Each of My Core Values has a subtitle that describes a litmus test by which I can determine success or failure in that area of life. For this one, it is:
Spiritually, Financially – Leave an impact that is evident.
I don’t have children yet, but I am hoping and expecting that one day I will. It’s not especially significant to me that they would have my DNA or be a result of my sexual reproduction. It’s also not totally necessary that they would be formally adopted by me. Rather, I think my children will be identified by the fathering that I give and that they receive for a period of time greater than two years. It is within that context that this core value fits.
This core value is like the fifth in that it can only occur if the fifth does as well, but it goes beyond because it speaks to impact. Furthermore, Legacy is strictly defined as an “amount of money or property left to someone in a will” and loosely understood as anything handed down by a predecessor. So, this core value is about intentionally growing and then giving spiritual and financial gifts to my children. Spiritual gifts are harder to see, but I think they are the more important of the two. For now, since I do not have children, the way in which I can and should live out this core value is by garnering capital (especially spiritual capital) with the aim of giving a legacy in mind.
As children enter the picture, that capital will need to be structured in a way so that the legacy is give-able, impactful and useful. But for now, I pray like Jabez of 1 Chronicles 4 who “called upon the God of Israel, saying, ‘Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!'”