Spiritual Formation

A Season of Legacy

"The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith." - Saint Augustine by Captain Stephanie Pavlakis
Dad and Child In Field

Two weeks ago, my oldest daughter was enrolled as a junior soldier. She was so nervous about being on the platform for the enrollment that she kept asking me why she was doing this. We sat down together, and I reviewed what it meant to be a junior soldier with her once again.

“Do you believe that Jesus is fully God and fully human?”
“Yes, mommy.”
“Do you believe Jesus died on the cross for your sins?”
“Yes, mommy.”
“Did you tell Jesus your sins and ask for forgiveness?”
“Oh, I do that all the time!”
“Do you promise to not put harmful things like drugs and alcohol in your body?”
“I would never do that.”
“And do you want The Salvation Army to be your home church?”
“Yes, because I’m going to live with you forever.”
“Then you’re ready to be a junior soldier!”

With her enrollment that Sunday, our sweet girl marked the eighth generation of Salvationists in our family. As I wrote a post on social media to celebrate her and her decision, I wanted to mention our heritage of Salvationists but deleted it out of concern that it might come across as prideful or boastful.

Later that week, a friend came into my office to chat about a few different things. As we were talking, the conversation turned towards our families. Her son was enrolled as a senior soldier the same day my daughter was enrolled as a junior soldier. Reflecting on this, my friend shared that she had grown up not knowing about Jesus until she was in her early 20s. She later started a family with her husband. Both having a background of addiction and recovery, they made the decision that, not only would the generational trend of addiction end with them, but that they would start a new legacy of faithful followers of Jesus; that no generation going forward in their family would be able to say they did not know who Jesus was.

Listening to her beautiful testimony, I was blessed. Here was my friend just starting a legacy of believers, with my daughter and I at the other end of that lineage. We are examples of what her family could be seven or eight generations later. To have a legacy of believers or a heritage of faithful followers is not something to be prideful or boastful of, but it is something worth celebrating. It is a representation of a people’s faithfulness to God and His faithfulness to them. It is a glimpse of what the new heaven and earth will be but also of what God’s Kingdom can be right here and now. Perhaps you did not inherit this type of generational gift. Perhaps yours was more of a generational curse. It’s okay. The cycle can be broken, and a new legacy of faith can begin with you.

Experiencing GOD:

  • What is your faith heritage? 
  • What faith legacy are you leaving? 

Supporting Scripture: 

“We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders.”

Psalm 78:4
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