What is the best story your mom or dad ever told you about their life?
As a dad, I love to tell stories about how hard my life was compared to how easy my kids have it. I’ve told them how I actually had to get up to change the channel on the TV, and how I had to wait for two minutes for my phone to dial in to the internet. My kids have heard stories about the times I almost died drowning in a pool or in a lake. They’ve heard about my finest moments, and my lowest moments.
Story is a powerful way to help generations learn about their ancestors.
As much as we love to tell the stories of our life to our children and grandchildren, I wonder how many of us have told the story of God in our life to our children and grandchildren?
Psalm 78:4 says: “… tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.”
Psalm 78:5 goes further to clarify what we are actually to tell: God has given us a testimony and God has appointed a law. In other words, we are to teach the next generations of our own families our own sinfulness, how Jesus has changed our life, and what it looks like to follow Jesus every day.
Here are some simple steps to help you tell those stories:
- Do it naturally in everyday conversation—don’t make a big production out of it. Every other story you tell just happens in the context of every day life, so make your God stories the same.
- Always be ready to be honest about your own sin and failures—and how the grace of God has impacted you in the middle of that.
- Think about stories of when you experienced God work a miracle or moments when He provided in simple ways.
- In every discussion and in every problem your children or family faces, talk about what it might look like to respond in a way that shows how much you love and want to follow Jesus.
As a father, my greatest desire is that future generations of my family will walk with God. Psalm 78:7 tells us why we need to tell the stories of God—“so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.”
Men, what are the stories your children and grandchildren will remember you telling?