Have you told your children?

Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation. (New International Version 1984) - Joel 1:3
I come from a long line of storytellers. As a child, family gatherings were a weekly event. Every Saturday and Sunday our house was filled with aunts, uncles and cousins. Folks flowed through our back door laden with huge casserole dishes, steamy baked breads and tins of homemade pie. We ate...and ate...and ate, and then the guys would break out their guitars and the singing would begin.

Photo courtesy Terri Heisele,
We heard nearly every country western song ever written. Everyone sang along as the beer loosened their inhibitions. Then the stories would start. The older relatives would recall the time when the youngin's blew up the outhouse or the time two of my uncles raced their hot rods down Howard Lane and launched themselves over the big hill at the dead end curve. We heard stories of hen house raids, fist fights and how great-grandpa made hooch in the woods, but we never heard stories about God.

He was not a part of our lives. We never heard how He parted the sea for the children of Israel or about the time He empowered a little boy to kill a giant. We never heard about Noah's Ark or David's dancing. We were never told that God loved us so much that He gave His Son to die on a cross so that we could have a relationship with God the Father. They never told us.

But God, in his loving kindness made sure we heard. He blessed us with one Aunt and Uncle who loved us enough to begin taking us to church with them. There we heard the stories of God from Sunday school teachers, from our Pastor and from our Aunt and Uncle...and we believed. Me and all five of my little brothers.

Photo courtesy Horton Group,
How I wish that I had heard these stories from my parents. That I had grown up in a home where God's name was honored, rather than used as a swear word. A home were the stories passed down from generation to generation were about the wonders of God and all the ways He had worked in our families lives. What a wonderful heritage that would have been.

Christian parents, please take the time to tell your children about the wonders of God. About His love and His provision, His grace and His mercy. Tell them how He saves and protects and provides. Tell them of the glorious promise that awaits those who believe. Tell them when He strengthens you to face through life's trials. When He comforts you in sorrow and when He guides you through the storm.

Help them to know Him at an early age, to rely on him through adulthood and to rest in Him in old age. And parents...tell them by example, not just words.

This is the greatest legacy you could ever give your children, for not only does it equip them for life and eternity, it trickles down to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren, until a family line is filled with children who love and serve God.

Love them enough to tell them.

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Thanks! (Copyright© 2012 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)


Joy said...

Jan, this is so true! It's a legacy to leave to generations to come. You cannot give your children a greater heritage that to grow them up trusting a great God.
Thanks for sharing this and inspiring us to do so.
By the way, even if you come to know the Lord after your children are grown, you can start with your grandchildren. Tell them how Jesus stretched out his arms to them and loved them.
Love ya Jan!

Jan Christiansen said...

So true, Joy. Grandparents have a great deal of influence with their grandchildren. Never too late to leave a legacy!