Don’t Buy Your Kids “Lousy” T-Shirts

April 9, 2012

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“My parents went to _______ and all they bought me was this lousy t-shirt!”

How many of us have seen these shirts, or perhaps even have one tucked in a drawer gathering dust? Of all the amazing gifts we could bring back from a foreign country, and all we got was a t-shirt!

Souvenirs represent a gift, but more so, they carry a memory.

What if instead of lousy t-shirts, we had stones of remembrance?

In Joshua 4:1-820-22,  there is a story about the nation of Israel setting up 12 stones as a memorial to commemorate the crossing of the Jordan.

Verse 6 and 21 tell us the purpose  behind the memorial. “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, What do these stones mean? then you shall let your children know, Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.”

Much more than a t-shirt, these were a monument to the faithfulness of God for future generations to learn from. When looked upon, the miracles we experience can be passed on to your children. This helps our kids learn from our mistakes or fight the same battles. (passing this way again.)

What kind of souvenirs or stones of remembrance do we have in our lives? How can we pass on the lessons we have learned to our children.

For some, commemoration through trophies or certificates may bring rememberance. In our house, we have certain items which remind us of our wedding, the adoption of our son, or other significant events in both our physical and spiritual lives.

Reading this passage, we see that it is not good enough to display these items, but we need to pass on the stories. Most importantly the successes and failures; the lessons learned from these events.

They will benefit our children.

And remembering the past would not be a bad idea for us as parents either.

Immediately after this, in Joshua 5, we see Israel returning to an obedience they had walked away from. They had not kept the covenant of circumcision for an entire generation. Israel saw those stones, remembered the character of God, which in turn revealed the unfaithfulness in their own hearts. They responded in obedience.

Stones of remembrance serve us in the future as well, representing a significant lesson or event which we need to continue walking in. They serve us in pointing us back to God.

Some plant trees. Others paint pictures. Still others collect knick knacks to display.

We don’t just tell them that God is faithful. We show them, through our lives and our stories, how He has been faithful to us

What are your stones of remembrance? How will they serve your children in passing on the victories of God? 

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God