What Legacy Are You Bequeathing to Your Beloved?

Legacy in law means property. It is a bequest from the parent to the offspring. It could be in the form of real estate, cash, artifacts or other form of valuables that is bequeathed from the ancestors or predecessors to the children. What legacy are you expecting from your parent?

A man instructing his attorney to draw up his will has some bequeath for his children. The gift is regarded as a Legacy to the children from the Testator. But now, inheritance is more than property.

Medically, we now talk about DNA. Medicine believes that each of my parents gave me half of their DNA and that I will give half of mine to my offspring. That is why everyone in the world is slightly different because the chromosomes are slightly different from one child to another.

In medical thinking, a person could be sickle cell anemia having derived such gene from either of the parents. The result is that marriage counselors are insisting you know the medical status of your spouse before signing the dotted line to seal your union with your partner. The reason is to make sure that we don’t donate diseases and sorrow to our children. The result? Love alone, is not enough!

Socially also, I think about what people bequeath to their children. As some people are sickle cell anemia so also some will be poor because of the incidence of birth. Do you agree? The other day, I noticed a boy, of about twelve years old, leading the parent out to beg by the street corner. The thought that comes into mind is what legacy is the begging parent going to bequeath to him.

Every parent bequeaths something to the off spring. Whether you want to accept the gift is a different ball game, altogether. The child who is from the affluent home is already assured of his tomorrow. No matter what happens to his parent today, his next day’s meal is not affected. That is not the situation with the boy leading the parent out to beg every morning. To compound his situation the time he ought to use to learn a career at the school to fund for his tomorrow is denied him by his incidence of birth.

The political legacy of Mahatma Gandhi is still being enjoyed by his grand-children and many generations to come in India. Same is true of Kennedy family in the United State that opposition to any of them would have to do a lot to sway the America people that he has a better political value to offer the American people.

Well I don’t know how old you are today! So long as you are reading this article you still have the opportunity to re-assess your life. You could still plan to leave a legacy for your loved children when you leave this world as assents.

You may not leave a political legacy like the Kennedy or the Gandhi had done or leaves one in sport. You may not even leave economic fortune like the Ford. If you miss on the above, you may not miss on this: GOODWILL.

But why will you leave disadvantage, shame, reproach, dishonor, liability, and debts as legacy. Where is your love, then?

It is however, not too late as you are still reading this article. So long as you are living, you still have the chance to leave some legacy but not debt, shame, and reproach to your children.

A Stepfather’s Legacy

The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.

~ William James

We transfer our worldly possessions through a trust or last will and testament. We will also pass on our legacy regardless of whether it’s good or bad when we pass away. Like the fingerprints we leave behind, our legacy establishes we were here and impacted the world. The cavemen left us crude and colorful drawings of their most exciting hunts and exploits.

Early cultures left us significant literature and works of art, inventions and scientific discoveries. People with financial fortunes left behind large inheritances, endowments and charitable donations. Great leaders have their image on their countries’ currency and have ships and buildings named after them.

Our parents, relatives, friends, teachers and leaders also left us a legacy to follow. These people have influenced us for good and in some cases for bad. As stepfathers, we leave a legacy by being one – because we didn’t have to be, but our legacy must be more than in title only.

As the leader, within our households we are leaving footprints for those behind to follow. Our legacy must be to live well to leave our children with the values and character that will help them achieve greatness and personal fulfillment in their lives. While in your blended family you may feel at times like the invisible man what you do affects and influences others within your sphere of influence stepchildren included.

This responsibility makes it essential for us to leave a positive legacy. As men, we need to be purposeful about the legacy we leave. How we live is very important. My challenge to you is to think about the major areas of your life: family/home, spiritual, financial, career, physical health, and education where you can and should leave a lasting legacy.

Al Sanders, in his book Crisis in Morality, compares the descendants of two men who lived in the United States over 150 years ago.

  • Max Jukes was an atheist.
    • He did not believe in Christ or in Christian training.
    • He married an ungodly girl and refused to take his children to church, even when they asked to go.
    • At the time the book was written there were approximately 1200 descendants from this union. Of these,
      • 310 died as paupers,
      • 150 were criminals,
      • Seven were murderers,
      • 100 were drunkards, and
      • more than half of the women were prostitutes.
    • His 540 descendants cost the State one and a quarter million dollar

Jonathan Edwards lived at the same time as Max Jukes, but he married a godly woman.

