They didn't ask me for it. Unlike the prodigal son of Luke ch.15, my children haven't come to me asking that I go ahead and give them the portion of goods that will be theirs at my passing. It was my own decision. This year I am giving them most of their inheritance.
Before your imagination runs away with you as you wonder how much it will be and if I am so financially well off that I can give most of it away and live on what's left... I must tell you that it isn't money. It isn't property either seeing that I don't own even a square inch of land anywhere on this earth. As far as earthly possessions go, I have very little to give them that would have any monetary value.
What, one might ask, is the inheritance that you are giving to your kids ? I warn you, this isn't going to be very exciting: The inheritance I'm giving my three children is worn out Bibles.
I had 3 shadow boxes made large enough to hold a Bible. To Steve, the first born, I am giving my first "preaching Bible". To Jeremy, the second born, my second "preaching Bible. To Elizabeth, the baby and only girl, I'm giving the third "preaching Bible".
These Bibles have no monetary value to anyone. To me, however, they represent something far more valuable than money that I want to pass down to my children. When and/or if they remember me when I have gone from this earth, I want them to remember that, with all my failures, my life was dedicated to the preaching of God's Word.
I think all parents would agree that parenting is difficult under the best of circumstances. It comes with a built-in guilt trip. As I look back over the last 28 years of my life as a minister, my failures nag at me and remind me that I haven't always been the best dad. I could have been kinder and more understanding with them as they grew up. I wish I hadn't been so determined to get everything "right" that I took away some of their freedom to just be kids. There were thousands of down right stupid things that I'm trying hard to forget, am hoping that they won't hold them against me.
At times during their childhood, my children were forced to live in less than ideal conditions (while on the mission field and while preparing to go to the field). I hope that when they see these worn out Bibles, that they will be reminded that we were in those conditions because their mother and I were trying to serve God and His gospel as best we could.
My prayer is that my flickering, faltering passion for God and His Word has and will infect my children with a greater passion than I have ever shown, and that they will in turn infect their children with that same passion. Then, one day in a better land, if Jan and I can gather our children and grandchildren together at the feet of Jesus, and join them in singing "Thou art worthy"; I will know that this was the best inheritance I could have left them.