Tell Me Another Story!
The past month or so I have been reading through the book of Psalms. It is a book written by many authors, although, the primary author was David. It is also a book of promises, reminders, hope, guidance, truth, comfort… the list goes on and on.
This morning during my quiet time I read through Psalm 78. The theme of this chapter is lessons from history, of which Asaph retells. A history from the time the Jewish nation was enslaved in Egypt to David’s reign. But this chapter got me thinking. As a parent, I am CONSTANTLY reminding and retelling “if/then” statements. As a homeschool parent we talk about history A LOT. We talk about history so that we learn from history. And I correct and guide my children drawing from the mistakes we made from our history so that we do not repeat it.
While reading, these verses popped out starting halfway through verse 5-8 (NIV):
“...he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. They would not be like their ancestors - a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him.”
Not sure about you - but some days when I am correcting, guiding, and training my littles I am repeating the same sentences over and over and over again. Not because I want to be a nag, but because I want it to stick. I want them to remember. I want them to obey. And then, one day it does and I realize, “WOW! I haven’t had to repeat myself 1000x and again for them to remember. They remembered!” And it’s a glorious moment! I pop a bottle of bubbly. I high five my mom friends. We even throw a party!! Okay - maybe not all those things, but I feel like we should.
My daughter, particularly at bedtime, loves to ask us to tell stories. Stories from our childhood and from our past. She LOVES them. She even has some favorite neighbors she likes to visit and they too will tell her stories. The more detailed they are, the better. And when one story is over she will say, “Tell me another!” or “Tell me more!”
This got me thinking as I read Psalm 78. When I am teaching my kids scripture, I want them to feel like I am telling them an ancient story from their past. Why? Because it IS a part of their history, their lineage. I want them to lean in and listen, feel connected and excited, then say, “TELL ME MORE!” And when they listen, I want the scriptures to be in a language they understand. This is why we have children’s Bibles. And this is also why I really do love The Message translation. I do not personally use it for daily studying, but I love referencing it and reading it to me kids. Why? Because it’s in a language they can understand.
“LIsten, dear friends, to God’s truth, bend your ears to what I tell you. I’m chewing on the morsel of a proverb; I’ll let you in on the sweet old truths, stories we heard from our fathers, counsel we learned at our mother’s knee. We’re not keeping this to ourselves, we’re passing it along to the next generation - God’s fame and fortune, the marvelous things he has done.” v1-4 The Message
This is what we are doing when we read and share God’s word with our kids. We are telling the sweet old truths, the stories we heard from our fathers… and we’re passing it along to the next generation.
When I open my Bible in the mornings, it’s not out of a “duty.” God doesn’t require me to read the Bible. It won’t win me any merit points. It won’t get me to a higher place in Heaven. It won’t even secure my salvation. My salvation has already been made secure. (Ephesians 2:8-9) What it does is feeds my soul. It’s let’s me commune with God and speak to Him. It lets me hear His living, breathing, and active voice. (Hebrews 4:12) The only way to KNOW Him is to read His word. And when I read these scriptures even for myself and especially to my kids, my prayer is that they too would say, “Tell me another story!!” when we finish reading.