Handing Down Our Stories

Reflecting on my grandchildren as they grow older, I paused and considered aspects of our family history I’m not communicating to them. book-1012275_640Sure, I’m a good grandma and love to visit them, play with them, and listen to them. And, of course, I delight in surprising them with birthday and Christmas presents. I fittingly describe the towering stacks of children’s clothing at my favorite warehouse-shopping venue as “the grandma trap.” These are all good things, but I want to impress God’s ways—complete with the victories and the struggles—and how His call on my heart has influenced my life. How better to accomplish this then through telling and retelling the tales of my life.

As the Israelites were preparing to enter the Promised Land after wandering in the desert wilderness for 40 years, Moses gives God’s chosen people rules for obedient living. In Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV), Moses exhorts the Israelites: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

The instruction is clear, but are we taking the time to do this? What are we handing down to our children and grandchildren about their family history? Are electronics and our digital age replacing our time for oral stories?

As I open my email first thing in the morning, I have devotions from several different sources staring at me, a couple Christian blogs I subscribe to, along with other assorted Christian newsletters and periodicals. These are a wonderful source of inspiration, and add to my Christian insight and growth, but they constitute an electronic interaction.

Whatever happened to taking the time to discuss spiritual issues face-to-face with those we care about most?

In contrast, in years past, families would gather around the dinner table and contribute to stories or discuss Sunday sermons, events from work and school, and family dealings. We can reclaim these times by looking for opportunities to share, and then creatively crafting the stories.

A good story will contain a moral or inspiration or a lesson learned. And the telling of our tale should involve gestures, facial expressions, sound effects, and emotion as we weave our words. Don’t forget the funny times. We all have countless humorous stories to impart, and we certainly need a good belly laugh now and then.

I desire to commit more wholeheartedly to this. I want to carefully plan and select good stories from my memories, share them, and then pray for my grandchildren to enjoy and remember these segments of their heritage. Will you join me in doing so?

Father God, Please help me remember and retell the stories of my life to my children, my grandchildren, or others in my sphere of influence. Enable me to not only share the victories, but also the shortcomings and the lessons learned. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Truths:

Psalm 78:2-4 (NIV): “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old—what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.”

Psalm 89:1 (NIV): “I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.”

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