Our stories are not riddle with lions or bears. For the most part, our stories are of regular things, non-event events. Make no mistake, a story is being written. But have we taken time to think about the story that our family is writing? There is so much more to our stories than, how was your day, and what did you do at school.
We do have moments. Real captivating moments.
The stories that are worth telling often times involve risk and fear, highs and lows. You know, Moses moments. God used Moses to part the Red Sea. Moses stepped out in faith and belief. Haven’t we all done that? We too have stepped out and trusted, prayed and acted, listened and responded. Our big moments, when we were scared to move forward, scared of the lonely place we were walking, the long dark nights-the times we intentionally sought God-those are our Moses moments. Fear has a tendency to drive us deeper in prayer, closer to God, and to be more focused on Him.
Our natural reaction is to try and protect our kids from Big Bad Wolf situations.
How authentic are we with them when tragedy strikes?
Are we honest about our struggles?
Are we honest about when we are afraid or scared?
In an effort to protect them, do inadvertantly hide our dependency on God?
We tell ourselves…
::they can hear about those stories when they are older
::they are too young for this kind of news
::i don’t want them to be scared
::it’s not the right time for them to hear these things
In actuality, could we be robbing them of very powerful chapters from our family’s story? We are warned that hard times will come, so why would we miss an opportunity to model our reliance on God? Don’t we desire to see that reliance on Him in our kids?
I want my kids to know that at every turn, I pursued God. I want them to know that in difficult situations, I sought his wisdom. They can be spared certain details but I can share with them…”Mom is having a hard time, so could you pray for me? I am praying too and I know God will help me.”
When the stories have happy endings, I want them to know I celebrated and thanked Him in prayer.
How will they know if I don’t show them?
How will they know how to seek Him if I don’t model it for them?
As parents, we can embrace the opportunities to take very active and appropriate roles in helping our families write better stories.
Think about the stories of your life. Pray about the lessons you could share with your family. Take into consideration the age and maturity of your kids. Not all stories are appropriate for all ages-use your best judgment. Being transparent and authentic may be a new experience for many of you. The following Take Away will help you as you lead your family in writing a better story.
The following is an activity that you can complete with your spouse or independently.
· Notebook or Paper and Pen
What To Do:
Take time to reflect back on the past year. Jot down the big events that come to mind. Think about how you related those events to your kids. Do you think you were authentic enough with them? Do you think they saw you relying on Christ as you worked through those stories? Would you walk through the story the same way today as you did then? There are no right or wrong answers. This exercise will help you process the new way your family will write their story.
"Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family." — Anthony Brandt