Deut. 6: 20 gives an interesting instruction to the parents of Israel:
In the future, when your son asks you, "What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the LORD our God has commanded you?" tell him: "We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.”
In other words, Moses instructed the fathers and mothers that your children will ask you questions about your celebrations and ceremonies. When they do, use those questions as opportunities to tell them how God delivered you from Egypt. Remember your history as a people and pass it on to your children. If Moses were standing here with us, he would say the same thing, but the story would be different. Most of us are not Jewish, but we do have a story of God’s intervention and grace in our lives.
My story might sound more like this: As I grew up in middle Tennessee, in the rolling hills of Maury County, the dimple of the universe, God began to speak to me and call me to follow him. . .
You get the idea. Take the highlights of your own story and make a note of them. Ponder them so that they are fresh to you. You will discover that God brings opportunities for you to pass them on. Just last week, I started making a list of stories; I wrote down five. Then I took my list to Patricia and asked her to think of some. She said she just could not think of that “right now” but then she came up with twenty-five more.
Your storehouse of memories is full; take stock, do an inventory of stories of your life. Make a list; five is better than zero.
Your children need your stories more than they need the make-believe stories of today’s celebrities. They need real stories of tough decisions, successes and failures, joys and sorrows, challenges and fun.
Your life, your story, your feelings, your thoughts. How God led you, even when you weren’t aware of it. What God has taught you. What he is showing you now.
When you share about yourself, your vulnerability opens a door between them and you. It also makes a way between them and God. Your openness helps them to be open. Lead the way with stories, your stories.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BECOME THEIR HERO;
YOU ALREADY ARE!