“This may be a sign among you – When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’” (Joshua 4:6).
Kids ask questions, or at least they want to. Sometimes the questions drive a parent batty — “When do we get there?” — but often the questions provide moments for teaching, training, and discipleship.
When the people of Israel finally crossed into the Promised Land they established a memorial. God had miraculously opened the waters of the Jordan River. He wanted them to take stones from the riverbed, one per tribe. These stones would stand in a heap, a reminder of God’s faithfulness to them as a nation.
These stones would serve as a reminder to future generations as well. If they ever wondered if God had really given them the land, they could think back to that fresh beginning. By His supernatural power amongst them, they entered in. Were they God’s children, His chosen people? Clearly.
The LORD — and Joshua — wanted the parents in Israel to answer a question from the children of Israel. “What do those stones mean to you?”
Basically, these stones served as a reminder, but also a stimulus to testimony. God wanted the kids to ask so the parents could talk of God’s great faithfulness to His people.
Parents do well to look for opportunities to talk of God’s faithfulness in their lives. Israel’s children needed to hear of God’s work in their parents. The hero was God, not a man, not their parents. Modern believing parents should talk highly of God’s heroic work in their lives.
Are you in Christ? Then He saved you, redeemed you, rescued you from yourself. He has been faithful to you. When you have wandered from Him your life has become empty, but He’s still been there, faithful to you. When you’ve walked with Him, seeking Him, He has rewarded you immensely. Life in Christ has been a rewarding experience. Your children must know.
Tell your children of God’s provision in your life. It is good for us to get all Dave Ramsey on them, I know I do, but they cannot only hear of the man-ward responsibility in financial matters. They must hear of times God faithfully supplied all your need. Tell them of the times the tithe was hard to give, but God was not out-given. Tell them of His provision.
Tell your children of God’s forgiveness in your life. This must be filled with age appropriateness, but your kids suspect you’re a sinner already, so tell them of God’s grace in your life. Talk to them of His faithfulness to you when you were unfaithful to Him. He is the hero. Make Him so in your testimony. Tell them of His forgiveness.
Tell your children of God’s powerful Word for your life. Share with them the different ways God has spoken to you from the pages of His word. Tell them of the times you were searching for wisdom and the perfect verse or passage was delivered to you. Talk to them about the truths of God that have most shaped you. Tell them of God's Word.
Tell your children of God’s shaping of your life. He has not left you alone but has crafted and molded you. You’ve been on that potter’s wheel, and He’s been shaping you as His clay. They mostly know the current version of you, so tell them of God’s transformative work in your heart. Testify of His grace in delivering you from anger, greed, insecurity, and lust. Tell them of God's shaping.
Tell your children of God’s faithful work in your church. If they only hear complaints or negatives about your church experience they won’t be impressed. Tell them of the times God provided for the church. Talk to them about the great seasons of growth or effectiveness. Hold out the faithfulness of God in the lives of other believers in your church family. Tell them of God's faithful work in your church.
Tell your children of God’s wisdom in relationships. Show them how your marriage is built upon God and His Word. Help them see why you parent the way you do. Model grace and forgiveness for them. Show them the power of this type of life. Tell them of God's wisdom for relationships.
We must tell the next generation of God’s faithfulness to us. This is the role of Christian parents — absolutely — but also the role of the older Christian generation to the younger. We must tell them of God’s great power and hand upon our lives. We mustn’t worship the past, living there, but hold out hope for them of all God could do in their future, long after we are gone. We must build those memorials in order to point them forward in their quest with Christ.