Making Faith Personal with Our Children

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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“On the seventh day you must explain to your children, ‘I am celebrating what the LORD did for me when I left Egypt.' "

Exodus 13:8

At several points in the story of the establishment of the Passover, children are mentioned specifically. Not only do they participate in the feast, but also they learn from this tradition the story of the Exodus.

Exodus 13:8 adds a personal dimension to the involvement of children in the Passover. In this verse, parents are instructed to tell, not just the story of Israel, but their own story as well. Each parent should explain to his or her child: “I am celebrating what the LORD did for me when I left Egypt.” Not us, but me, what the Lord did for me.

Of course, in a sense, only those parents who had actually been a part of the original Exodus could speak this way to their children. Yet I am impressed by the example of parental witness to children in this passage. I know many parents who talk about Christian ideas with their children, but feel uncomfortable sharing their own personal faith and experience of God with them. What these parents do is fine. But Exodus 13:8 encourages them to go a step further, and share their hearts with their children.

If you are a parent, this passage offers a direct challenge and encouragement to you to be more open about your personal faith with your children. But if you don’t have children, this text urges you to be candid about your relationship with God when you are with children in your extended family, or the children of your friends, or those you teach in Sunday School, or. . . . The next generation needs to hear from us, not only what we believe and why, but also how we know God’s love and grace in our lives.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: If you are a parent, do you ever share your personal faith with your children? What might encourage you to be more open about your relationship with God in the future?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I am struck today by your instruction to parents to tell their children how they personally experienced the Exodus. I must confess that I find it much easier to talk Christian theology with my children than to share with them my intimate relationship with you. I know many, many parents are just like me. So I ask you to help me, Lord, and so many others, to be more open about our experience of your grace. May we pass on to the next generation both the substance of the faith and our living relationship with you. Amen.