So we love to look at quotes that give us wisdom about how to raise our families and there’s a famous one by William Blake that I heard recently that I want to get your take on, Jeff. It really reminded me of one of the principles about building a multi-generational family team that is so important. His quote is, “No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
So the idea that I’m taking from this is that oftentimes if you find yourself in a position where you are just beyond yourself, something got you there that wasn’t really interior to you. An example that came to mind that really stood out to me when it comes to family, is when families dump a huge amount of resources on the next generation when they’re not prepared.
So to this quote, you can send your kids way too high into the stratosphere and they’re not prepared for it. And it’s something that actually a lot of TV shows, a lot of movies are based on this idea. This is what really stands in the way of a lot of Christians from wanting to build the resources and pass them on to the next generation. They have this fear that it’s going to hurt their kids and make it more difficult for them. And the thing that I think is really critical is that it’s about preparation.
If you are preparing your kids for where … They do have to build up over time to this position where they can handle the influx of a lot of resources. Right? So, yeah. How have you thought about that, Jeff? Because that’s a big topic.
Yeah. Well, I think, and I was even just writing a lot about this paradigm in my last book that comes out next year that just finished, of the same thing of … How do I say this? Yeah. Here’s how I put it in the book, but I think also in a macro, but then I think also applies to the finances and resources. And what it is is your kids are not prepared for that at all, to have any resources, any inheritance, if you’ve created consumers.
They’re the best people prepared for it if you’ve co created producers. Right? Or contributors. That’s the difference, it’s consumption versus contribution. And what kind of kids are you raising discipling for the next generation? Because yeah, if you’ve trained your kids for 20 years to stuff their face metaphorically with things and always use it on their selves, never other people, always spend it on themselves, not other people. Use money and purchasing things and having things to feel better from an identity standpoint when they don’t have certain things or when there’s gaps in their heart. Then yes, that’s the worst possible thing you can do.
But if you actually have spent 20, 30 years yourself, not including your kids, building up resources and assets to deploy them in generosity in love and in sacrifice for the kingdom of God. Then who best to take that after you die than someone who you’ve spent 20, 30 years training to think like you, act like you, have the same values as you. Right?
So it’s very, very simple when you think about it like that, that that’s, it’s just two paths. And if you have, like you, there … I know parents who have said like, “Oh, now that I’m at this stage and maybe I didn’t do the best job 20 years ago, I’m not giving this to my kids.” And that’s the wisest thing to do and you should do that.
So that’s totally fair, but I think that’s how you have to think about it. Is that what you would say?
Yeah, totally. They’re really kind of those three categories. The first category is, “I didn’t prepare my kids. I’m not going to give them anything.” Maybe there’s nothing to give. Right?
Second category is, “I have a lot of resources and I prepared my kids for those resources and so I’m going to give them those resources. It’s been a gradual thing.” And of course the third category of you have a lot of resources, but you have to give them all away because your kids aren’t prepared.
So I think that most people live in one of those first two categories, are those first and third category. So we have to make sure we’re preparing our kids. I love this quote, “No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
Make sure that you are preparing your kids for whatever that future looks like for your family team. That they’re constantly being integrated into whatever. If you’re building up assets, you’re building up resources, you’re building up ministries, you’re building up a mission. You want to be integrating your child into those missions, your children into those things so that they’re prepared. And so that when the time comes for that handoff, that baton gets passed to the next generation, they’re ready.