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Leaving A Legacy

Exodus 20:12 Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Recently I spent a holiday visiting my parents in Sydney. They are in their mid-eighties now and like many that age, have their fair share of health issues. I try to fly to Sydney as often as possible to visit them and enjoy their company, talking, laughing, reminiscing and offering whatever practical help I can. It means much to them and also to me.

When we are young, we rarely think about our parents growing older and leaving this earth. And then in what seems like the blink of an eye, that time has come and we know that clearly our parents are in the winter season of their lives.

It is all too easy to take our parents for granted, believing that they will always be there. But now, with parents who have health concerns, I am confronted with the very real fact that their time is short and making the most of every opportunity to be with them is just that much more important.

I trust that I am also leaving a legacy for my own children to emulate. If they know how important it is to honor parents in their old age, hopefully they will do the same for both myself and my husband when we are older. The example that we set before our children is the legacy we are investing into their lives. I watched my own parents care for their parents as they aged, and it is only right that I do the same for them in whatever way God provides.

Let’s think about Moses for a moment.

Deuteronomy 32:45-46 And Moses made an end of speaking all these words to all Israel: And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law.

What type of a legacy did Moses leave for both Joshua and the Israelites? Moses set an example of faithfulness and dependence upon the Lord. He diligently displayed these attributes throughout the years he had led God’s chosen people and they had learned by his clear instruction and example what that looked like in everyday life. Moses taught the people how to pray, how to obey and how to be a holy people set apart for the service and glory of God.

As Moses grew in wisdom and knowledge of the Lord and what God required of His people, Moses set his heart and devoted his life to instructing the Israelite’s in the way that they should go. He trained up God’s children with the hope that they would not depart from those teachings as they grew older (Proverbs 22:6).

And so, we too intentionally train up our own children to follow the command of honoring their parents as we honor ours. Perhaps you may be reading this and think, “My parents are not that old, they can care for themselves.” I thought that too. However, very soon they may not be so capable and become much more vulnerable than they are today. It is never too early to start caring for and doing acts of kindness for our parents. And let’s be reminded that there is a clear command in Scripture to humbly and lovingly honor the aged.

1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

The humble example of honoring our parents will reap lasting benefits. Let’s consider the impact of our actions. Like Moses, let’s faithfully and consistently leave a legacy of love for our own children to follow towards those older and frailer than ourselves.

About Jennifer Woodley

Jennifer is an Australian freelance writer who lives in a small rural town in sunny Queensland. She is passionate about encouraging others on their journey with Christ through writing and mentoring. Jennifer is a school chaplain, wife, mother of three adult sons and loving grandma of one adorable grandson. More of her writing can be found at Faithwriters.com.

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One comment

  1. Jennifer,

    I pray that those who need to reevaluate how they’re behaving in terms of their parents, will sit up and pay special attention to your wise advice. And “honor ty mother and father” is an outstanding commandment that all should observe. I miss my parents every day of my life. Mom is gone 8 years, and Dad 22, yet…they were my building blocks of life and the foundation in all things I am today. I appreciated them and was blessed. I pray that others will enjoy all the moments and seconds, because as you’ve said Jennifer, time is fleeting. And one day, they will have been called home.
    Thank you for this.

    God Bless~

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