Raising A Legacy

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The ultrasound bill came in the mail. I laughed. $650 is a lot of money for what amounted to 10 seconds of work.

My wife and I have two sons, ages 5 and 3. There’s another child on the way. So, when we went to learn the gender of Kid No. 3, there were plenty of cheers from the peanut gallery for a little girl. Extended family, church friends, and even Big Brother wanted a little sister. The ultrasound tech pushed some buttons and turned the screen toward me. “Okay, let’s see if we can get a peek,” she said (as I’m sure she says 20 times a day). But I knew before she could even get the words out of her mouth. My wife knew. We’ve been down this road before. And even a 16­ week­ old fetus has a pretty clear package. Well, at least all three of my boys. Family jewels, you might say.

Three boys. I can honestly and proudly report no disappointment with my wife and me. We had a hunch — a mother’s intuition and a father’s “go ­along­ with ­it” — that another boy was on the cards. We were excited. Having three boys is a privilege.

Hopes for a Daughter Dashed: Embracing the Privilege of Raising Three Boys

Still, as I drove away from that appointment, I thought I might never have a daughter. There will probably be no daddy’s daughter dances, or pink soccer cleats in my future. My wife wouldn’t get to pick out frilly dresses or decorate pink nursery walls. There would also be no boy band posters. No heartbreak over Instagram drama (I’m told it’s a thing). No teenage boyfriends to scowl at or weddings to pay for.

Hey, having boys will be so much easier, I thought. I know how to do this. Teach them how to play baseball. Teach them to fish. Cut their hair short. Show them tough love. Keep them away from skinny jeans. I can do this.

Raising Future Artisans, Entrepreneurs, and Leaders: The Journey of Fatherhood

Somewhere between then and now, it hit me. I’m not raising three boys. I’m raising three men: three future artisans, entrepreneurs, artists, future husbands, fathers, and leaders. Three future grandfathers will be asked for guidance and wisdom. And what will they do? What will they say? What childhood will shape them and tune them for this future? Gulp. That’s a heavy load, even for a 33­ year ­old pair of shoulders. How can I possibly teach them everything they’ll need?

I know this responsibility is equal, boy or girl offspring. My load would be no lighter if I were raising girls. But the notion that I’m a father raising future fathers is sinking in for me. For the next 20 years, my primary purpose on this planet is to raise a legacy. These three boys will be with me for a short time; then, they will go out into the world as men to make a mark. And here’s the surprising part for me: even though I know I will falter, there’s a strength in this mission. Instead of wilting or fearing the impossible task of raising men, God is using it to teach me and push me onward.

Lessons from Proverbs: A Father’s Guide to Raising a Legacy

In Proverbs 3, Solomon shares timeless lessons to be passed from father to son. The advice is so basic and so simple. Yet, so often misunderstood. It’s not a lengthy to-­do list. It’s a good thing. But we’d all cannot accomplish that. Instead, it reminds us of the character an Uncommen man should seek and strive to display. If our purpose as dads is to raise a legacy, then our task is to model Proverbs 3 for our boys.

Uncommen Questions

How do you see yourself raising your boys or girls?

Do you have a good example to learn from?

What are you doing to gain wisdom?

Uncommen Challenge

Uphold love and faithfulness. Acknowledge God. Fear the Lord. Honor Him. Accept discipline. Show mercy. Choose humility. Seek wisdom.

Oh, and no skinny jeans. Ever. (I’m pretty sure that’s in there, too).


  1. Brian Hall

    We were lucky to get one of each (girl, then boy). The struggles are different for each depending on what’s going on in life at the time.
    We do see the difference with some of the friends that come around the house. The parents sending kids into the wild to just “get out of our hair”. They come here, and we minister to them, feed most of them, and just give them a better place to be where there is love and care.
    Nobody told me that becoming a parent meant you were going to also have heart for other’s children as well, but my wife and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    • Tj Todd

      Brian, I love that line about having heart for other children! That is going to make it into our podcast

      • Andrew McCullough

        On the heels of Father’s Day I choose to share a thought I had over this week.  I reflected this year; as I often do, on what kind of father am I?  I had this thought.  I would die for any one of my children.  A noble thought.  One shared by most loving fathers, Christian or not. Most men are instinctually ready to defend their kids.  But as I pondered the ease of such an act, I dove a little deeper and the Lord gave me this. A heroic instant that feeds the male ego, the life of your child is saved due to your brave and sacrificial action.  Whether it is attack from a person, animal or natural disaster I would stand in the gap.  I am certain you would too. Now, consider this.  Would you give up your life for them?  I know you are thinking it’s the same thing Andrew.  I submit to you they are entirely different.  I ask again, “Would you lay down your life for your child(ren)”? Are you willing to sacrifice your day to day? Your sleep? Your “free-time”? Your hobby? Your career and ambitions? Your desires? Can you set aside anything that impedes your relationship with them as their protector, provider, educator and spiritual leader.  I do not desire to be the father that is absent, apathetic or indifferent.  I refuse to be just a provider of their physical needs.  I will not abdicate my responsibilities to the government, entertainment industry, a social media outlet, pastor, church, school board or even my wife.   Our role is not to be diminished regardless of what the world says.  The enemy works tirelessly towards the destruction of your family.  Are you willing to be just as relentless? My purpose is to encourage you all not to relent.  Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might that you will be able to stand and boldly speak as you ought to speak.  Clearly is is not about intestinal fortitude.  Only God Almighty can provide you with the strength to endure and he is most certainly sufficient.  Simple faith however is not enough.  Most of us have not resisted to the point of bloodshed.  Our faith must take action and be demonstrated in front of their very eyes continually for they are watching quite closely even to our unawares.  If your journey as a father is just beginning, progressed into adulthood or even into the next generation your young men or women are counting on you to teach them diligently the truths that God has commanded.   May you be encouraged in this season and May He richly bless your efforts in leading your family well.  

        John 15:12-14

        • Tj Todd

          Andrew, what a great comment. I wish we had these kind on every blog post.

        • Michael Ahmadi

          Very well said,God Bless!

  2. Steve

    That’s some great insight. A great reminder for myself that even though my boys are older and I did it wrong as they were growing up I can still model well. Thanks guys!!!

  3. David Black

    Brian, you are so right in so many of your comments. I am a father of two strong godly men and as of this week a grandfather of four boys. 5 year old, 3 year old, 2 year old, and our youngest born this week at 27 weeks. Much prayer has gone out this week for our tiny Warrior, and God has answered strong. The word and thought that sticks out to me that you mentioned is legacy. There is NOTHING, more important to me than the opportunity that God has granted all of us dads to leave a strong legacy. There is NOTHING I want to leave them more than their Dad and their Pop pointing them to our Heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ! THAT is true legacy!

  4. Woodbridge, VA

    Amen Amen Amen to all of the above. No way I can add or remove! Thank You all for sharing what also is in my mind and my heart. I love my two boys MORE than they will ever ever know.


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