I just returned from dropping off our younger child for her freshman year of college. The day went by quickly with unloading boxes, setting up her dorm room, and participating in new student orientation activities. Having been through the drill before with her older brother, I anticipated what the day would be like.
Everything went smoothly with only one extra run to the store for some electronic parts. I am very blessed that both of my kids enjoy their college experiences, so far. It is a big step for them–and for me as their father. At day’s end, I dropped one additional package off with my daughter. It was a simple box, but it was the most important one in our vehicle.
It was what I call a “Legacy Bible.” For both of my children, I purchased a Bible with wide margins before their senior year of high school. From the first day of the twelfth grade through the day I dropped them at college, I wrote a comment on a verse in the margin of that Bible every day. The comment may have been a personal note of encouragement or a direct quote from the chapter I was looking at that day. Regardless, it was a truth of the Lord that I wanted my children to carry with them all of their days. I also wrote a very personal note in the front of the Bible as they were leaving home to start their college careers.
Why did I do this? First, so they would know they are loved in a very tangible way. Second, so they would have something from me for the rest of their lives that shares our value of God’s inerrant Word. Third, I gave them a Bible with daily notes in it, hoping they would read God’s Word daily.
You may have already dropped your kids off at school this year or you will someday. Drop God’s truths into their lives by reading the Bible out loud in your home while they are still with you. And borrow the idea of creating a “Legacy Bible” for them when you drop them off at college.
How can a young person live a clean life? By carefully reading the map of your Word. I’m single-minded in pursuit of you; don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted. I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won’t sin myself bankrupt (Psalm 119:9-11, MSG).
Dr. Jim Dunn is executive director of Church Multiplication and Discipleship for The Wesleyan Church.