Telling the Grandchildren
by Debbonnaire Kovacs
By Debbonnaire Kovacs
Submitted November 5, 2014
Psalm 78:1-7 urges us to share with our children “the mysteries of ancient times…the praiseworthy deeds and power of YHWH, and the wonderful works he has done…that the generations to come might know, and the children yet unborn; that they in turn might tell it to their children.” In context, it speaks of the ways in which God lead the Israelites out of slavery, never abandoning them through forty years of wandering, and finally bringing them into the “promised land,” where Moses and then Joshua exhorted them to make a choice—God or not?—and then make a commitment to their choice.
The rest of the Bible is pretty much a depiction of how well people have generally not stuck with that commitment, even if they made it.
I was just wondering…
Have we told our children “the mysteries” of our own “ancient times”? They can’t even imagine life without Twitter, let alone without a microwave. I’ve lived without electricity or running water. Have you shared your “mysteries” with yours?
How often do we declare to them the “praiseworthy deeds and power of YHWH”? Have you told them their birth stories? How about the thinking and prayer behind your choice to adopt him or her? Have you told them the miracle stories from your own life?
Perhaps you have shared all this, but have you also shared your wilderness wanderings? It always amazes me when parents who are trying to keep kids drug-free want to keep it a secret that they experimented, themselves. Don’t these parents think it will help, rather than hindering, if they share some of their own struggles, and then share the ways God worked to deliver them? Of course one uses one’s best, prayerful judgment concerning what to share, what not to share, and when.
Have we described the slavery from which God delivered us—is still delivering us?
Most of all, have we extolled the wonderful works, giving God all the credit for deliverance and for eternal patience with us? Have we made our commitment out loud, in front of our kids, lived by it, and asked forgiveness when we’ve failed?
Let’s face it—our kids know we’re not perfect. It will not shock them to learn we made mistakes, sometimes big ones. What they need to hear about is the God that never abandons, the Shepherd that stayed up late and searched the cliffsides and risked his own life climbing down into the pit to get us out.
They need to hear that—tell somebody! And not just your blood children, either, but the children, youth, and new Christians in the church family. The struggling humans around us all need to hear. They need our help, and they need to be allowed to help us. That’s what makes us all strong together.