God has shared with us the greatest story ever told; and He wants us as parents and grandparents to tell it to our children. He commanded His Old Testament family (Israelites) to share chapters of this story throughout the year through a number of ordained holy days (holidays). These feasts and celebrations were specifically designed for fathers to tell God’s redemptive story to their children.
For example, Passover … the story of the angel of death’s “passing over” God’s people has been shared by Jewish families for over 3500 years! It is the story of how a perfect was taken into the homes of the Israelites almost like a pet … I am sure that the children probably became attached to this little lamb … and then he was killed … and his blood painted onto the doorposts … and when the angel of death saw the blood on the door … he “passed over” that home and the first-born male is spared.
What a story … of not only how God freed His people from Egyptian slavery … but a foreshadowing of how Jesus … the Lamb of God … would shed HIs blood for us … so that the curse and judgement of eternal death would be broken … and our lives spared both now and for eternity.
Stop and think about your family’s “God story.” How has God brought you and your family to this point in His story (history)? Who are the earliest Christians in your family tree? What forms of “slavery” or bondage did God save your family out of? How did you come to faith? These stories will be the greatest ones you ever tell to your children and grandchildren!
If you’ve read the Chapter 6 summary (click ch. 6 link above) … you know that one way we, as Christian parents, can teach by telling .. is to have regular family devotions.
Research reveals that most of us struggle with making these powerful faith building times happen. In Keeping Your Kids from Canaan… I give 6 steps to having successful family devotions: (1) find a regular time and place … the power of routine. (2) Keeping them simple making them easy to do … finding good resources. (3) Planning … knowing what topics and passages are going to be covered in your curriculum or plugging into what your kids are learning at church or school. (4) Making them fun … it’s a crime to bore kids with the Bible … use some fun teaching methods! (5) Make them relational … how are you getting to know each other better because of these times? … and finally (6) Keep them going. Don’t let a few missed days thwart you.
I’ve been doing a lot of talking … and now it is time to take a break and listen … So … if you have a thought … a suggestion … a struggle … a solution … regarding any of these 6 things … (or any post so far) please leave a comment and let’s start a conversation … to help us all become more effective in teaching God’s Word to our legacy children!
Most of us want to be “great” at something. Well if you have children … I want to share with you what I believe you are the greatest at … (pardon my poor grammar, but work with me) Are you ready? … You’re going to be surprised! You’re the greatest theology teacher your children will ever have!
I can hear you saying, “No way … I’m no theologian … and I am not a professional educator!!” It doesn’t matter … as one poet sang … “that’s the way God planned it … that’s the God wants it to be!” (Bob Dylan) Let me explain.
Psalm 139 tells us that we are not only wonderfully made, the writer tells us that we were knitted together in our mother’s womb. God knew who our mothers were going to be … (and fathers too)… but let’s process that a little more … if our moms and dads were custom-made to be our moms and dads … that means their moms and dads were “special order” too … God knew who had to be with whom to make all of the characteristics that He wanted to give to you!! That is mind-boggling … but God is an awesome God.
So it is my belief … and I want it to become yours as well … that God intended and designed (planned) for you to have the children that you have. They are not an accident … and they were not switched at birth … they are a pre-ordained special delivery. That means … of all the parents in the world that God could have given your children to … He designed, built and delivered them to you! You were designed and custom-built by God to be their parents …. nobody is better designed to be their mom or dad than you are!
Being their parent gives you several powerful advantages in teaching them. You have built-in connection … relationship … affection … and time. All key ingredients to being an excellent educator. As far as theology … you have the God-given position of being His representative. Of all the word pictures God could have chosen to teach us about Himself … He selected family. He wants to be known as our “Father!” So think about it … how we “be” parents … is teaching our children about the love, character and nature of God Himself … hence you are the greatest theology teacher your children will ever have … they will see and understand God .. the way the see and understand you!