“We will not hide them from [our children];we will tell the next generation…” –Psalms 78:4a
God clearly instructs grandparents to “tell” the next generations “the praiseworthy deeds of God, His power and the wonders He has done” (Psalms 78:4). In other words, we are commanded to be Story Tellers in our family. One way we do that is through the telling of our own stories.
Telling our stories includes our family history, but not only our family history. Even more crucial is how God has revealed Himself through our story. What does our family history and personal journey say to the next generations about God’s power, wonders and praiseworthiness?
Here are six suggestions to help you tell your story so that another generation will know who God is and what it means to be a child of God. Do this when your grandchildren are with you, or at a family reunion. You can also write them in a Family Journal or record them on tape.
- Describe your family of origin. Here’s what I mean:
a. Layout your family tree showing several generations of your family lines, and some of the related stories you know.
b. What was your own family like? Who were your siblings (if you had any)? Describe your relationship with your father and mother.
c. If you were adopted, what was that like for you as you got older?
- When and why did you become a Christ-follower? What prompted you to respond to Christ’s invitation of grace? How has the Gospel changed who you are and how you live?
- Describe at least one kairos moment in your life – a significant point in time when your life trajectory changed dramatically (other than when you became a Christian, got married or had a baby)?
- Be open and honest about sharing a significant wound or hurt you experienced. Do you still live with it? How has it impacted you?
- How do you most want to spend your remaining years on earth? If there were no physical or financial limitations, and failure was not an obstacle, would anything be different?
- What do you want your legacy to be?
While some of these questions are difficult to talk about, they are part of who you are and what God is doing in your life. Your grandchildren need to hear your story, including the hard stuff because it impacts their story too.
However, remember that our story is really about God’s story. We do not tell our story to make much of us, but to make much of Him.
GRANDPAUSE: If you build upon yourself your edifice will be a mere ruin. –Augustine