I recently heard an amazing man genuinely describe how he learned and grew from the legacy of previous generations, specifically their love for Christ amidst difficult situations. He described how this had a profound impact on him, and this ended up spilling into the lives of his many children and grandchildren. He described how the legacy of fathers in the Old Testament shaped their children for God.
Well, great. But what about David’s example with Bathsheba for his son Solomon? Did Solomon not still grow up to become a God-fearing man? What about the many harlots in the Old Testament who were born to pagan parents and ended up fearing the Lord of Israel while becoming part of the Lineage to Jesus Christ? I think this story of being a legacy for your children is excellent, and we should strive to be just that. But we will fail. And God’s grace still overcomes.
None of us will always choose the right thing in front of our children’s eyes. I personally came from a mostly non-Christian home and ended up following Christ through other people outside of my family. Our greatest example of a legacy to follow is that of Christ – hard, complicated, suffering, beautiful, graceful, humble, loving. Parents, rear your children to fear the Lord. Children, take what is good from your parents, what is good from your teachers/friends, what is good in creation, what is good in your soul – mix all of that up to become yourself – those are the parts that are God.