2 Timothy 3:14-15, But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
In my early 20’s, as a new Christian, I remember being in a Bible study group of women, each giving a brief recount of our testimony. The Lord had graciously given each woman a testimony. A story of grace, forgiveness, redemption, healing…beauty. I distinctly remember one woman starting her testimony with a bit of an apology.
“Oh, you guys all have amazing stories. Wow. I could listen to you all day,” she gushed. “I am afraid my story isn’t as exciting. There isn’t really any drama. No real high point, but no low point. I just grew up always knowing the Lord.”
She may have continued on a bit longer, but I am not sure. I was stuck on those last words uttered from her mouth, “I just always knew the Lord.”
As a new Christian, I was elated about knowing the Lord. I couldn’t believe I had lived so much of my life without the peace and joy He was bringing to my life. And to think that this woman “always knew the Lord” just blew my mind. And, to hear her tell her story as if it was some kind of let down, was beyond me.
What a blessing. What a privilege. What a story she had.
From that day on, I took special note of the people God brought into my life who could not remember a time of not having the Lord. I often asked them many questions.
What I really wanted to know was what did their parents do to instill that knowledge of the Lord?
Most often what I heard came down to this…Jesus was at the center of everything. They talked about Jesus. They studied Jesus. They went to a church that taught about Jesus.
Okay, I can do that. I can tell my children about Jesus. We can learn about Jesus together. And, for sure, we will search for a church that teaches about Jesus.
I made this decision years before becoming a mom. Our daughters came and life became busy, distracted, loud, and messy. But, the decision to include Jesus in all that we did remained.
Our girls are almost 12 and 9 1/2. I don’t know what the future holds for them. But, I am holding onto these promises:
Deuteronomy 6:7, You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
I see my girls sharing their faith and testimony with others and I know the Lord’s truth has penetrated their hearts.
The following 3 ideas are helping to give our girls their “own faith”:
- Tell them stories about God’s presence in their life, from the earliest time you can.
The first “God story” I shared with my girls was their adoption stories. Both of our girls have unique, God-orchestrated stories of how God chose them specifically for our family. Our oldest loves hearing about our meeting her birth mom and biological sister a week before she was born and how her biological sister was the one to choose us to be her parents! And, our youngest loves to hear about how if the doctor hadn’t made a “mistake” and said she was going to be a boy, she may have gone to another family. That family only wanted to adopt a girl. Oh, God, you do have a sense of humor!
Another story my girls love to tell about God’s amazing, incredible power and provision took place in the snow. Our oldest was 3 and our youngest was 1. We encountered a sudden snow storm when we were driving home one night. We lived up a very steep, long hill. My husband pulled over to help a lady that was stuck in the ditch. When he got back in the car to continue up the hill, we just began sliding backwards down the hill. I began praying out loud, “Help us, Jesus. Help us, Jesus.” The girls began repeating the words in their sweet little girl voices. We came to a sudden halt. Certain we had backed right in to something causing probable damage, my husband got out to inspect the car. He got back in a minute later looking a little pale. He explained that there was no damage because there was nothing behind us to explain the sudden stop. We know, without a doubt, the Lord heard our prayers, and saved us.
My girls tell those stories to others, to anyone who will listen. They tell others about God’s presence and activity in their lives. I encourage them by reminding them that those stories are theirs to tell. God gave them those stories not only to remind them of His faithfulness, but to tell others so that they may come to believe in the same power.
- Share what God has done in your own life.
Tell your children your testimony. Don’t try to paint a perfect picture of your life. Tell them about how you have limped through life at times, and leaned on God for your strength, healing, and power. Show your children that you know the God of the word not just the word of God. “People may profess with their mouth’s, yet deny him with their lifestyle. True righteousness is evident in the heart of the life that has been reborn, renewed by the power of God. The outward behavior reflects the inward transformation that has taken place.” Quote from Virtue Harvest women Bible study series.
- Share God’s word and what He says about His love, authority and provision for them.
First, you must be in the word.
Next, share with your children what you are reading and how God is using that in your life.
Next, teach your children the word. There are many different ways to do this. We have used devotionals, Bible reading plans, independent Bible reading assignments, and Bible studies. Also, be sure your children are learning the word at church. Talk about what you each learned at church on the way home in the car.
Our families are surrounded by evil in this world, constantly trying to deceive us, whispering lies in our ear. We can combat that by allowing God to be God and to shine all over our lives.
Dear Lord, thank you for giving us each a story. It doesn’t matter how young or how old we are, because we were created by You, we have a story. Help us to share our story and the works of your hands with our children. Amen.