Building a legacy is something we long to do in the lives of our children. We want to instill our values and traditions so that we may see them carried out long after we are gone. Occasionally, we may have a rare opportunity to be part of building into the lives of our friend’s children. Kids are always watching. They watch what we do more than what we say. Our lives lived out become the textbook of what we leave behind.


My husband is a hunter. He values wildlife and respects and reverently cares for any animal he hunts. That comes from what he learned as a boy from his paternal grandmother who was a native Alaskan Indian. He tells the story of his grandmother’s ceremony of thanking the fish that were caught by carefully placing the bones back into order and returning them to the river from which they were caught. Each of our four sons has been along on his hunting trips. They would agree that the harvests of deer, elk, and moose kept our locker full for the year until the next year’s hunt. It was a necessary thing.

Last week Rob was elk hunting with his friend Mike. This was one of those times when the weather was really nasty with temperatures low and the wind blowing the snow over tracks making it really hard to find game. On the weekend, Mike’s step-son Alec, and his ten year old boy, Lukus, arrived in the camp. It was Lukus’ first trip with the hunters. He was really excited to be along, and he was watching everything.

To mark this special occasion, one evening Alec asked Lukus to sit down by the campfire and the three men began to share with the boy what it means to be a responsible and respectful hunter. Rob told me later that Lukus had shown great responsibility in camp, being careful to follow directions and carry out tasks. After the hunt, Judi, Mike’s wife and my dear friend, shared a leather bound hunting journal entry in which Lukus records the details. The words and spelling are his, and not intended to embarrass him in anyway. As a retired teacher, I love to observe the honest beginnings of young writers.

“Around the camp fire my DAD told me to sit down and then they kind of threw a ceremony and then my grandfather brout me a 243 wichester for hunting deer. It was my great grandfather J.D.’s rifle. That is what he yoused to hunt deer. And it is a family airloom passed down from generation to generation. And then they all congragulated me. After that Rob gave me his knife that he yoused to skin many deer.”


What a special memory they created for young Lukus. They were building a legacy. The Bible is clear that we are to do the same thing in regard to sharing our faith with our families. This passage in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 gives us a blueprint for how we are to go about this.


“And you must think constantly about these commandments I am giving you today. You must teach them to your children and talk about them when you are at home or out for a walk; at bedtime and the first thing in the morning.” This is the most important legacy we can leave to our families.