My children are very cold towards me. Should I leave anything for them in my will?

Automatic Transcript Generated

Speaker 1

So Charles is asking question. I am a divorced Christian father of two estranged adult children. My ex wife turned my children against me. I am writing a will. I am not sure I should leave inheritance to my children children. They are very cold towards me. Never get in touch. My son now sometimes emails me, but I have to write first. Then he stops writing again. I feel they want to emotionally hurt me all the time.

Speaker 2

All right, Charles, I mean, that’s very heavy stuff and we really appreciate you asking this question because I’m sure there’s a lot of other people experiencing these similar struggles, similar questions, like what do you do? What’s the right thing? What part of it is like, how do you treat them? And probably this hope of what we’d be able to do to get them to love you and restore the relationship. So I want to share first to me a verse that has seemed to be very powerful and I recommend it to everybody in similar situations. And it’s malachi four versus five to six. I think this is a powerful verse, like when you pray, pray promises in the Bible, and this is a great one to read. It says, behold, I will send you a Hydra, the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord, before Christ I return. And we will turn the hearts of the fathers. Sorry, he, Elijah, will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers. Let’s come and strike the earth with a curse. We could have packed this for a while, but right there, God’s desire too is to see children and their parents being in harmony.

Speaker 2

And this verse is a little bit intention with what Christ said right where he came to divide households. And that’s not what Christ wants to do, that’s what his message does. But in the last days, Elijah is going to come with a message and it’s going to be a gospel message that the world needs more than ever. That really is about relationships, restoring relationships and bringing people together, including within household. So pray this message and let’s talk about who is this Elijah and what are some lessons we can learn from this. Has Elijah come or who is this Elijah? We got clues in Matthew 17, verses ten to 13. So verse ten, it says, and his disciples, referring to Jesus, ask Jesus, saying, why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first? So they’re referring to this person Malachi. Jesus answered and said to them, indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. And I say to you that Elijah has come already. And they did not know him, but did to him whatever they wish. Likewise, the Son of man is also about to suffer at their hands. Then the disciples understood that he spoke to them of John the Baptist.

Speaker 2

So Jesus here is saying there is an Elijah that will come. And he says, Elijah has also already come. And then they understood jesus talked about John the Baptist. So John Baptist is with Elijah that did come or the second coming of Elijah. And then there’s still going to be a group of people that will come and pave the way for Christ. So just as John sort of prepared the way for Christ first coming, there’s going to be another Elijah that would prepare the way for Christ’s second coming. And what John did maybe has things that can help us understand the second Elijah message that needs to come. So let’s look at that. We see that in the Book of Luke, starting at verse three. Sorry, Luke three. Verse three. And this chapter is very interesting. It starts off with John the Baptist baptizing. And what is he preaching and saying to people? And he went, john the Baptist went into all the region around the Jordan preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sin. So repentance. And you’ll see this elsewhere through the Bible. Talk about how John the Baptist preached a message of repentance.

Speaker 2

We see in Luke three, eight to nine, it says, these are words of John the Baptist people coming to him, asking him questions, and he’s giving advice. He says, therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, we have Abraham as our father, but I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So let’s unpack this a little bit. So John saying, Bear fruits worthy of repentance. And this is tied so well to the first question we actually talked about. So John saying, if you have repented, that needs to be reflected in what you’re doing, how you’re acting, how you treated people, how you’re living your life. So first you really need to repent, and now you need to live your life like you have repented. And in repentance and the Bible is this concept very much associated with like you’re walking down a path, going the wrong direction and you need to turn around and go back the other way.

Speaker 2

Complete turning around reversal. I think the opposite of what Lot’s wife did, where she looked back and wanted to go back to Sodom and Gomorrah. So bear fruit is worthy of repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, we have Abraham as our Father. So interesting. Now we’re talking about this Father language. So the Jews right identified themselves by their lineage. It’s everything that they cared about. Our Father is Abraham. And through Abraham we’re saved basically the thing. And John said, no God is able to raise up children to Abraham. From these stones. And the stones is usually a metaphor for the Gentiles. So the job is saying that God can raise up children outside of Abraham’s lineage. Your lineage is not what’s saving you. Don’t get caught up in just bloodlines and family relationships get a bigger picture of what really matters is the relationship with God. Who has relationship with God. Build that relationship first and understand that. So even Malachi, the verse we looked at, there’s a spiritual component there to it. So now let’s look on more about these fruits of repentance. And what does that look like? Glaciers 522 says, but the fruit of Spirit, what about fruit?

