The Secret to Passing Down Your Faith
- 2009 26 Jan
It’s sort of family tradition. Every holiday since our children were very small, they’ve asked to hear our family stories.
They want to hear romantic stories: “Tell about meeting Dad for the first time.” Funny stories: “Tell about the time Dad almost shot the goat.” Nostalgic stories: “Tell about when I was born.” Stories of hardship and survival: “Tell about being snowbound with no electricity when I was a baby.” Etc.
They also want to hear the stories of long-dead ancestors who fought in wars, went west in covered wagons, served in government, made moonshine, and were shot as horse thieves.
I can’t say that over the years some embellishments have not crept in. But for the most part, facts remain stranger than fiction and far more entertaining. They bind our family together through shared history.
More important, amazing, and responsible for forging tighter bounds are our family faith stories. These are family adventures of how God brought each of us to faith in Him, answered specific prayers, healed, provided, and gave direction.
Moses: “Tell Your Kids”
Moses recognized the importance of telling family faith adventures.
Standing at the fords of the Jordan River and at the crossroads of history (Duet. 1:3-4; 6), nearing the end of his leadership, Moses highlighted for the listening children of Israel their forty-year faith adventure. Speaking to the younger generation, Moses reminded them how God delivered their parents from Egyptian slavery, parted the Red Sea, brought water from the rock, and manna from the skies:
“God carried us as tenderly as a father carries his children,” Moses recalled. “He gave us guidance with a cloud of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night. He gave us the Ten Commandments.”
And more — all so these children would inherit a land flowing with milk and honey.
Moses wants generations unborn to be aware of the greatness of God and their history so he urges, “Impress on your children (what God has done and the commandments). Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (6:7) In the future, when your son asks you, ‘What is the meaning of the stipulations… tell him: ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. … the LORD sent miraculous signs and wonders … brought us out from there to … give us the land that he promised on oath to our forefathers. … that we might always prosper.’” (6:20-24)Shared Faith, Shared Future
It’s true: God has no grandchildren. But I do. And I want them to know that before they were born, God was at work. I want them to know He’s at work in their lives. I want them to know that the God of the Bible is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
I want my children and grandchildren to know I was led out sin’s slavery and tenderly carried by my Heavenly Father through life’s wilderness. I want them to know how He parted impossible Red Seas for me, fed me manna, and produced water from the rock in life’s deserts. When I stand on the banks of the chilly Jordan, I want them to know God will lead me into the Promised Land.
I want my children and grandchildren them to know my faith adventures. I want to leave a clear path for them to follow so we have a shared faith and a shared future.
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© Rebekah Montgomery 2008
For reprint requests, contact Rebekah at her website, www.Rebekah Montgomery.com
Rebekah Montgomery, author/speaker/teacher, is a gifted, dynamic communicator. She is the author of more than five books and has penned 1,100 articles. She shares tough real-life topics and biblical application in a simple easy to grasp manner. To book Rebekah for your next event visit www.rebekahmontgomery.com. Rebekah is also the editor of Right to the Heart of Women and a publisher at Jubilant Press.