Is my faith story really all that important? Do my children and grandchildren really want to know? What do I say? Important questions.
Recent research is revealing some very interesting information about the impact that those in the first generation (grandparents) have on the third generation (grandchildren). It seems to indicate that they are inclined to identify with the faith of their grandparents.
So, is it really all that important to share my faith journey with them?
Absolutely, and yes, they desire to know your story. It is extremely important to their faith journey.
Have you ever wondered how Moses knew all that he wrote about in Genesis? How did he know the faith journey of Joseph? I think that we are given a clue in Genesis 50:23, “He saw Ephraim’s sons to the third generation; the sons of Manasseh’s son Machir were recognized by Joseph.”
The picture is of a grandson sitting before Joseph, perhaps even on his lap. Can you hear them? “Papa tell me another story? Tell it again about your coat! Can I see it? Did you really have those dreams? Did your brothers really do that to you? Tell me again about how you became so important in Egypt. What was it like when you saw your brothers for the first time in so many years?”
We have many of the Old Testament accounts because grandparents told their grandchildren the story of God’s activity in their lives.
“…you should tell your children, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’” (Joshua 4:22).
“‘As for me, this is my covenant with them,’ says the Lord: ‘My Spirit who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of your children’s children, from now on and forever,’ says the Lord.” (Isaiah 59:21).
“Tell your children about it, and let your children tell their children, and their children the next generation.” (Joel 1:3).
Your story is vital to the story of God being told to the next generations.
It is necessary for them to hear how you came to faith, how you have struggled through the years with your faith, and how faithful God is even now.
The other day, I was in the office of Dr. Steven Jones, Teaching and Training Pastor of Kingsland. He pulled an old commentary off the shelf and opened it. His grandfather’s name was written inside the cover. I could sense the impact holding a book that his grandfather had used in his ministry had on Steven. “I am reading the very pages that my grandfather read,” Steven said.
There are three areas that I want to encourage you to share:
- How you came to faith in Christ
- Times that you have had doubt and how God brought you through that occasion
- Times God proves His faithfulness to you: past, present, and future hope
As you share your faith stories, you are blessing your children and grandchildren. They will be encouraged to faith in Christ. They will be encouraged to know that when things are difficult and they doubt, it is okay. God has not rejected them. He is capable of restoring. They can know that as they face a trial, God is faithful because they have witnessed His faithfulness in you.