Speaker 2

Fruit of spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. Are these fruit being borne out in your life? You can’t change your kids, you can’t change your family, you can’t change your former spouse, but what can you change? In fact, you probably can’t even change yourself. These are the fruit of the Spirit. The Spirit is what brings out the change. When we repent, we’re giving the Spirit permission to work into our life and change us. And that’s what I really suggest. And I know nothing about you, right? But I’m a human. I know myself. I know other humans. I know them. We all have plenty of room for repentance, plenty of room for change, plenty of room to get better at loving, having joy, having peace, having long suffering, having kindness, goodness, faithfulness. And I tell you, when we have all those things in our life, people get attracted to it because those are good things. If you read the next verse, Galatias 523, paul says, against these things there is no law. There you go. Oh, yeah. Gentleness self control. Against such things there are no law.

Speaker 2

This is the state we’re supposed to be in. All the laws we have as a society are basically trying to point you to do these things. And of course, they can’t force you to have joy, they can’t force you to be patient. But I mean, this is kind of what we want and maybe that’s what your family wants. And you can make yourself irresistible by letting the Spirit bear this fruit in you. And then we could go on to the secret, as we see in John 15, jesus says, signing up verse four, abide in me, and I in you as a branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it buys in the vine. Neither can you, unless you abide in me. So again, these fruit of the Spirit, all these things we cannot do by ourselves. We have to have that relationship with God. We have to be connected with Him. We need the Spirit flowing through our veins more or less to be changing us to bear these fruit. If you’re cut off on the vine, you’re not going to get water. The vine is just going to soak up, dry out, fall off and bear fruit.

Speaker 2

That’s the same imagery we have to have with us being tapped into Christ at all times. Verse five it says, I am the vine, you are the branches, he who abides in me and I and him bears much fruit or without me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered and they gather them and throw them into the fire. Oh, same language John was using and they are burned. If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you. And so this is again another very important verse for you my friend. For you Charles. When you are so tapped into Christ, when you are so connected to God that your will is aligned with his will, that’s when your prayers are going to be super strong, because why wouldn’t God want to do what he actually does want to do? And when you’re also aligned with God and say, god do in my life what you want to do again, that’s when power repair just gets powerful and things happen.

Speaker 2

So like I said, we’re abiding you ask what you desire, because again your desires then will be aligned with God’s desires and he will make it happen. And I want us to know, I want to talk about what does this love look like that God has shown to us? Jesus says going on in John 15 verse, says these things I’ve spoken to you that my joy may be remaining you and that your joy may be full. This is my commitment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this than to lay down one’s life for his friend. This is so important for us to be able to love. We have needed it to be demonstrated to us and we need God to love us before we can have the capacity to love others. We try to love someone without knowing God. It’s going to be a failing love. You need to focus on God’s love, understanding his love for us, letting God become our Father, so that then we can be a father to someone else. And how does God father, how does God love us? Romans five eight it says, but God demonstrates his own love for us in this.

Speaker 2

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us, so God doesn’t wait for us to love Him first. God still did the act of love. God did what he needed to restore the relationship, to reconcile us back to Him. He did all the work that he possibly could and then just left the last part for us to say, yes, I accept, Lord, the relationship. I do want to come back to you. I do want to turn for My ways and return to yours, one john Three one. Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called the children of God. Therefore, the world does not know Him because it did not know Him. And it’s so touching me, this concept again, if the creator of the whole universe wants to call us his children, I mean, he could put so many levels between us. You could say like there’s God and then there’s the seraphim, and then the angels, and then this race, that race and the humans, and you have to go through a chain of command to me. Does he do that? No, there’s God and then us, it’s children.

Speaker 2

And he wants that one on one relationship with each and every one of us. It’s just this concept of he’s loving us, loving us, loving us, supplying that love in our heart so that we will turn around and love another, that we can love our friends, we can love our enemies, we can love our children, our spouses, ex spouses, whatever it is, whatever the relationship or former relationship. And it’s that love that is so crucial just to make anything happen. The love is central for any successful relationship. Again, all of this is teaching like the love sacrifice or is willing to make a sacrifice. Price was willing to die for us first. He made the first move before. He waits for us to come to receive it and come to Him. And it’s not even really that far we have to go to come to Him because the prodigal son, the Father, when he sees the sun, yet far off, starts running towards the sun. That’s how God is. He just waits for us to just turn around a little bit and just start hitting his way and then boom, he’s there to meet us.