He loved the Lord and saw that his children were in church every Sunday as he served the Lord to the best of his ability.

An investigation was made of 1,394 of his known descendants.

  • Thirteen of his offspring became college presidents,
  • 65 became college professors,
  • 100 lawyers,
  • 30 judges,
  • 60 physicians,
  • 76 army and navy officers,
  • 100 preachers and missionaries,
  • 60 authors of prominence,
  • Three United States Senators,
  • One Vice President of the United States,
  • 80 public officials in other capacities, and
  • 295 college graduates, among whom were governors of states and ministers to foreign countries.

His descendants did not cost the state a single penny.

As a stepfather, you can bless your children with greatness or further hurt their hearts and minds. What are you teaching others by your daily example? Where are your footprints leading? Leave footprints that will make your legacy a blessed one.

Solomon, the wisest king who ever lived wrote, “The memory of the just is blessed.”

What Kind of Legacy Are Your Leaving Your Children?

What kind of legacy are you leaving your children? You see, in a family I believe first and foremost that your children are one of the most important people in a family. They didn’t ask to come into this world, but you brought them here. You need to ask yourself this question: “What kind of legacy do I want to leave them?”

The reason I bring this question up is because it’s so important. I see couples leaving little children with broken homes. I see mothers and fathers running around with other people and being unfaithful. I see them leaving children with only one parent struggling just to get by. I see a mother and father always fighting, and I also see domestic abuse. Then I see children getting abused and finding out that they have no where to turn, and nowhere to hide. And, today as things get worse with the economy, I see thousands upon thousand of children without a home at all. I can’t imagine that. A little child in America without a home. It almost makes me cry. And, then I can’t help but wonder what happens to them?

Nowadays, what a sad state many marriages and families are in. Someone needs to step up to the plate and make a change. It’s never too late to change and come home and take care of your little ones. They really need you more than you know. It’s hard enough nowadays.

When you are gone from this world, what images and memories do you want to leave to your chlidren? Do you want them to say. “I remember Dad or Mom, and they were great!” “They were always there for me!” Or, I really loved my Mom and Dad because they showered me with so much love. That is the legacy I want to leave my children. You know you’ve heard of people leaving a legacy, well, you can too. You know money isn’t everything, but how you treat your children is just about everything. I have to tell you a true story about myself. I did come from a broken home and it wasn’t always easy for me. I had a lot of challenges to overcome, but I do remember my Mom. I went out of my way to see her as she was living a block away and I got to go out and eat at a restaurant with her and my Dad, and she took me to the dentist. I remember the dentist because she forgot to tell me not to eat anything and they put me under anesthesia. I was so sick afterwards. Anyway, I got to see my Mom two times total that I can remember. I remember my Mom’s pretty red hair, her nail polish was a pretty sparkly color. And I even remember the dress that I wore when my Dad and my Mom and I went out to eat. I was only 8 years old.

Shortly thereafter, I picked up a newspaper and my Mom was on the front page. She was driving down a straight road in a small farm town, and she ran into the back of a cement truck and was killed instantly. My Aunt and Uncle didn’t want to tell me right away because they were afraid it would be too much. I wished now that they would have broke the news to me. It might have been easier, but you see they loved me and didn’t want me to be hurt.

I tell you this story because there are many Moms and Dads out there right now that are hurting for their children, but maybe are afraid to pick up the phone and make that call. I don’t know where you are with your own personal situation, but if there is a way to see or visit your children and you haven’t visited with them lately or at all, you should try to at least make an effort. If it’s a bad situation, I understand that, but my situation was bad too, but I went out of my way and I am so glad I did. But, I do have memories. If I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to see her, I wouldn’t have even known what she was like. They tell me that I look like her, but you know that’s not enough. No, a picture is not enough. See, my Mom left me a legacy. It wasn’t huge, but it was something, and I’m glad I had those 2 days with her as it meant the world to me. I will always remember those 2 days until I leave this world.

So, you need to ask yourself what kind of legacy are you going to leave your children? Will it be a good one? Or, will it be a bad one. It’s all up to you. I hope you make the right decision.