Nearly a year and a half ago, Janet and I attended FamilyLife's A Weekend to Remember marriage conference, one of the highlights of our marriage. During the conference, we purchased a number of books. I have been reading through one of them lately, Rocking the Roles by Robert Lewis and William Hendricks. I would like to share a powerful section of the book:
"Remember Lot in Genesis 19? The New Testament describes Lot as 'righteous,' meaning he was a God-fearer, a believer. But Lot also was a man whose life contradicted his belief. He compromised himself for prosperity around Sodom and Gomorrah, despite the wickedness that filled those towns. He moved his family there, and before long they were living the same evil lifestyle. One day two angels appeared to Lot, saying that God was about to destroy those cities. Immediately Lot went to warn his family. Perhaps for the first time in his life, he sought to exercise some real spiritual leadership (Genesis 19:14, emphasis added):
"'Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law...and said, 'Up, get out of this place, for the Lord will destroy the city.' But he appeared to his sons-in-law to be jesting.'
"Imagine this, if you will. In the moment of crisis, Lot was desperately trying to save his family. No doubt he used religious words such as sin, judgment, and evil. But Lot's spiritual credibility was already shot. So much so that his children dismissed him as playing a joke. 'Come on, Dad! God condemn us? Stop kidding. We haven't done anything wrong. What's wrong? What's right? Very funny, Dad!'
"Why did Lot receive this response? Because of the great gulf between his beliefs and his lifestyle.
"You will leave in your children what you have lived out in your home. You can leave a gift or a joke. Certainly, it depends on what you teach, but even more on how you live...
"What example are you showing your kids that will gift their marriages twenty years from now? Will they be advantaged because of the legacy you have left? Will your sons be servant-leaders to their wives? Will they be able to pass on a godly heritage to their children--your grandchildren? Will your daughters know how to love their husbands and their children? Will they be able to nurture them as only a woman can?
"You see, this is the most significant legacy you'll leave on this planet. What you leave in your estate, what you accomplish in your career, what you do for your community, even the help you give to your church--none of these will have quite as powerful an impact, or make a more poignant statement about your own character, as the children you send out into the world. And before you go, nothing will compare with the satisfaction of watching your children live out that legacy, if it's a good one" (pp. 213-215).