There are many websites that will compile your family tree for you. A quick internet search on your own will also yield information about ancestors’ marriages and dates of births and deaths. Sometimes, we even come across neat tidbits about where our family name originated and in what country our ancestors were born.
If we look at the first page of the New Testament, we are given the lineage of Jesus. “And Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.” (Matthew 1:5b-6a ESV) Some of His ancestors include King David, a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14), a Moabite woman named Ruth, and Boaz, a man who honored and obeyed the laws of the Lord. If we look a little deeper though, we see more than a bloodline—we see a spiritual heritage.
Even though Ruth and Boaz lived many years before King David, he still inherited their godliness. They did not fail to pass it down to the future generations of their family line. We know this to be true by the way David ruled as king and through his writings. In turn, David passed down his faith in God to hundreds of generations of Christ followers through the Psalms.
When I think about the spiritual legacy that Ruth and Boaz gave their children and grandchildren, I think about what I will leave future generations. I’m reminded of the time when the lame man asked Peter to heal him. The disciple proclaimed, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” (Acts 3:6b-7 NLT)
My husband and I don’t have rare art, a sprawling estate, or fine jewels to pass down from one generation to the next – we have something that far surpasses these in value. Like Peter, David, Ruth, and Boaz, we have faith in and knowledge of the Lord. Those are timeless treasures I aim to pass on as a godly inheritance to my children and I pray they do the same for their kids.
If someone records my spiritual family tree one day, I hope my descendants will have followed in my footsteps and become men and women after God’s own heart. I may not have wealth untold, but I do have an insatiable love for and faith in Jesus Christ and an unquenchable thirst for His Word.
This is the best heritage any of our descendants can receive from us. May our legacy passed down to future generations be a strong belief in God and a love for the Lord Jesus Christ so they can rise up and walk in the ways of the Lord.
What greater legacy could we leave?