Are You A "Good" Parent? How to Leave an Inheritance

Proverbs 13:22 (NASB) 22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children...

The other day I prayed for guidance on how to leave an inheritance for my children’s children. I often seek God’s voice on how my husband and I should guide our children in a world that’s drastically changing (and not necessarily for the better). A lot of the times, these prayers come after hearing some disheartening news story involving children. As parents, my husband and I naturally want our kids to excel and thrive in life.

During my prayer time, I asked God to help us leave an inheritance for our children’s children. I reflected on that request, and the idea of leaving a large amount of money spanning at least two generations seemed daunting! To be honest, it seemed impossible. “Lord, I don’t even know where to start or how to make this happen!” , where my thoughts after my prayer. If I’m not able to leave money for my sons, does that make me a bad parent? I know all things are possible with God, so I asked for wisdom on how to accomplish this Proverb. God’s answer came to me over the course of two days. Below are three things I believe can help Godly parents leave an inheritance for their children’s children just as the Bible says.

1. Financial Discipline

You don’t have to have King Solomon’s wealth in order to leave an inheritance for the next generation, but as believers we should exercise financial discipline. Everything we have, including money belongs to God. Are we being good stewards over what has been trusted to us? If your children are very young like mine are, it’s not too early to set up a bank account for them, and show them how to be responsible. Parents can start by having at least $20 (or more) taken out of each pay period and deposited into their child’s account. By the time they are 18, I guarantee that money will have multiplied. Take them to the bank and help them understand how money actually works. Imagine how amazing it will be to pass on years of savings and financial knowledge to your children. However, if we as parents never have any extra money, how can we store up wealth for our children? Most importantly, how can we show them financial discipline if we don’t have any ourselves? If you struggle with finances, ask God to help you in this area, and I promise He will begin to show you how to exercise wisdom and restraint when it comes to finances.

2. Spiritual Inheritance

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, the word inheritance is defined as the acquisition of a possession, condition, or trait from past generations. This is the part where God showed me that inheritance doesn’t always equal money. The truth is everyone isn’t going to be wealthy, but as Christians, we are rich in Godly wisdom. Leaving money is wonderful, but it’s even better to leave wisdom. What are you depositing into your children that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives? Growing up, my parents shared with my brother and I teachings about the Word that I will never forget. Now, I have the opportunity to share knowledge with my children and pray for them to develop their own personal relationship with God. And guess what! They will pass that information down to their children and so forth. Now that’s an inheritance that’s priceless, and far better than money because it’s eternal.

3. Giving

The Bible says that it’s better to give than to receive. You know that feeling of contentment when you give from your heart? That feeling is from God. He blesses us with things so that we can share with others. What good is it to hoard all of your possessions and never share them with anyone? When I was younger, I remember getting a large sum of money for Christmas one year. I went out and bought a lot of clothes for myself. I specifically remember walking out of several stores with bags full of things and feeling empty. I felt unfulfilled, but I didn’t know why. I had always dreamed of going on a shopping spree,, why didn't this feel right? God showed me in that moment that things could never fill a God sized void. To this day, I can’t tell you what I bought and even if I could, I highly doubt I could still fit in it! Why not give our children the inheritance of compassion for others. Teach them how to give to others. Show them how to share their money, their time, and their wisdom. I’m not really big on receiving a lot of gifts for Christmas, but I’m always thrilled to have family memories forever etched in my mind and heart. I plan on passing this on to my children and let them experience the joy of giving.

Let’s continue to strive to be “good” parents as we journey through life. What inheritance do you plan on passing down to your children?

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