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Memorials – Everyday Conversations with Kids about God (Part 3)

We’re in a blog series filled with ideas to get conversations started with our kids about God…

image - reminders

“All the ends of the earth
    will remember and turn to YHWH,
and all the families of the nations
    will bow down before him
Posterity will serve him;
    future generations will be told about YHWH.
They will proclaim his righteousness
   to a people yet unborn—
   for he has done it” (Psalm 22:30-31)

How can we make sure that future generations “will be told about YHWH”? These verses tell us that someday, all people “will remember” what YHWH has done, and they will worship Him.

“I will remember the deeds of YHWH;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds” (Psalm 77:11-12).

“I remember the days of long ago;
I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done” (Psalm 143:5).

What to Remember

Throughout the Scriptures, God gives us lots of practical things we can “remember,” to give us opportunities for conversations with our children. Let’s take a peek at a few:

Remember the sabbath day, because we’ll consider creation and redemption.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy… For in six days YHWH made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore YHWH blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Exodus 20:8, 11).

“Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that YHWH your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore YHWH your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day” (Deuteronomy 5:15).

Remember the commands of God.

“Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of YHWH, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. I am YHWH your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am YHWH your God” (Numbers 15:38-41).

“I remember your ancient laws, O YHWH,
and I find comfort in them” (Psalm 119:52).

Remember God’s protection, so we won’t be afraid.

“But do not be afraid of them; remember well what YHWH your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt” (Deuteronomy 7:18).

Remember God’s leading.

“Remember how YHWH your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands” (Deuteronomy 8:2).

Remember God’s financial provision.

“But remember YHWH your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today” (Deuteronomy 8:18).

Remember God’s judgment of sin.

“Remember this and never forget how you provoked YHWH your God to anger in the desert. From the day you left Egypt until you arrived here, you have been rebellious against YHWH” (Deuteronomy 9:7).

Remember God’s working in your own life, which your children didn’t see.

“Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of YHWH your God: his majesty, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm” (Deuteronomy 11:2).

Remember the poor.

“Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and YHWH your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today” (Deuteronomy 15:15).

Remember to ask your elders about “the days of old.”

“Remember the days of old;
consider the generations long past.
Ask your father and he will tell you,
your elders, and they will explain to you” (Deuteronomy 32:7).

Remember God’s wonders and miracles.

“Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced” (1 Chronicles 16:12).

“I will remember the deeds of YHWH;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds (Psalm 77:11-12).

“I remember the days of long ago;
I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done” (Psalm 143:5).

Remember God’s working in history.

“Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say: My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.
From the east I summon a bird of prey;
from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that will I bring about;
what I have planned, that will I do” (Isaiah 46:9-11).

Remember God’s forgiveness of sin.

“There you will remember your conduct and all the actions by which you have defiled yourselves, and you will loathe yourselves for all the evil you have done. You will know that I am YHWH, when I deal with you for my name’s sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices, O house of Israel, declares the Sovereign YHWH” (Ezekiel 20:43-44).

Making It Practical

  • One way to remember what God has done is to make a visible “memorial” that you can walk by, look at, and talk about why it’s even there. (Warning: God says to never set up certain kinds of memorials — see below. Note that Joshua set up a pile of stones… nothing in the image of a created thing!)

“Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of YHWH. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever” (Joshua 4:5-7).

“You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth” (Exodus 20:4, ISR).

  • Another way to remember what God has done is to write it down in a book! Include names of places, children, events to show God’s amazing provision for your life. Many families make notebooks for this purpose, decorating each page and creating family keepsakes.

“Then YHWH said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it” (Exodus 17:14).

  • Finally, God says we should even put reminders of His words on our clothing. The Scriptures call these “tassels.” The word is tzitziyot (plural) or tzitzit (singular), which is Hebrew for fringe.

“Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of YHWH, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. I am YHWH your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am YHWH your God'” (Numbers 15:38-41).

Helpful Websites for Making Tassels:

Next time we’ll talk about some ways you can decorate the walls of your home, to spark conversations with your children about God!

~Anne

Even though there are countless homeschooling methods to choose from, the Bible clearly tells us which methods work. >>Read more in Anne’s book…

Comments

  1. Amy Dent Beebe says:

    Thanks for the links to making tzit tzits! For some reason my google-fu failed me and I couldn’t find any, so I was so happy to see the links!

  2. Amy Dent Beebe says:

    Oops – hit post too soon. Also wanted to say that I like to think of the tassels as the original “WWJD” bracelets…

    • Oh, that’s so true! How quick we are to say we shouldn’t do things commanded in the Old Testament, yet we replace them all with modern “memorials.” I think I’ll stick with the originals… 🙂

  3. How timely! Just Thursday I was at the beach alone for a rare moment and picking up stones of remembrance. Windy day, confessing my sin and weakness, gathering stones. I only had a vague idea with the phrase stones of remembrance, and of course your writing tells me more of what God had in mind. Thank you.

  4. Thanks for the article! Love this about the things the Father says we are to remember…and yes, I wear tzitziyot. (c:

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