Building a family legacy

Building a Family Legacy that Lasts a Lifetime

Chad knows the importance of building a family legacy. What started as a personal letter to his three daughters, eventually turned into a full-fledged book. Chad’s masterpiece Listen Up Kids, is all about building a legacy that lasts a lifetime and beyond.

The Family Legacy Story

Initially, Chad had three major life goals.

  • First, he wanted a college education.
  • Second, Chad longed for a Christ-centered family.
  • And his third goal was to see his name on the cover of a book.

After accomplishing all of these dreams by his early thirties, Chad felt stuck. He wondered, What next? Accomplishing his goals led to a feeling of dying inside. As Chad searched for answers, he had an overwhelming sense God was asking him, “Chad, what about my dreams?” This is when Chad decided God, now I am going to write for you.

One night, while Chad was waiting for one of his daughters to fall asleep, he thought about his dad, who passed away at the young age of fifty. At that moment, Chad realized that life is short, and God can take us any time. He also remembered a note his dad wrote on his deathbed. The message said, “I’m so sorry we don’t get to make up for all the lost time.”

Chad realized he didn’t want any lost time with his own kids. This was when he took the next step of building his family legacy. And he did this in quite a unique way. Chad opened his laptop and began writing his daughters a letter. He added to this letter, day after day. Eventually, Chad decided to publish his letters so they wouldn’t get lost, and so other families could benefit from them. Chad’s creativity, passionate faith, and desire to create a family legacy makes him an expert in my book.

During our Thriving at Home Summit, Jenny and I had the opportunity to pick Chad’s brain. Here is a little bit of what Chad shared about building a family legacy.

From Idea to Building a Family Legacy

  • Time goes by fast. Enjoy the time now. This is true parenting wisdom and much more than a cliche.
  • Building a family legacy involves getting over self-doubt, moving past imposter syndrome, and remembering that God has equipped you.
  • If your efforts impact even one life, they are worth it. So put everything into God’s hands, move forward, and trust that God’s got it.
#FamilyLegacy – If your efforts impact even one life, they are worth it. Click To Tweet

Building a Family Legacy with Imperfections

  • Kids want to hear about our imperfections, and there is value in this. Parents can add value to their kids by sharing stories of their own humanness.
  • We should all see ourselves as God’s kids. Everyone has talents and skills. Share these with your kids.
  • Building a family legacy can be as simple as spending time together. Connect on walks to the park or by watching a movie.
  • You’re either going to win or you’re going to learn something. Parents can instill this attitude in their kids by sharing their successes and their failures.
Building a family legacy that lasts a lifetime

Building a Family Legacy Takes Slowing Down

  • To build a family legacy, we’ve got to be present. This may be as simple as turning the phone off so we can be fully present. Drive time back from work is a great time to get re-centered and leave troubles at the office.
  • Skills for being fully present with your kids and spouse are easy to understand—we know them intellectually and agree these skills are good—but they are often more difficult to practice.
  • In relationships, the little things are the big things. Small moments of connection really do add up and make a difference.

How to Build a Family Legacy of Faith

  • Life without Christ means having a Jesus shaped hole in your heart. Until this void is filled, we’ll never be close to complete.
  • Parents can build a family legacy by helping their kids build a foundation of faith early in life. One simple way to do this is for our kids to see us trying to live out our faith, be faithful, and to be a role model for them.
  • Modeling faith is typically more effective than trying to force face. Us parents can help our children understand why spiritual disciplines are important. So dive into your child’s natural curiosity.

Chad’s Closing Thoughts

  • There is no secret formula or rulebook for building a family legacy.
  • Three great roles for parents to have are:
    • 1) Steward: Parents provide for their children, prepare them for life, and set them up for success.
    • 2) Giant: Think Andre the Giant in the Princess Bride movie—the gentle giant. We parents have broad shoulders for our kids to stand upon. This means we need to set the example and the pace.
    • 3) Archer: “You are the bows from which your children, as living arrows, are sent forth.” As archers, parents provide their children as much direction as we can to hit that target.

Diving Deeper into Building a Family Legacy

I love Chad’s passion for building a family legacy and the wisdom he shares with others. If you’d like to dive deeper, you may want to check out the all-access pass to our Thriving at Home Summit and check out Chad’s entire interview.

Thriving at Home Virtual Summit

For more great insights from the Thriving at Home Summit, be sure to check out the following posts:

Continue the Conversation

Jenny and I would love to continue the conversation on building a family legacy.

  • What are you doing to build a family legacy in your home?
  • Which of the positive parenting skills in this post resonated the most with you?
  • Which of these ideas have you already used, and which ones do you plan on putting into action soon?
  • Finally, what additional thoughts would you add to this conversation on building a family legacy?

Jenny and I can’t wait to hear from you!

Jed Jurchenko

Jed Jurchenko is the husband to an incredible wife, daddy to four amazing girls, and a foster dad to one more. He's served as a children's pastor, marriage and family therapist, psychology professor, award-winning writing coach, and life coach. Jed is the author of 23 books on relationships, parenting, writing, and doing life well. In his free time, you'll find Jed reading, preparing for an upcoming marathon, barbecuing, paddle boarding, and enjoying life with his incredible family. Find out more about Jed's books, coaching, and courses at www.ithrive320.com.

10 thoughts on “Building a Family Legacy that Lasts a Lifetime”

  1. Great thoughts for leaving a family legacy. With 4 grown children, all at different “stages” in their faith, I think back on what I could have done differently to leave a legacy of faith. Still working on this…it’s not too late! Thanks for the great post.

    1. “It’s not too late.” I love that, and it’s so very true! I also don’t think that striving to leave that legacy of faith ends on this side of earth. I’m sure the ways Jenny and I seek to instill this legacy in our children will change once they are grown. But this desire will still be there in us too.

      Susan, are there any faith legacy building strategies that are working especially well with your adult kids?

  2. My kids are now in their late 20’s, but when they were young, I was absolutely insistent on having a family meal every single night. We weren’t going to eat in the car, and we weren’t going to eat at 8:30 at night, and we weren’t going to eat in shifts. This, of course, prevented us from doing the soccer/dance/baseball thing. My kids were fine with that, but I took a lot of flack from people, who said I was holding my kids back by not letting them be involved in those activities. But I built a strong, close family. And I have no regrets, because as we know, life is short. I wanted our moments together to be around the dinner table and not the soccer field.

    1. Patti, thank you for sharing this! What you wrote is super affirming for Jenny and me. And I think that a lot of parents in the midst of the temptation to overschedule their kids will find your words helpful.

      We had a few years when we did put our kiddos in competitive soccer (at pretty young ages). They enjoyed soccer but were also stressed. So stressed that our four-year-old was waking up at 4am to check the clock and make sure she wasn’t late for anything. The kids also said the missed the simple stuff like family movies, game nights, and impromptu dance parties. We are much more balanced now. And, it is so great to hear that looking back you have no regrets. We know the temptation to overschedule is real. Today, Jenny and I also agree with you 100%. Life is short, and the time our kiddos are young is short too (as a daddy to at 13-year-old I can’t believe how fast it’s going by).

      Patti, thank you again for sharing your story. This is so good!

  3. So great. Just insta’d today that we live our legacy every day (whether we think about that or not) so what we do now matters, for eternity. Great post.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.