God Stories

Every night before I kiss my girls good night, they beg me, “Daddy, please tell us a story about God!” I’m prepared for this now, and I usually try to think through how to share a story about Jesus’ ministry or God’s movements throughout history in a way that my little girls can understand. Other times, I just let one roll of the tongue and here we go…

Tuesday, June 9th was one such night. I’d finished with a story about my childhood to which my girls responded, “That was a short one, Daddy.” A story about God was required. I couldn’t come up with one until I started saying, “One day, King David saw a beautiful girl names Bathsheba…” Oh, brother. The Veggie Tales version kept coming to mind, but I wanted to give them a real account of the story (as opposed to rubber duckies). I focused more on the wrong-doing and Nathan confronting David in his sin. As a result, the story became one about the need for forgiveness, and I even explained something I had recently been studying in Psalm 51 – David’s song about this very situation.

As I talked about sin and forgivness, my eldest daughter Anna was muttering along. I had no clue what she was doing, but I figured my middle child Ella was still in the game. When I finished with my “God Story” and short explanation, I said that God also wants us to come to Him to ask for forgiveness, and Jesus came to show He loves us and is ready to forgive. We just need to confess and trust Jesus. To this, Anna replied, “Daddy, I just did.” I asked her to pray it along with me so I could hear as well. Theologically right and all, Anna prayed her prayer in childlike faith to place her faith in Christ and began her spiritual pilgrimage.

The excitement in my heart and Cara’s has yet to die down, especially as we see Anna thinking through things now, desiring more to do what is right, and carrying around Cara’s old and very large KJV around the house. Yet it also reinforces in me the need for storying. As parents, we should be or work to become great storytellers. I’m not the best, but I’ve found great success in starting with what I know – my life. I’ve told stories from my childhood and various parts of my spiritual walk as well. Even more than that, I’ve told countless stories from Scriptures. For me, it’s been a way to refresh my memory on some stories (as I’ve read them over before I tell the story to my girls) as well as pass my faith on to my children. We have great laughs as we tell some of the more obscure stories (I love the one about when Saul was looking for David at En Gedi and went into the cave to go potty – well, you’ll have to check that one out for yourself, 1 Sam 24), but also some great follow-up on other stories that seem to be hitting close to the heart.

It’s through the God Stories that my little Anna committed her life to Jesus. Now, as she says, “The Holy Spirit’s living in me!” and she is a part of God’s Story. One day, I pray Ella and Abby will be as well as they hear and connect with the stories of Scriptures and my personal journey. They can hear stories from church a couple times a week. But they can be more intimately acquainted with the characters and ask great questions when they lay in that moment of calm before bedtime with their Dad lying on the floor next to them. If you don’t already, perhaps tonight you can begin working on your storytelling skills by sharing one of your favorite stories in Scripture. One day, perhaps they’ll find their way into the great Story of God because you took the time to tell God Stories.

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