The sound of birds chirping filled the upper-level room. A light breeze blew through the window, bringing relief from the morning heat. Down below, the streets were teeming with travelers going to and fro and shop owners preparing their stands.
Day 2 of the Big Story Training in Abuja, Nigeria was about to commence. As I arranged the teaching materials I needed on a table, Mary*, a mother of one, came up to me. After I greeted her, she began to share something that happened to her earlier that morning.
“Until yesterday,” she said, “I had never heard anyone teach the Bible like you did. No one has shown me how all the stories connect together. I had never noticed that within each story is a blessing and purpose for that blessing.”
“This morning, I had my regular devotion time with the Lord. As I was reading my Bible, there it was! For the first time, I saw the blessing and the purpose. I saw how God was using what was happening to make Himself known among the nations.”
I smiled at Mary. Her face radiated joy. She was discovering God on mission with her own eyes and it was marvelous to behold.
Near the end of the day, training participants were invited to share how God was speaking to their hearts. Mary was the first to raise her hand. She stood up, adjusted her glasses, and began to share with the group.
“God has shown me so much through this training about who He is and how I can disciple my daughter to know Him this way, too. This morning, in my quiet time, I saw with my own eyes God’s blessing and purpose. It was right there! I realized in that moment that the Bible really is God’s story. Not only does my daughter have a part in it, but so do I. God is inviting me into His story. I want to find my part.”
What Mary discovered that day is an essential truth for parents – you, mom and dad, are being invited into God’s big story. In fact, God is inviting your whole family to be a part of all He has been doing since the beginning of time. Our children not only need to hear God’s invitation from us, but also need to see how we have said “yes!” to that invitation ourselves.
How do you show them? Talk about your spiritual journey with your children. Allow them to see how God has spoken to you, how He has challenged you, how He has led you. Talk about what you are learning and experiencing. Your walk with God doesn’t have to be perfected and tied up neatly with a bow. Spiritual journeys are often messy as we struggle with doubt or wrestle with hard truths. Our children may learn more from hearing how we are walking through those moments than they would from a well-planned Bible lesson.
A common phrase says, “Vision is caught, not taught.” This is true in your home. Living out God’s purposes in our lives should overflow from our love for Him. As our children witness this, they will capture a vision of what it looks like when we step into our part in His story.