The most priceless gift you can give someone is a story.
And it’s easier to give than you might think! Today, when we struggle to connect with others or feel too distracted to sit and read the Bible with our kids, stories are a way to bridge those relationships.
Sharing stories used to come easy. On warm summer nights, we used to sit on porches and listen to parents and grandparents tell stories about when they were young. We know our family’s history and what makes it special.
Now computer games and Netflix have replaced this vital role in our lives. Our kids often don’t know where we come from and how those in their past have made it through difficult situations. Our friend next to us doesn’t know that five years ago we survived the same experience she’s struggling with now and that it drew us closer to God.
Often today we’re too busy to tell stories.
However, in their research on resilient children, Dr. Duke and Dr. Fivush share that those children who are the most resilient are those who know their family stories.
It is this intergenerational self and the personal strength and moral guidance that seem to derive from it that are associated with increased resilience, better adjustment, and improved chances of good clinical and educational outcomes.”— [Duke, M.P., Lazarus, A., & Fivush, R. (2008). Knowledge of family history as a clinically useful index of psychological well-being and prognosis: A brief report. Psychotherapy Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 45, 268-272.]
These children know where they come from. They know they are part of a bigger story, that they belong, which helps to make them resilient and gives them a good foundation for the future.
The Bible shares the same ideas. In Psalm 78:4-7, Asaph talks about the importance of sharing our God Stories with our kids:
We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.
He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;
Here he gives four reasons to share our stories:
- Put their confidence in God
- Remember His works
- Keep his commands
- Follow God
The same is true for our friends and family around us. When we share our God Stories it helps them put their trust in God, too. They see how he’s shown up in our lives, and they feel they can trust him to do the same in theirs.
It also helps us to not forget the past. When I’m tempted to worry about the future, the best antidote is to remember the past, to remind myself of how God has been there in the past, and I can trust him to be there in the future.
Stories also help us to keep his commands and follow Him. When we are reminded of the great God we serve, who He is, and what He has done, it gives us hearts that want to follow Him. Not out of fear, but out of gratitude to him.
Consider a time God showed up in your life big or small, and tell a family member or friend to encourage their heart today.
Do you need some God Stories to help encourage you today? Check out some linked here.
Would you like to share a God Story of your own? Please share it below!
Need more ideas to help you and your family focus on Jesus? Fill out the form below for 6 ways you can begin today!