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Do your kids know that God is faithful? image

Do your kids know that God is faithful?

Podcaster David Whittingham explains the power of telling Bible stories.

Imagine this scene. You’re sitting at the table looking at your bank statement. In the background, the news is talking about inflation and the next potential rate rise. On the wall hangs a calendar with a circle around a date at the end of the month. It isn’t a birthday. It’s the date your contract will either be renewed or finished.

On the picture of the calendar is this Bible verse:

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  (Matthew 6:31–33)

On a scale of 1 to 100, how much are you actually feeling comforted right now? Your child is watching you from the corner. Do they think that you trust God in this situation? Do they know that they can trust God in this situation?

The power of Bible stories

Anyone can make a promise. Words are cheap. Whether people believe you or not, however, is based on your track record: have they seen you back up your words with actions in the past? 

Children learn this very quickly. Last year I offered to take my daughter to some caves that are about an hour away from our home. Life got busy and we didn’t go. We discussed it lots of times, but after a while, she stopped asking and I stopped suggesting. My failure in the past meant that my words (on this matter) could no longer be trusted.

God makes lots of promises in the Bible that are the greatest promises in the universe. They are promises of joy, justice, eternal life, relationships, salvation, grace and more. As good as they are, if all we had were the promises, it could be hard  to believe that God would keep them.

Thankfully, God has given us more. The Bible tells story after story of God’s faithfulness in keeping his promises across thousands of years of history. He provides all the evidence we need to show that he never fails, he never forgets, he never runs out of time, and he never gives up. God’s words are backed up by his actions.

God tells us these stories to comfort us and strengthen our faith. When Jesus says that we will be given everything we need, his words are backed up by the guarantee of millennia of faithfulness. The more these stories, with all their rich, colourful detail, sit at the front of our minds, the more God’s promises will resonate with our hearts.

Example: Abraham on a mountain

Although he had some awkward moments, Abraham’s faith in God was  quite remarkable. The most potent example was  when God told him to travel to the land of Moriah with his only son and heir, Isaac. On a mountain that God showed him, he was to sacrifice this son whom he had waited so long for. It is a strange story for lots of reasons, but there is one question that I had never asked until someone pointed it out: Why does Abraham have to travel three days to do this task?  Could he not have done it in his backyard?

As things unfolded, Abraham would not have to sacrifice Isaac because the Lord provided a sacrifice in his place. We’re told:

So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.’ (Genesis 22:14)

But why did it have to happen in Moriah?

The only other time that the place name ‘Moriah’ is used in the Bible is in 2 Chronicles 3:1. There, we are told that Solomon began to build the temple exactly where God had appeared to his father David, in the place which David had designated for the temple. The name of that place, we are told, was Mount Moriah.

Think of how powerfully this story testifies to God’s faithfulness. Hundreds of years before Solomon, God had directed Abraham to a mountain  where he provided a substitutionary sacrifice. Then, God worked through history to make sure that at the same place, called The Lord Will Provide, temple  sacrifices would be made as a substitute for the evil of his people. A thousand years later, God provided fully and finally when the Lord Jesus came to that same mountain and offered himself as a sacrifice for the sin of many.

Surely a God who directs and shapes history to that degree of precision, a God who provides  forgiveness and salvation at such great cost to himself, will be able to make sure your family can eat, despite the current rate of inflation.

Make Bible stories a part of your family life

Wouldn’t it be great if your children could travel through the rest of their lives totally calm in the assurance of God’s care, provision and faithfulness? To work towards that end, I think it’s important to make stories of God’s faithfulness an integral part of their growing up experience, and indeed part of our own faith. Here are some tips:

•    Read or listen to the Bible stories regularly, either with individual children or as a family. Don’t feel like you need to find every deep theological point and ask lots of questions afterwards. Stories make their point as they go; they captivate  us with their drama, humour and weirdness. If you want to ask one question, ask, ‘What’s great about God in this story?’ For listening, my personal favourite is the NIV reading done by David Suchet, which you can find  on YouVersion and Bible Gateway.

•    Talk about the stories all the time. As you sit together at dinner, in the car or around a campfire . Keep it God-focussed. For example, don’t just tell your kids that you love the story from Judges 3 where King Eglon gets stabbed and his belly fat closes over the blade. Make sure you tell them what you love about God in that story.

•    Listen to the stories. This year, I have started two podcasts, Stories of a Faithful God and Stories of a Faithful God for Kids. The first one is for you. It is a deep dive into the Bible stories that gives you room to enjoy and rest in our faithful God. After all, the best way to model trust in God is if you are confidently trusting God yourself. The second podcast is much shorter and for your whole family, including your upper primary kids who have ‘heard it all before’. Why not start by hearing the exciting story of God, Elijah and the prophets of Baal, or follow what God does with the less heroic prophet, Jonah? Together, these podcasts are a way of keeping God front and centre as you parent and as you think about that next mortgage or rent rise.

God is good. Life is hard. We are forgetful people. So let’s keep finding excuses to share stories of God’s faithfulness and grow in joy, rest and trust in our faithful God.
Dave is married to Janice and they have four kids. Dave has been a minister, teacher, school chaplain and now hosts Stories of a Faithful God and Stories of a Faithful God for Kids.  His podcast website is faithfulgod.net.


Fearlessly Madison

In this delightful new adventure, Madison learns that no matter what our circumstances might be, we need not be afraid; God is with us and he’s working in all things for our good.

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