I have left.
  3. Encourage. I need to encourage my family now to fully be what God wants them to be even if I am not around to cheer from the sidelines. When my wife and kids think about me I want them to be encouraged to be all that they were created to be.

Living to leave a healthy family legacy can be difficult. If you have not been intentional about it, now is the time to start. Leave something behind that actually matters!

View more on this topic here: https://bit.ly/2TtSMIf

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

Jeremy Stalnecker is the Executive Director of the Mighty Oaks Foundation which is dedicated to helping America’s military warriors and their families who are suffering from the unseen wounds of combat. While growing up Jeremy’s only goal was to leave home and join the Marine Corps. This dream was finally realized with an active duty commission in 1999 which opened the door to serve as a Marine Infantry Officer during the opening days of the war in Iraq. One month after returning from Iraq, Jeremy entered full-time ministry and eventually accepted a senior pastor role. He later accepted a full-time position with the Mighty Oaks Foundation which brought together his ministry and military experience in a way that allows him to minister to hurting veterans, service members and their families. Along with his wife and their four children, Jeremy works to reach the hurting and provide healing found in Christ.

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