Last week we read in Joshua how the Lord performed another miracle in parting the Jordan river so that Joshua and the Israelites could cross over on their way to Canaan. After they had crossed over, God commanded Joshua to have a man from each of the twelve tribes to get a stone from the Jordan and build a memorial.
This memorial was so that when their children asked why the stones were piled there, they could tell them how God had performed a miracle and parted the waters of the Jordan so they could cross.
As we have been reading the story of the Israelites and how they repeatedly turned away from God and began to worship the heathen idols; how they so easily forgot all God had done for them; how neglecting to pass onto the next generation a strong faith in God can be devastating — God began to show me how important it is that we, as parents, pass onto our children our stories of God’s faithfulness in our lives.
As we sat around the breakfast table one morning talking about this, I mentioned one incident in my life when God protected me from danger. My youngest who is six chimed in that he didn’t remember that story. I realized that I had told the story before to the kids, but he had been too young to remember. So I told the whole story again so he could hear it and remember.
Just as God had the Israelites lay down memorial stones for their children to remember what had happened, I believe God wants us to lay down memorial stones as well. There are so many different ways this could be done, but I just want to share a few ideas to get you started. Please don’t make this more complicated than it has to be. If you feel God leading you to begin “laying down memorial stones” find a way that will fit your family and be something that can easily be shared with your children. I want to point out that you need to get your children involved in this too. Encourage them to come to you with their own stories and be sure to include them in your family’s “Memorial Stones”!
– Begin a journal titled, “Memorial Stones”, and begin going back and recording every incident you can think of from the past where God was faithful, when He provided, when He protected, etc. Begin reading these stories to your children as often as you can.
– Get a basket with some smooth flat stones to fill it with. On each stone write a few key words that will jog your memory of a story you want your children to remember of God’s faithfulness. Once a week (or whenever or how often your family likes), sit down together and have the kids choose a stone and tell the story to your children.
– Buy a small bulletin board and decorate it at the top with “Memorial Stones”. Cut some stones out of paper and write down your stories on the stones and place them on the bulletin board. This would be a great visual way to display God’s faithfulness to your family and a great reminder for your children.
– Instead of a journal, start a notebook (the 3-ring kind). Either type or hand write out your stories and place them in your notebook. If you decide to type out your stories and keep them saved on the computer, this would make it really easy to later print out copies for each member of the family to keep. What a wonderful keepsake to send with your children when they start their own family!
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Just don’t make this so complicated that you don’t actually do it. The focus is getting your stories of God’s faithfulness recorded to read and pass on to your children — so they don’t forget as the Israelites did!
How about you? Will you join me in “laying down memorial stones” for our children? I’d love to hear in the comments what you decide to do and how God is using this to pass onto your children God’s faithfulness to them.