Listen, O my people, to my instruction; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments, and not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart and whose spirit was not faithful to God (Psalm 78:1-8).
Fathers and Grandfathers, do not underestimate the power of your words and your teaching upon the next generation. Do not assume that they will get it on their own, or that they already know. Tell them. Tell them again. Remind them often. Find creative ways to illustrate these things.
You know, even the world understands the importance of parents telling things to their kids. Listen to all the Public Service Announcements the government puts out telling parents to talk to their children about drugs, sex, money, etc. In fact, we have our own government-sponsored website, Fatherhood.gov, dedicated to helping dads.
I encourage you, if you have not done this, to take out your Bible and start looking for as many examples as you can find where God talks to fathers and grandfathers about relaying very important information to the next generation.
Here are several examples.
- Tell your children about His righteousness (Psalm 22:31).
- Tell your children about His faithfulness, that He always keeps His promises (Isaiah 38:19).
- Tell your children about worship and why we worship the way we do (Exodus 12:24-27; 13:14-15).
- Tell your children about the mighty things God has done, either the works of creation, or what God has done in our lives (Joshua 4:6-7,21-22; Psalm 145:4).
- Tell your children about the seriousness of God’s judgment. The book of Joel talks about a devastating locust plague that God sent because of His people’s sins, and they were to tell their children about it (Joel 1:3).
- Tell your children about God’s rules and how important they are to keep (Genesis 18:19; Deuteronomy 4:9; 6:7; 11:19; Ephesians 6:4).
- Use the Proverbs. Have you counted how many times “My son” is used in the first 7 chapters? It is a great conversation Solomon has with his son, and praise God that we have it recorded for us. Use it.
And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come (Psalm 71:18).
You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers; just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory (1 Thessalonians 2:10-12).