Leaving a Legacy of Faith
by Victoria Osteen
Everything we do produces a seed and leaves something for future generations. You may not feel as though you are making a difference, but God says with your good life, you are having an influence. Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” Notice, it doesn’t say that people will hear your words; He said they are going to observe your life. I can tell my children all day long how they are supposed to act and tell them what they are supposed to do, but the truth is, they are going to do what they see me doing.
When they grow up, they are going to model their relationships after what they experience, and that’s why it’s so important to live as a positive example before our children. We paint a picture with our lifestyle, and our children put their own frame around it. Paint a picture that your children will be proud to frame! Some people today have a frame, but no picture for their life. If that’s you, you can create vision and purpose in your home, and paint a new picture to be passed down in your family for years to come. Recognize that you are not only investing in your own children, you are investing in your children’s children and their children through your example. When we recognize our importance, we are laying stepping stones for future generations. You can leave that legacy of faith.
The Apostle Paul was talking to young Timothy, a young man who did great things for God. Paul said, “Timothy, I can see the faith of your Mother Eunice and your Grandmother Lois in you.” Timothy’s strong faith came through the influence of his mother and grandmother. But those women made an investment that had such an impact in Timothy’s life that Paul not only recognized it, but he recorded it in writing, and his words encourage and inspire us today.
Maybe you don’t have any children of your own, but perhaps there are other children in your life. Tell your nieces and nephews that they are important. Tell your friend’s children that they are important. Maybe you have “grown up” children in your life who need your deposit of faith and encouragement. Invest in those around you, because you are making a lasting impact for generations to come.
Words to Build a Home
by Victoria Osteen
Most of us understand that our words possess the power to build people up or tear them down. Yet too often, we ignore that truth in the most important arena of all: our home. It is vital that husbands and wives speak positively to each other, and it’s especially important that parents speak positive words into the lives of their children, even in life’s tough spots.
When our son was a little boy, one day he came home teary-eyed and told me that his friend’s dog had died. The dog was more that 16 years old and like a member of the family. After comforting Jonathan in his sadness, I knew I had a choice. I could commiserate with him and enter into the mourning. Or, I could help him see the positive side.
“Wow!” I said. “That dog lived a good, long life! I’ll bet that dog lived so long because he lived in Josh’s house and was surrounded by love.” Jonathan’s eyes widened with astonishment. “I’m going to tell that to Josh!” he said, happy that he had found some words to comfort his friend.
Women especially can set the tone for their households, creating with our words and demeanor either a positive or a negative atmosphere. The Bible says, “A wise woman builds her house, while a foolish woman tears hers down by her own efforts.” 1 The Scripture says to encourage one another daily,”2 and one of the best ways a wife and mom can do that is by speaking positive, encouraging words to her children and her husband. I constantly tell my family the things I appreciate about them. God is a rewarder of our faith; 3 it pleases Him when we also “reward” our family members with praise for their godly behavior, proper use of their talents and good attitudes.
My husband and I are excited about our relationship with God, and we love sharing our sense of awe and amazement with our children. We want our kids to know that living for God is not a grueling grind; it’s an exciting adventure! Even when I must discipline our children, I attempt to remain positive. My goal is to trainour children – to teach them rather than punish them. I try to emphasize what our children are doing right, rather than focusing on what they have done wrong. Most of all, I reinforce how much I love them.
Praying with our children is another way of building positive principles into their lives. Each day, before I drop our kids off at school, we hold hands and pray for the school, their teachers and friends. I speak words of blessing over them, telling them, “You have the favor of God.” And I encourage them to go out and be a blessing to others.
Possibly one of the most important ways a woman can influence her family is by praying with and for her husband. The positive and encouraging words you speak over your mate will have an impact on every aspect of his life – at home and in his career – and will help him tobe a spiritual leader.
Keeping your words consistently positive is a key to speaking into your family members’ lives. They may not appreciate what you are saying right now. But the Bible says, “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
If you will help your family find the good in every situation, in due season, you and your family members will reap the harvest of your positive, encouraging words.
Praying for Your Children
from Victoria's favorite Daily Prayer Guide for Children
Proverbs 18:21 says, "The tongue has the power of life and death". As parents, you have the power to speak life or death to your children and over your children. When you choose to speak the Word of God over your children, you are choosing to speak life over them.
Jesus said in John 6:63, "The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life." The following are scriptural confessions that you can speak over your children — and as Isaiah 55:11 says — "these words will not return to you empty, but will accomplish and achieve the purpose for which they are sent."
Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
(Isaiah 45:8, 2 Timothy 2:10)
Growth in Grace
I pray that they may “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
(2 Peter 3:18)
Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to live a life of love through the Spirit who dwells in them.
(Ephesians 5:2, Galatians 5:22)
Honesty and Integrity
May integrity and honesty be their virtue and their protection.
Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be “alert and self-controlled” in all they do.
(1 Thessalonians 5:6)
A Love for God’s Word
May my children grow to find Your Word “more precious than gold, than much pure gold; [and] sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.”
God, help my children to love justice as You do and to “act justly” in all they do.
(Psalm 11:7, Micah 6:8)
May my children always “be merciful, as [their] Father is merciful.”
Respect (for self, others, and authority)
Father, grant that my children may “show proper respect to everyone,” as Your Word commands.
(1 Peter 2:17)
Strong, Biblical Self-Esteem
Help my children to develop a strong sense of self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.”
“Let love and faithfulness never leave [my children],” but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts.
A Passion for God
Lord, please instill in my children a soul with a craving for You, a heart that clings passionately to You.
May the God of hope grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Grant that my children may learn responsibility, “for each one should carry his own load.”
Grant that my children may “be generous and willing to share [and so] lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age.”
(1 Timothy 6:18-19)
Father, let my children “make every effort to do what leads to peace.”
Lord, please cultivate in my children the ability to show true humility toward all.
Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion.
Lord, teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to “run with perseverance the race marked out for [them].”
Grant, Lord, that my children’s lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”
Father, teach my children “the secret of being content in any and every situation through Him who gives [them] strength.”
I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children’s hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them.
(Luke 17:5-6, Hebrews 11:1-40)
May my children be filled “with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.”
(1 Thessalonians 1:6)
A Heart for Missions
Lord, please help my children to develop a heart for missions, a desire to see Your glory declared among the nations, Your marvelous deeds among all peoples.
A Servant Heart
Lord, please help my children develop servant hearts, that they may “serve wholeheartedly as if [they] were serving the Lord, not men.”
A Willingness and Ability to Work Hard
Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work hard at everything they do, “as working for the Lord, not for men.”
“Create in [them] a pure heart, O God,” and let their purity of heart be shown in their actions.
Lord, may my children “always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:15)
May my children always “be strong and courageous” in their character and in their actions.
Father, I pray that my children may develop self-discipline, that they may acquire “a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair.”
Focus on the Family magazine, February 2000,
Vol. 24, No. 2, Published by Focus on the Family.
©2000 by Bob Hostetler. All rights reserved.
International copyright secured. Used by permission.