Pastor John

Family Heirlooms

My 91-year-old mother keeps wondering what she’s going to do with all of her “stuff.” What she means is what are we—my sister, brother and me—going to do with all of her stuff when she’s gone. Frankly, none of us want it. Well, there is one old clock that has been a prominent fixture in my parent’s home from my earliest memories that I want. But other than that, I really don’t want my mom’s stuff. Melinda and I have too much of our own stuff that none of our kids want either. I’ve often said to Melinda over the years that we could get rid of half of all that we own and I’m not sure we could tell the difference!

A writer named Lloyd Alter wrote these insightful words about passing on family heirlooms:

I don’t like clutter. Yet cluttering up my dining room is an old cabinet filled with teacups and dishes that belonged to my late mother-in-law … My daughter was just setting up house, so at least the dining room set and sideboard found a home. But for many people, it’s not so easy. Most baby boomers are already established and don’t need more stuff when they inherit it from their parents. Their millennial kids either don’t like it or don’t have a place to put it.

Financial advisor Richard Eisenberg notes that nobody wants the big old stuff anymore. “Dining room tables and chairs, and end tables have become furniture non grata. Antiques are antiquated.” Another expert in getting rid of stuff moans about the millennials:

This is an Ikea and Target generation. They live minimally, much more so than the boomers. They don’t have the emotional connection to things that earlier generations did. And they’re more mobile. So, they don’t want a lot of heavy stuff dragging down a move across country for a new opportunity.

Eisenberg concludes with this tip for older, aging generations: Prepare for disappointment. Tastes and the way people think about stuff, has changed. With today’s disposable culture, it’s cheaper to buy a sofa from IKEA than it is to hire a truck for grandma’s giant sofa. An antique dealer said, “I don’t think there is a future for the possessions of our parents’ generation. It’s a different world.”

Millennials and Gen Z and whatever designation people will give succeeding generations after them, may not want the furniture, china, and keepsakes of their parents. However, one thing that parents should make sure they pass on is what their children need most: the heritage of an authentic, albeit flawed, life of faith in God.

The Psalmist declares: From generation to generation we will proclaim your praise. (Psalm 79:13) And the primary means that God designed to pass along timeless truths and eternal values is the family. The family, biblically speaking, is the first and most basic relational unit of any society.

Last Sunday Pastor Dustin kicked off a great new series on the family. If you didn’t get to watch or listen to Pastor Dustin’s humorous, practical and convicting message on fighting fair, watch it here.

This Sunday we will talk about what every family needs to pass along to next generations more than anything else: God’s amazing grace.

Loving the healthy-family Journey,

Pastor John