When Your Children Ask

When my husband and I married in 1981, the year 2020 was sci-fi.

I don’t recall ever trying to imagine what life would be like that far in our future. There’s no way I would have guessed I would hold the world in the palm of my hand and call it a smartphone.

And I wouldn’t have believed, had you told me, forty years would speed by and I would be looking at our child-rearing years in the rear view mirror.

In Exodus 12 we read the instructions of the Passover—what a terrible and wonderful time in the history of Israel. God spoke to Moses and Aaron who in turn explained to the people what was to happen and what they needed to do on both the night of the Passover and every year forevermore as a remembrance of God’s hand of protection on them.

After giving the instructions, Moses said, “When your children ask you…”

He made the assumption that the people would be obedient in future generations and that children would ask “Why do we do this?”

Their obedience would create an open door to speak of God’s power and faithfulness: Why, Daddy? Why do we do this every year?

Oh, my child! We do this so we are sure to remember the night God spared the first born sons of Israel…

And then the story of God’s faithfulness would unfold.

This was the beginning of many miracles the Lord performed as His children journeyed farther away from bondage and ever closer to the land of promise. Years and miracles later, Joshua instructed representatives from each of the twelve tribes of Israel to gather stones from the Jordan to serve as a sign (Joshua 3-4).

Joshua said, “When your children ask you …”


Soon, January 2020 will close and February will begin. But before we say good-bye to the first month of the new year—what can we place in the lives of our children and grandchildren that serves as an opportunity to tell of God’s faithfulness in our lives?

• Is there a Scripture you can share and tell the story of how God used His word to get you through hardship and heartache?

• Perhaps there’s a song in your heart to remind you of God’s faithfulness throughout the years.

• Maybe you have a story from childhood designed to teach your children of God’s patient presence in your life.

God is no less a miracle worker today than He was the night of the Passover or the day He held back the waters of the Jordan River. I can’t help but wonder, what questions will the future generations of today’s children ask?


Forty years have passed faster than I ever dreamed they would. Today I find myself looking into the faces of the grandchildren. 

I’m ready to tell them when they ask me … and perhaps even before they ask:

Great is His faithfulness!

He decreed statutes for Jacob
    and established the law in Israel,
which 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
•   Psalm 78:5-7   •

 

 

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6 thoughts on “When Your Children Ask

  1. Shelley, you’ve given us wise reminders while the year is still new to strengthen future generations by sharing the Lord’s truths with them. As a step toward this challenge, I’m asking God to give me a verse and words of encouragement from my life to my grandchildren when we celebrate birthdays. Thank you!

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  2. “And then the story of God’s faithfulness would unfold.” That right there is what I love! The way stories unfold; especially stories of God’s faithfulness shared with our little ones who can tuck away truth for days to come.

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