Recording Family Faith Stories

Recording Family Faith Stories - Parenting Like HannahI have a secret about my Bible reading which I rarely share with anyone. Mainly, because it generally causes eye rolling and groaning. Since I can’t see or hear you, I am going to take the risk – I secretly enjoy reading the “begats” in the Bible. Partially, it is because I love the little nuggets God hid within some of those passages. Mainly though, I love reading the connections between the generations over thousands of years. It is comforting to think of God touching the lives of generation after generation of His people.

A legacy of faith is one of the most important gifts we can give our families. Even if you are the first generation of believers in your family, you are starting a legacy for any future generations after you. There is a creative way you can add to that legacy for your children, grandchildren and beyond.

This is your chance to leave a faith record for the future generations of your family. If you could tell your great-great-great children something about God, what would it be? How does your family worship and serve God? What do you want future generations of your family to know about their family’s faith history? You don’t have to be especially artistic to make this project work. If you are though, this is the time to let those creative juices flow. Either way, what you create will hopefully become a cherished family heirloom.

Write a list of questions to ask your Christian relatives. It may be the story of how they became a Christian or the lessons they have learned from following God. Maybe you want them to share their favorite scripture or advice about being a Christian they want to give to future generations. Maybe your children have questions of their own they would like to add to the list. Don’t make the list too long unless you want to risk overwhelming people or spend a lot of time editing.

There are lots of ways you can record answers. Conduct live interviews over the holidays and record them on video. Have the subjects write the answers in their own handwriting and send photos. (This often doesn’t produce as many responses.) Voice record the answers and then type up a transcript. Collect baptism photos or pictures of churches where family members worshipped.

If you are the first Christian in your family, add close family friends as a part of your family’s spiritual heritage. Perhaps you can interview the person who shared their faith with you about why they shared or even what they shared with you. Maybe you can include words from a teacher or preacher who helped you grow as a Christian.

Then the fun starts. Edit it into a film. Make a scrapbook. Find a wide margin Bible and write the words near appropriate scriptures. Get creative, but find a way to share with your children the idea that your family is like Joshua’s – as for you and your family, you will serve the Lord. (See Joshua 24:14-15) Give your children and grandchildren the gift of knowing their ancestors loved and followed God – especially if it starts with you!

A word of advice – find a way to make a copy for each child. It may take extra time and money, but I think it is something important you can give to your child when you launch them into the world. (And it saves a sibling fight!) I would love to see what you do. Please comment below or email me (tswinnett@gmail.com) to let me what your project was. Others may be inspired by your project to do projects of their own. So take some time and share your faith legacy with the future generations of your family.

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Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)