Saturday, May 16, 2015

How Do We Pass on a Heritage of Faith? Consider the Following . . .

Image result for clip art for puzzle piecesYesterday I wrote about how our job is not "finished" just because our children are grown. If we have grandchildren we still have a very important "job" to do. We are part of what Deuteronomy 6 is talking about. We are part of God's plan to pass on a heritage of faith to our grandchildren.

So, how do we do this? 

Excellent question. Of course if we have the opportunity to take our grandchildren to church, this is part of what we can do, but it is only a small piece of the puzzle. I wrote about Larry Fowler's book, "The Question Nobody Asks About Our Children" and how he says if children go to church every week, they are there for just one hour out of 168 hours in a week. If their church has longer services, a children's church and/or mid-week, then they are there for more time, but not likely much more than three or four hours out of those 168 hours in a week. If like many children, they are really only at church every other week, then those one to four hours are out of 336 hours. Not a lot of time. 

Clearly, we can not rely on the church to do the job of passing on a heritage of faith. Yes, they can have a part, but as the hours show, it is actually a small part.

Deuteronomy 6 says it is the job of parents and grandparents to hold to this faith and then pass it on to our children and our children's children. This means there absolutely is a role, an important role, for grandparents to fill when it comes to passing on a heritage of faith. Deuteronomy 6 outlines what we do to pass on a heritage of faith - it answers the question of "how do we do this". 
Let these words,"be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates. 10 When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget  the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 13 Fear the Lord  your God, serve him only."
Don't you just love it when God's Word shows us the answers to our questions?!!! I do! So, what is the answer? How do we pass on a heritage of faith to our grandchildren? Consider the following . . .
  1. Keep God's words, "on our hearts"! We have to know God's Words to pass them on! This means we have to spend time in God's Word - we have to be people of the Word!
  2. Impress them on our grandchildren - this means there is action involved. We can not just sit back and say we have already, "done our job". We have to be engaged!
  3. Talk about God and His Word in our day-in-day-out lives. This means we are intentional about talking with our grandchildren - at specific times and as God provides the opportunities. We, "connect" God and His Word with our lives and our grandchildren's lives!
  4. We keep reminders of God and His Word around our home - symbols to help us stop and think and remember what God has done for us.
  5. We pay attention. We keep our focus so we remember our blessings are from God!
  6. We are careful to remember who we serve and do not get distracted by the things in this world.
Let's take a closer look at these steps over the coming days.

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