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Encouragement for Today - Feb. 16. 2007

February 16, 2007


Teaching in Parables

By Lysa TerKeurst


Mark 4:10-11, “When he [Jesus] was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, ‘The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables’” (NIV).



My children are always fascinated when I share with them things I remember from my childhood. These memories are especially meaningful when I point out how the stories relate to my life now. It’s also important for their character and development. So much about our stories can be traced back to God’s hand working in our lives, and when we share them, kids can see evidence that God is real and intimately involved with us.


What’s even more surprising is that they can later recall them in surprising detail. It’s amazing how well they remember the life lessons that I tie to the stories I tell. I think that’s why Jesus used parables to teach about the kingdom of God. While it may be difficult for a child to recall a passage of Scripture they just read, most can recall in specific detail the accounts of a story.


For instance, I love to tell them of the time my Step-dad brought home a hand-me-down typewriter from his office. I placed my hands on the keys and wondered what it would be like to type pages of legible words. I loved the rap-tip-tap sound it made and envisioned myself finishing the final page of a book. I didn’t know enough words at that point to write an entire book, but one day I would.


That story allowed me to point out that even back then, God was preparing me for my calling as an author. Even though they may not understand their own calling yet, by seeing me live out mine and knowing that God put it in my heart at a young age, they understand the reality that God does indeed have a plan for their lives. As Jesus said in Mark 4:11, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to [me]. But to [my children] everything is said in parables.”


Though my kids have not experienced the ways God has revealed Himself to me, I can use my own story to teach them of things to come if they are willing to take hold of Him for themselves.


Tim Kimmel, in his book, “Why Christian Kids Rebel,” explains the number one reason that children walk away from the faith is that they never see it make a real difference in the lives of their parents.


Not only do I trace the hand of God in my past stories, but also I constantly look for ways to exemplify Jesus today. I point out answers to things we’ve prayed about. I show them the many ways God provides and make sure they know where credit is due. I live my faith out loud and up front so they cannot miss that Christ is the center of our home. He has become too real to deny.


Where I am challenged is making sure my attitude doesn’t discredit the reality of Christ. Not that I feel the pressure to be perfect, but I do have to be on guard when I’m tired, drained, hormonal, or frustrated by something. I must press into God, ask for His strength, allow Him to fill my emotional gaps and…go to bed early. Otherwise, it’s easy to respond in the flesh, leaving a wake of yuck behind me. But even when I fail, the reality of Jesus can be seen in how I handle my failure. If I am quick to humble myself, ask for forgiveness and model redemption, that speaks volumes to my kids.


I hope that someday, the things my children remember – their stories – will resemble a parable reflecting God’s hand in their lives; the reality of Christ’s presence that can be shared with their own children in the years to come.


Dear Lord, help me to be a teacher of parables to my children. As You continue to write the stories of my life, reveal Yourself to me so that I can tell my family of Your faithfulness. I desire them to see the reality of Christ living in me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Related Resources:

The Bathtub is Overflowing but I Feel Drained by Lysa TerKeurst


Blended Families by Maxine Marsolini


Five Ways to Grow your Kids During Winter Grounding, an ETC article


Do You Know Him?


Application Steps:

Think of a few memories that include God’s hand of evidence in your life. If your memories involve your children, find a quiet moment to share these memories with them. If your memories involve your husband, find a private moment to share them with him. (Don’t assume he already knows!)



Record a memory from childhood that you can see God’s hand in.

Record a recent memory where the reality of Jesus was evident in your life.

Power Verses:

Psalm 78:1-3, “O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old – what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us.” (NIV)


Deuteronomy 4:9, “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” (NIV)


Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105


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