The last weekend of October I had the opportunity to attend the 3rd Art of Homemaking Conference hosted by the Women’s program here at the Seminary.
This is an event that I have looked forward to for a while. Each time I have the opportunity to attend I learn and grow so much in just a few short days.
This year they did not provide a “theme” for the conference but God managed to sew a common thread throughout the message of all the main speakers. That common thread, at least to me, was “Be where God has you in the moment”
There were 5 main session speakers all presenting messages on different topics. The first session was presented by Lorna Reeves, editor of Tea Time Magazine, session two was presented by Dr. Rhonda Kelly, First Lady of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, the third session was given by Dr. Candi Finch, a professor here at Southwestern, during the fourth session we heard from Monica Patrick who is the wife of a professor here at the Seminary with an wonderful story to tell, and the conference closed up with a message from Southwestern’s very own First Lady, Mrs. Dorothy Kelly Patterson.
Each Session brought with it a key ingredient I felt lead to the over arching theme I shared above. It felt as if each ingredient was required for the whole puzzle to finally be completed.
Lorna opened the plenary sessions with a discussion on legacy. She began by talking about ‘traditions’; those elements of a culture passed down form one generation to another. These traditions are, as the definition states ‘elements of a culture.’ They are shaped and formed by circumstances. For example, in an area where there is a lot of snow at Christmas a ‘tradition’ might be sledding on Christmas morning where as an area where there is no snow would not share in that tradition. The same day is being recognized but how it is done changes. What we deem as ‘traditions’ often times have little baring on what is found in scripture. Culture has shaped our lives.
On the other hand, legacy, something also handed down from the past, from ancestors and predecessors, carries so much more. A legacy is what peoples reputations and perceptions are built upon. Families have worked hard to build up their legacies, and unlike traditions, can not easily be changed.
Lorna challenged us to question what type of legacy we are leaving. She encouraged us to strive to leave a legacy of faith. There are 2 definitions that pop up when you search for the term “faith.” The first is “complete trust or confidence in someone or something” and the second is “strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.” The first definition feeds the second. A strong belief in God, a complete trust or confidence.
2 Peter 1:5-7 says:
. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-30468D" data-link="(D)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>with virtue, and virtue <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-30468E" data-link="(E)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-30469F" data-link="(F)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-30470G" data-link="(G)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-30470H" data-link="(H)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>with love.
Peter gives us everything we need to build that strong legacy of faith. Virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love all build upon each other over time. All are character qualities passed on from one generation to another with a strong and deciding faith at the foundation.
How to Build a Legacy of Faith
One of the absolute best ways to begin building this Legacy of Faith is through Family Meal Times. Families have lost the connection that eating at least 2 meals together at the table used to bring. Busy schedules and over worked parents have lead to breakfasts being eaten as children rush to the bus or out the door to schools and day cares. And dinners have been reduced to the same rushed manner. Children are been shuffled from one after school activity to the next with little time to consume a fast food meal in the backseat. And if that is not the case then meals are being eaten in front of the television set with little to no conversation taking place.
If families will take the time to slow down and reconnect with genuine conversation the building blocks described in 2 Peter 1:5-7 can be laid. Faith can be seen by children as parents talk with them about daily issues. Knowledge can be shared as parents seek to give their children the counsel they need. and over time self-control, love and affection are learned and passed on. Tradition can then be shaped into true legacy.
Another way that this Legacy of Faith can be built is through making worship a priority. When children see their parents making worship such as reading of the Bible daily, prayer-both personal and together with the family, and attendance of church consistently they begin to make the connection of the importance of worship to the foundation of faith.
Traditions can be good to pass on. They remind us of where we came from and bring back happy and joyful memories of times past. It is what those traditions that are built upon that develops the Legacy of Faith
How do you build a Legacy of Faith in your family?