I love a good story!  Jesus told fictional parables to explain spiritual truths.  And the Bible itself is the true story of God, filled with lots of true stories about God’s people, written so we can know God.

At home, sharing stories strengthens family bonds because no one outside knows all the inside stories.  My kids crack up laughing when my husband and I tell them things we did as kids – the more details, the better!  And they love to hear any story about themselves.  I think it affirms their value and place in the family.

Sometimes it might be a teaching opportunity, a story that helps your child learn something.  When I was in fourth grade, I walked across the neighbor’s yard, and their dog named Savage bit me.  Then Grandpa had to take me to get a tetanus shot on the same day President Reagan was shot.  Always check with the dog’s owner before approaching a dog.

Sometimes a story might lighten a tense moment with an older child.  Well, when I was your age, two of the boys in my class, {names withheld}, were caught smoking cigarettes in a snow fort during recess.  So I know a thing or two about kids getting in trouble.   Of course, use your own story, and use discretion with the content.  You probably did some things your kids really don’t need to know.

Sometimes, you might have a family “Remember When” party, where everyone tells true stories about themselves.  Remember when I put all those diapers in the toilet?  Remember when I fell asleep in my bowl of yogurt?  Remember when the van broke down in Blytheville on our trip to St. Louis, and we had a picnic outside that little auto shop?  Have fun, but don’t embarrass anyone.

As a side note, sometimes stories serve a special purpose in light of a child’s unique needs.  For our daughter we adopted at age 5, who has few memories before that, family stories help her build a history.  Our stories become her stories.

What story will you tell your family tonight?