Spiritual capital describes the spiritual legacy we leave our children as it relates to Christian faith and values.
We might ask, “How well have we conveyed the importance of the Christ as the ‘true north,’ setting on the compass of our children’s lives?” In first-century Palestine, when the New Testament was written, knowledge was acquired primarily through relationships in the immediate and extended family. When a child had a question, he or she did not have the option to “Google it.” They learned how life worked primarily from their family. That reality no longer exists, placing an urgent responsibility on parents to represent how Christianity stands far above dozens of other competing worldviews.
Our families hear our words (theory) and see our actions (practice). Yogi Berra once famously said, “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” My father once told me not to smoke cigarettes while he finished the last of his two-pack-a-day habit (Pall Mall, no filter). Anyone who has raised children knows that our actions speak much louder than our words. Talking about Christ but failing to produce the fruit of His Lordship can bankrupt a spiritual inheritance.
We believe the Word of God and the example of Jesus, applied to every aspect of our lives, will serve as the best compass for life; a never-changing, reliable rock of truth they can build our lives upon. But one of the challenges of leaving a lasting spiritual inheritance to our children is the urgent need to help them assimilate the never-changing Word into an ever-changing secular culture.
Best-selling author Brene Brown made famous the quote, “Knowledge is only a rumor until it lives in the muscle.” Each succeeding generation sees the world through a vastly different lens than their predecessors. Parents need to prayerfully seek relevant ways to pass along the hard-earned knowledge that has accrued in their collective muscles. While the essence of the biblical principles never change, the art and science of motivating our children to live by those principles needs to be translated into relevant lessons for each succeeding generation.
This is especially true as it relates to the way we speak to our children about the relationship between spirituality and their future inheritance. “What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?” (Mark 8:36). Many of our clients are first-generation wealth creators. They understand the need to speak to their children about the biblical principles of accountability and stewardship but lack the necessary tools and confidence.
Our firm works closely with The National Christian Foundation (NCF) and other Christian donor-advised funds. Generous Giving is an affiliate of NCF and their co-founder, Todd Harper, likes to say, “I’ve never met an unhappy generous person.” One of the best ways to leave a substantial spiritual inheritance to your children is to engage them with you in generosity. That allows them to see first-hand how God blesses those who use their resources to advance the cause of Christ.
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Peter Roselle is the NYC Director for Archetype Wealth Partners, a leading Wealth Advisory firm specializing in family legacy planning and advanced charitable giving strategies. Peter is a published author on the topic of Sustainable Investing and a thought-leader in the growing field of portfolio values-alignment. Archetype exists to help families thrive across generations.
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