My friends, I beg you to listen as I teach. I will give instruction and explain the mystery of what happened long ago. These things we learned from our ancestors, and we will tell them to the next generation. We wonâ€™t keep secret the glorious deeds and the mighty miracles of the LORD. Â Â Â Psalm 78:1-4 (CEV)
I have two children and seven grandchildren. I also have four children â€œof my heartâ€ and eight grandchildren there, too. I have a brother and in-laws, and nieces and nephews that are so important to me and I love them so much. I tell them about the miracles of God. I must tell them!
When I was growing up, I donâ€™t remember my parents talking about their faith. There was never a discussion about whether we would be going to church. And I do remember getting into big trouble for faking an illness to get out of going to church one Sunday. I remember being angry at my mother one Easter, and refusing to go to communion. Now, Biblically that may not have been inappropriate (Jesus said you should be reconciled before coming) but it was still disobedience to my parents! I spent the rest of my day in my room that did not have TV or a computer. My parentsâ€™ faith could be seen in their actions and in their steadfastness. My mother was a prayer warrior although I doubt she saw herself like that. Whenever there was an illness or a problem, she would go to her knees and pray.
I am more verbal about my faith with my children. But the walk must also accompany the talk. As parents I believe our children want to know what we believe. And that means spending time daily with our Lord to find that out! I also believe that our children need to see that we donâ€™t have all the answers. They need to know that faith is a journey not a destination. They need to know that the priority of our time each day includes spending some quiet with our Lord. Because it is a top priority that may mean that we will say â€œNoâ€ to an interruption.
They remembered God Most High, the mighty rock that kept them safeâ€¦
Yet God was kind. He kept forgiving their sins and didnâ€™t destroy them. He often became angry, but never lost his temper. God remembered that they were made of flesh and were like a wind that blows once and then dies down.Â Â Â Â Psalm 78:35, 38-39 (CEV)
Yes, my children need to know that I am not perfect and that I continue to â€˜work out my faithâ€™ including repentance for sins. If my children (both family and those who are â€˜youngâ€™ in the Lord) do not see me in repentance then they are missing a key perspective of Godâ€™s unfailing love. God knows that I am weak and of the flesh. He provided a Savior for me and He continues to give me a path of reconciliation to Himself with the power of His Holy Spirit.
Sharing the Lord with my loved ones is all about love and compassion. It is not about condemnation and guilt. It is about â€˜righteousnessâ€™, a right-relationship with Jesus, not self-righteousness. When I â€˜point a fingerâ€™ (whether in word or deed) to my loved ones then I bring condemnation, not reconciliation.
As we continue in this new year may out time with those we love be seasoned with the salt of Christ and everything in our lives point to the Light of Jesus.