Home is so much more than a place. Home is where the people who love us most, inevitably shape who we will one day become. For most of us, it is the first place we begin to experience love, acceptance, truth, and belonging. In big and small ways, our homes shape our hearts. Which is why leaving a legacy at home is one of the most important things we’ll ever do. We read so much about legacy these days, but what does that look like in real life lived out day-to-day? How can a Father intentionally make an impact today for the sake of the world tomorrow? So, I asked my husband what his thoughts were on this. Here are three simple ways he suggested:
Be a good first impression.
(Genesis 1:26-28) If you saw one of our kids, you would know exactly who they belong to! They share our likeness. In particular, the boys look just like me and the girls look just like Ruth. There is no mistaking that they are in the Schwenk family! As Christian men, filled with God’s Spirit, we will increasingly bear the image of God as we walk with Him. It is an exciting and scary thought. As fathers, we will be the first impression of who God our Father is. God has designed the family so that moms and dads are the first exposure kids have of who He is. We are to model the image of Christ so that our kids desire to follow Christ. With God’s help, a father can leave a legacy to his sons and daughters by being a good first impression of his Father. A Father who is slow to anger, truthful, dependable, loving, and present.
(Mark 3:13-14) We are wired for adventure and ambition. Some men look for it in the marketplace, others through sports and hobbies. All of those are good unless they steal you as a father from being ambitious at home. One of the greatest adventures is found at home—Leading our kids, being faithful to our spouse, and preparing and equipping our kids to leave our home one day. A lot of men want to do something “radical.” One of the most radical things we can do in our culture today is to be present with and for our family. Presence isn’t just about proximity; presence is about purpose. Jesus used his presence for the purpose of teaching, loving, preparing, nurturing, showing, and then, sending. Jesus desired to be present with his disciples for the purpose of preparing his disciples. One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is the gift of ourselves.
Use your words as a gift.
(Genesis 1) For most men, words don’t come easy. We’ve all heard or read the statistics; women use more words than men. Men would often times rather sit shoulder to shoulder, grunt, cheer, and occasionally offer a fist-bump. Not exactly meaningful or sophisticated, but we still call it communication. Words don’t have to be weapons that wound. And they certainly don’t have to be pointless either. As fathers who image our Father, words can be used to bring life, joy, beauty, strength, and encouragement. We serve the God who speaks. Nine times in Genesis 1, we read, “And God said…” Words belong to God. They are not ours to use as we please. We speak because God speaks.
As a father, we can sin by what we say, but also by what we don’t say.
Silence can be just as damaging. So use your words in a way that communicates truth, encouragement, love, and hope in the hearts of your kids! I love those thoughts from my husband. I pray that God would use these simple ways to encourage you as a father that you CAN leave a legacy for your children. By His power, God invites you to be a different kind of father for your family – a father who gifts his family with his presence, his words, and his Christ-like tenderness. Read about your Good, Good Father together as a family. Grammy Award-winning music artist, Chris Tomlin and Pat Barrett (Housefires), team up to tell the story of a little bear named Tucker whose life and townspeople are forever changed when they learn just how great the King’s love is for them.