Father’s Day is set aside to honor and pay   special tribute to the men who have positively impacted our lives, helped to shape our characters, led us to a fuller understanding of who and whose we are, and to leave a legacy for generations to come.

While Legacy is often recognized as a gift left to someone in a Will, its meaning goes far deeper than that. Often, the most valuable legacies are intangible; qualities that are unseen, yet priceless, such as integrity, honesty, and faithfulness.

The legacy of love which is grounded in love for God, love for self, and love for others, is a principle that does not change with the tide or weather; it remains constant! This triangle is the foundation upon which civilized societies, and indeed the home should be stabilized. It is sad that much of the problems we face today is a lack of passing on such a legacy to succeeding generations. According to Proverbs 13:22, “a good man leaves an inheritance to his grandchildren”.

Unfortunately, some fathers are not creating an ideal legacy. However, the good news is that there is time to right wrongs and take the path of reconciliation. As human beings, we were all once “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise” (Ephesians 2: 12); but God through His Son Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself. What He has done for others, He can certainly do for any father who may be inclined to give up hope.

When we walk in the footsteps of Christ, we will have an inheritance to leave such as:

  1. Godliness – the importance of developing a personal relationship with God.
  2. Integrity – the conviction to do the right thing when no one else is around; and the confidence to go alone when the crowd is wrong.
  3. Respect for authority and the rights of others – even when you do not share their beliefs.
  4. Love others and treat them with dignity – keeping always in mind that Jesus loved us in our confused and messed-up state to the extent that He gave His life to redeem us.
  5. Love self unconditionally – recognizing that the daily tests and trials are like gold being tried in the fire. If one stays the course one day, he will come forth like pure gold (1 Peter 1:7).

One of the greatest legacies that a father can pass on to his children and grandchildren is that of Time, not passive but active time. It is important for fathers to be positively engaged in molding the character of their children; introducing them to the Heavenly Father, helping them to recognize and analyze situations, then arriving at the best cause of action possible. Time is more valuable than money or things. Time spent with children has eternal implications! The Bible says in Proverbs 22: 6; “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (KJV). Such training comes through effective communication and much intercessory prayers.

As a child, I learned much from being foot to foot behind my father; to the extent that one day I was even caught in a storm at sea with him and others. And although the waters became rough, the sky overshadowed with blackness, visibility severely diminished, rain and high wind mingled together in a stinging sensation upon the face, and even with our survival threatened, I felt safe through that ordeal because the tiller was in my father’s hand.

As we face the challenges of the future, we will continue to be assailed with all sorts of storms in our lives, but our security and the legacy that we will leave comes only if the tiller of our lives is placed securely in our Heavenly Father’s hand. He has given us a legacy of Faithfulness, and He says in Revelation 2: 10, “…be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life”. What a legacy! What a promise! If we follow the blueprint our eternal life is guaranteed in Jesus Christ and the legacy embraced would be worth it all.

Article written by Elder Roger Forbes, from the Grant’s Town Church and member of the Executive Committee of the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

This article was extracted from the Logos for June 12, 2021.