This week he discusses the third thing your family needs...
Just as your own devotion time can encourage the rest of your family, your own testimony can serve as another starting point for spiritually leading your family.
Do your children know your testimony? Have you shared with them the story of how the Lord saved you? Even if you have shared this already, you can share it again and again and again. This time, maybe you can include some details you have never shared:
Share about the different Christians that taught you the Gospel and helped lead you to Christ.
Share about the different Bible verses that the Lord used to make Himself known to you.
Share about some of the doubts and challenges that you faced before submitting to Jesus as the Lord of your life.
Share about some of the ways the Lord has grown you and changed you since then.
When we tell our kids how the Lord saved us from our sin and gave us new life, we invite them to celebrate salvation with us and we provide for them a personal example of the power of the Gospel.
Paul would often share his testimony, recount his old life, his encounter with Jesus Christ, and the radical transformation Jesus brought to his life (Acts 22:3-16; Acts 26:4-23; Galatians 1:13-23).
Perhaps you could read some of Paul’s testimonies with your children during Family Worship and then share your own testimony, letting them hear the story of how Jesus rescued you from your former way of life and made you a new creation.
In the Bible we read many other examples of the faithful intentionally sharing testimonies with the next generation.
After God led Joshua and His people across the Jordan, God had the people set up twelve memorial stones. These stones were meant to serve as a reminder of God’s mighty works. The Lord ensured that Israel would pass down this testimony to the coming generations.
Joshua said to the people, “When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord…so these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever” (Joshua 4:6-7).
What a blessing it would be if you were able to set up some “memorial stones” in your home by finding opportunities to share testimonies with your children.
Tell them about the mighty ways in which God has worked in your life.
Tell them stories of how the Lord answered prayers.
You have probably never followed the Lord through the Jordan, but you can share testimonies of the many times the Lord has led and guided you.
Think of one of these testimonies and then write a word or two on a stone and set the rock on the kitchen table. I imagine that in less than a few hours, one of your children will ask you, “What does this mean to you?”
Let us then follow the Psalm 78 example and boldly declare, “We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done...so that they should set their hope in God” (Psalm 78:4, 7).
Jonathan Williams, Ph.D. (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the Executive Director of Gospel Family Ministries: www.gospelfamily.org This ministry focuses on strengthening family ministry in the local church and cultivating family worship in the Christian home. Jonathan spends his days leading conferences and workshops that equip men to be spiritual leaders in their homes, to strengthen marriages, and to train parents to cultivate a biblical worldview in the hearts of their children. Jonathan is the author of “A Practical Theology of Family Worship” and “Gospel Family.” He also teaches as an adjunct professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX, and is the managing editor of the Southwestern D6 Family Ministry Journal. Previously, Jonathan served for 10 years as the senior pastor of Wilcrest Baptist Church, a multi-ethnic church of more than 50 nations. He lives in Texas with his wife and three children.