I taught my kids everything except the most important thing.
I like to pride myself on being a mom who encourages her kids to do things independently. My two young sons get up in the morning, make their beds, pack up lunches that they themselves have prepared, and put on clothes that they folded and put away individually. A woman recently told me how amazed she was at how independent the boys were and I just smiled, felt like a super mom, and inwardly inflated a bit.
Isn’t it just like our kids to have that pin ready to deflate us when we need it?
The “pin” in this situation came one Sunday morning. We were driving to church and I casually threw out a reference to something in my past without thinking. My younger son spoke up from the backseat with a crinkled nose: “What do you mean?” he asked. I chuckled and rolled my eyes and asked his older brother to tell him about it. Older brother just gave me a blank look.
I started to get concerned.
“Surely I’ve told you that story before?” I asked, trying to keep the panic out of my voice.
All I got in return was two shaking heads and an inquiry for me to please explain it to them.
I was floored. In all of my mom-ing, I try to incorporate a deep understanding that God is everything to us and so inextricably interwoven into the fabric of who we are. I have told them about my own healing from cancer and how good God has been to me. But I need to tell them more. The story in question was one that was so huge in my own timeline that I just assumed that two of the most important people in my life would obviously know all about it. But they didn’t. Because I hadn’t told them.
I want my stories of faith to become part of their heritage and legacy until they can give my testimony better than me. Why? Because it matters. Without God’s faithfulness, these beautiful babies wouldn’t even be here. It’s important that they know where they came from. In fact, it’s downright Biblical.
The people of Israel had seen God do some amazing things. This is an understatement so let me rephrase that. The people of Israel saw food drop from the sky, a sea split in half, and a cloud of fire. Their minds had been blown by God’s greatness. Sadly, though, when the older generation of Israel began to die off, and the people were firmly settled in their promised land, the memories of God’s provision also began to fade with the rising of the new generation.
After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.
– Judges 2:10 n(NIV)
The stories that they no longer knew had once been the most important thing to their elders. These miracles we as integral to their story as their very names. And yet, mere years later, their children and grandchildren didn’t even know that they had occurred, nor the God who had brought them to pass. This is a total and complete travesty.
Let’s not be like the people described in Judges. We have to tell our children about God’s faithfulness to us. If not, we risk a rising generation who have no idea of the impact that God has had upon us and why it is part of the very foundation of who we are. In all our teaching, let’s remember to tell the stories of God’s miracles so that they live on in their power and impact for generations to come.