Speaker 2

And so he verse to take away first. John 419 we love Him because he first loved us. This is God’s secret, god’s way of how he is restoring a relationship to us. How he is helping us to love Him is by Him loving us first. So I think for any relationship, look at most of the stories of when someone gets married, when a couple gets married in the first place. Usually the story goes the guy who is attracted to the girl starts pursuing her. She has no interest in him. He keeps pursuing, she’s not interested. He keeps pursuing, she’s not interested. Eventually she realizes he loves her, he really loves her. And then she starts thinking about what life is like being loved by Him. And it’s sort of the same way God is keep pursuing us, keep pursuing us, saying I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you. And then the relationship eventually, hopefully forms. And then we love him. And then because we love Him, we do as he desires. What pleases Him? Because we love Him, it pleases us to please him. This is the road map I would follow again.

Speaker 2

You can never change somebody, just as God can never force us to love Him back. And he suffers a lot of heartache because so many reject Him. There’s always a chance that you can never force someone back to love you. But you know, you have a father in heaven. He knows what that feels like. He understands the pain you’re going through and he desires as much as you do to restore the relationship. So you got the big guy backing you up on this and it’s just a matter of you getting as close to him as possible and reaping the benefits of that and watching just how he can work wonders in your life.

Speaker 1

Yeah, and I think I would just add also proverbs 1322 says a good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children. And I know that context of this is a little bit broader and different than some of the things that Jay has been talking about. But I think the concept is important that I know it can be very easy to become bitter towards someone when the relationship isn’t what we want it to be. Especially within family dynamics and complex situations when maybe there’s personality disorders involved or different kinds of issues going on that are very complicated. But this is why we have the word of God, because there are times when principle is much, principle is more important than the feeling, the emotion, these kinds of things. And so I think the way of the world is to kind of say, well, they don’t love me, so I’m not going to leave anything to them, or they disrespect me, so I’m not going to leave anything to them. But imagine if we did that to God, and this goes back to everything that I was saying. If we did that to God and he did that to us, if we have this attitude with God and he’s like, well, fine, I’m going to abandon you, I’m not going to love you, what would that say about God’s character?

Speaker 1

And so when I think about that in this kind of situation as a parent, you’re in the position to reveal your character. And if you choose to not leave any inheritance to them, what is that saying about your character? Is that validating what they experienced or what they have been led to believe and think about you? Or is it changing that perception? And so I think this is an important concept that when someone actually does what is the right principle to do, what is the right thing to do? Despite the issues that are going on, the true character can become known and be seen and hearts can be changed and shifted by that. And whole dynamics, whole perspectives can be completely overhauled. When I’ve been in a lot of communities with a lot of people who have personality disorders and these issues of parental alienation come up. It’s so beautiful to see when that situation is going on and children have been raised in that environment and kind of groomed into that environment of believing a parent in a certain way when they’re not that way. But that parent stays strong even though they’re not involved.

Speaker 1

They continue to demonstrate the love and the care that they have for those children. Despite how the children are treating them and what’s going on. Eventually those children come to see it. They come to see the truth. And when they do, it’s like this beautiful relationship can be created, can be strengthened. And for some people, that happens when they’re teenager. For some children, it happens when they’re teens. For others, it happens when they’re in college. For others, it doesn’t happen until they’re like parents themselves and they wake up to it. But it can happen eventually when love is continued to be shown and eventually it reaches through all of those barriers that have been enacted. And when it does, all of those barriers just come crumbling down. I don’t know if Tina wants to add anything to this or not.

Speaker 3

I love what you said, Wendy. Honestly, that was my thought exactly. But I think you put it so beautifully and the only thing I would even add to that is just I know this is a painful situation. I understand that it’s hard when you have that break in the relationship in the family. And I think that especially the relationship of parent and child is so precious. And that would break my heart. If my child turned against me and estranged from me, I would be devastated for sure. But when it comes to your will, and I know that there’s a situation with X and then making the children believe that maybe you’re this person that you’re not. The thing is, when it comes to your will, this is the last chance you have to communicate with your children. And so it’s what do you want to be the final word from you to them? And honestly, this can be the most powerful thing because I’m not saying we’ll just give them a bunch of stuff that may not necessarily be what they need, but give them a message of just, hey, I love you. Like, I know that maybe things are said or things happen, but nevertheless, I absolutely loved you as your father.

Speaker 3

And I am giving you this gift of this inheritance out of love for you because I still care about you. And even though I don’t know where you’re at, why you’re making your will at this point in your life, but we’re all going to pass away at one point. And so this is your chance to send a message to your children of love and of compassion when you say who you are and showing your children that picture. And so I would just encourage you to pray about it and ask, speak the Lord for wisdom as to how to leave this last message for your children, for them to know a picture of the person that you want them to know yourself to be. Because I believe that will be very powerful, and I think that God can use that as a witness in your life and even in your passing. And so I just pray God be with you. And I pray God bless you and give you his spirit to guide you into exactly how to leave that last message and gift to your children as God knows his best for them.

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