God is love. Planned giving is all about love, even though we may associate planned giving more with legal documents. Jesus said: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matt. 7:11).*

A Legacy of Love

As parents living in a world of violence and evil, we seek to give the best to our children; the best of our faith, the best of our values, the best opportunities, the best homes, the best food, the best education, the best legacy. To provide the best to our children takes deliberate planning and effort on the part of the parents.

Mothers take special care of their bodies when pregnant to provide the best environment for their unborn child to develop. After birth, mothers provide the first and best nutrition and nurture to their babies.

Fathers spend time with their children, providing a sense of security to boost the child’s confidence. Fathers provide a different point of view and give an example of what a man should be.

Parents together show love to their children by providing emotional and financial support, spiritual, practical, and academic education, models for healthy interpersonal relationships, resilience in the face of adversity, trust in God, loving discipline, and a sense of fun and play. Finally, parents provide their children with the first—and most consequential—adult role models.

The rest of the village of relatives, friends, and neighbors support the parents as the newborns grow to a healthy and responsible adulthood. These important influencers need to be screened and selected carefully by the parents.

Yes, I know that this world is not perfect and that some people do not provide a good example for children. Since we are considering the love of God, I have chosen to look at the positive influences that guide our children as they grow.

The purpose of all that parents do is to teach their children faith and trust in God, be responsible citizens of their communities, and to make good choices when they leave home.

Parents give all of the above-listed gifts and much more because they love their children and want the best for them.

The Best Example of Planned Giving

God is the most complete definition of the word love. “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16).

God loves all humanity because that is His character. Love is who God is. Because God so loved the world, God had an emergency rescue plan in place before our planet was created. The three Scripture texts below all reference God’s contingency planning by saying “before the foundation of the world.” God the Father and Jesus, the one and only son, were committed to loving Their human creations long before there was a need for such a plan:

“Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love” (Eph. 1:4).

“He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (1 Peter 1:20).

“All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).

The Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit were all involved in this plan for the eventuality of sin. This plan was made before Adam and Eve chose to take the bite of the forbidden fruit. Because God planned, He could immediately give the hiding pair the promise of the Messiah Redeemer, who would provide a way of escape from this big mistake that they had made. Hope came immediately because of the advanced planning of God.

Planned giving is how human parents follow the example of God in providing for their children's needs and for God's mission on earth. The reason that Christians do this planning is that we love God and love our children.

Jesus’s second coming is the conclusion to God’s ancient plan made before the foundation of the world. This plan is to return the human race to a perfect world without evil, where everything is very good. This plan is all about love.

*Bible texts are from the New King James Version.

Dennis Carlson