My husband and I were unpacking some boxes after moving into our first home recently, and while doing so I came across our engagement photos. Our two year old daughter looked at the photos and shouted with pride, “Das my mommy and daddy in dah pikcher!” I realized it was the first time that she’d seen us in a photo before we became her parents.
Hearing her sweet voice say those words sent my memory into overdrive! Thinking about all of the highs, lows, and wonderful things we’ve experienced together over the years brought me to tears, because we’ve been so blessed and very happy.
As I wiped my tears, I stared and smiled widely at my daughter. She represents the highest degree of love my husband and I have for one another. We are her first teachers of what true love means and looks like.
Then I thought to myself, “What kind of love legacy will we leave her?”
I inherited hurt, anger, and bitterness from my divorced-and-on-unfriendly-terms parents. I had to renounce those things and choose love for myself, for God, and for the family He’s given me. Stopping the cycle of broken families and giving my daughter a fresh start has always been important to me (starting with who I chose to marry and be her father).
When we say words like legacy or inheritance, money or heirlooms usually come to mind. But the priceless and intangible things we want to leave for our daughter, will include a legacy of love — made up of these four principles:
I understand that it will be her choice to choose Christ as her savior, but we desire to show her with the way we live our lives, that it’s the best decision she’ll ever make.
Love without condition.
When we got married, we made the choice to love each other fully and completely — flaws and all. True love has no, “I love you, but…” It’s all about, “I love you, and…”
Love with respect.
This involves teaching her how to love and respect herself and her body. We teach other people how to treat us, so knowing my worth (and he, his) is so important because it influences the way we respond to one another. This is a crucial example for her to follow on how to treat others with kindness and respect.
Not being afraid of being vulnerable is what this means to me. That’s the heart of what being in love means; that you expose your true heart and feelings. How we talk to each other, handle disagreements, and simply walk through life together as man and wife will demonstrate to her what loving honestly really means.
It is my hope that by modeling these things and not just saying them, it will leave an impression on her heart that she’ll carry with her long after we’re gone. We may not always get it right, but the effort will certainly be worth it.
What type of love legacy do you hope to leave your children?
like what you're reading?