I remember it all too well. We had just finished our family book reports, and all seven of us kids wanted to hurry up and watch Saved by the Bell Finale (which we had recorded on the VCR since it played during the boring book reports.) Then Dad started talking. We sat on the living room floor as he began to share from his heart. It was then that he said it. The word none of us hoped would come up. The “H” word. Heritage.
“NOOooooo! Now we’re never going to get to watch our show!”— Those were the thoughts that passed through my head that evening. Any time dad started talking about the “H” word, you were sure to be there for a while. Of course I was only eight at the time and didn’t understand why the “H” word was so vitally important.
Heritage. It is one of our family’s core values. The passing down of values and teachings from generation to generation.
Our parents began to talk to us about heritage ever since I can remember. My mom comes from a long line of Christ-followers, but my dad is a first generation believer, a curse breaker who settled in his heart long before he had children that he would lead his family to be lovers of God. It was the basis of all we did. It was why we homeschooled, why we lived in the country on a large piece of land—in the middle of nowhere. It was why we raised chickens, and planted gardens, and learned how to feed ourselves from God’s Word more than anything else.
You may call it weird, Amish, or even Little House on the Prairie, but I call it Heritage. The values and standards I learned during that time of my life are now leading me as I attempt to put my own stamp on the world: How to get along with others, doing everything with excellence, leading out of love—those are just a few of the things that are now hard-wired into each one of us. Not because we took a class on them, but because we lived them, everyday of our lives, as our parents patiently passed them down by simply modeling what it could look like.
That is Heritage. The daunting “H” word that now, I plan on passing to my own family some day.
What type of heritage do you want to leave for your family? Now is the time to start!