A monthly column by Vivienne Solomons who is a legal consultant who passionately believes that God wants His people to make a difference right where they are and to stand up for what is true and just. She is also passionate about encouraging young women to walk victoriously with God and she is engaged in a challenging faith journey as a parent of a child with special needs.
On September 24 South Africans, both at home and around the world, will be celebrating Heritage Day (otherwise known as National Braai Day), and most likely with that great South African tradition – an outdoor barbeque or braaivleis, of course.
With growing children in my own unique rainbow nation family, it has become increasingly important that my husband and I not only remind them of their mixed cultural heritage (and, of course, their shared commonalities with other South Africans) but also intentionally nurture their spiritual legacy going forward.
So what do I mean by “spiritual legacy”? We all leave a legacy or pass things down to the next generation (whether intentionally or unintentionally), and it is not limited to money or property; it includes character traits, talents, skills, hobbies and more. The question really is, how valuable will that legacy be? In other words, how relevant is it and what benefit might it hold in the long term? I am of the view that, as believers, the most valuable legacy we can pass on to our children, grandchildren and other children in our lives, is a spiritual legacy – the legacy of faith in the Living God. This does not mean that we force our children to follow Christ – as each one must make his own decision to do so – rather it means that we live our everyday lives in such a way that they are able to see the relevance and benefit of faith in Christ for themselves.
Here are a number of practical ways in which we can intentionally nurture a spiritual heritage for the next generation by creating an atmosphere in which their faith can thrive:
1. Live our faith in front of them
If we invite Christ into every area of our lives, and allow the next generation to see firsthand what it means to walk with Christ through the inevitable ups and downs, they will learn the value and relevance of having faith in Christ.
2. Share God’s Word and teach them how to pray
There are so many creative ways in which to foster a lasting love for God’s Word in the hearts of children on a daily basis, whether it be a regular family devotion, listening to worship music in the car, or even a Bible quiz. The only limit is our imagination! It is also never too early to teach little ones how to pray. When given the opportunity, they always have something to pray about and rarely fail to surprise with their insight and wisdom.
3. Tell them our family’s stories
Children of all ages love stories especially true stories about real people. So why not tell them stories of how God moved miraculously on our family’s behalf? Sharing our experiences creates memories that will impact their lives for eternity.
4. Stand firm
Challenging times test our faith but when children see us standing firm in the midst of our struggles they too learn what it means to have an unshakeable faith in God, no matter their circumstances.
I wish you a Happy Heritage Day! Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika!