If you are interested in your children living a life of faith, you need to tell stories! The Psalmist wants God’s people to vividly remember the great deeds of God in redemptive history. Then, he pledges that his children will hear these stories:
We will not hide these truths from our children;
we will tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
about his power and his mighty wonders. (Psalm 78)
“We will not hide these truths from our children.” This is an important step towards raising children who will live for God. You do this by intimately knowing the rich biblical narratives that tell of the faithfulness of God to his people. Learn the context of the great stories of faith presented in Scripture. The biblical narratives don’t speak of human super-heroes who were flawless in living their faith. These stories are about flawed people, just like you and me, who at critical moments lived by faith because they loved God.
Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, David, Solomon, Hezekiah, and Jehoshaphat all had obvious lapses of faith, but lived lives that must be retold to your children. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Deborah, Josiah, and Ruth lived in faith so that we could follow their example. Their stories are filled with drama, passion, rescue and redemption. The battles of the human heart remain unchanged. Your children will learn from their failures and be encouraged by their victories.
Parent, can you give a passionate retelling of the lives mentioned in the last paragraph? Do their stories fill you with excitement and a desire to emulate their faith? When you struggle do these characters make their way into your life’s narrative to bring you comfort and give you hope? If the answer is no, your ability to withstand the attacks of the vicious enemy of your soul is greatly diminished. As Paul says:
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)
As the stories of these folks become your story you have something wonderful and personal to give your children. If you don’t know these stories you are hiding what God intended to be a blessing from your children.
Check out Nancy Ganz’s Here in is Love commentaries for practical help in learning about God’s stories for your family!