by Sandy Moore
A memory is the retaining of a mental impression. The Bible has at least 74 different verses using the words, memory, remember, or remembrance. God tells us many times to remember. For example, in Exodus 20:8, God speaks about remembering the Sabbath day. In Numbers 15:39, God speaks of remembering the commandments, and Ecclesiastes 12:1 is about remembering the Creator. We observe the Lord’s Supper once a month as I Corinthians 11:24 says, “this do in remembrance of me.” So God is saying that remembering is important in our lives. He wants and encourages us to remember. He even says that if you can’t or don’t remember, you should ask someone who does remember what happened. It says in Deuteronomy 32:7, “Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will show thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.”
One reason why God wants us to remember is so we can teach lessons to our children by remembering our own mistakes or the mistakes of others. Another reason is so we will realize how great and good God is to us. When we remember where we were before we were saved and where we are now, we can be more thankful.
We know that our children will remember, but we may think that they will pick and choose all of the positive areas of their lives and cast away all of the negative areas. This is not the case. Sometimes the things that stand out the most about our lives are the negative. That is why we need to be so careful about what we provide our children for memories.
When I think about making memories, the first thing that comes to my mind is a camera, and then of course, all the boxes and drawers of photos or albums—depending on how organized you are. (What did we ever do before the invention of the camera?)
Family memories start when we get married. We just have to have all the pictures so we can remember our wedding day. Every pose which the bride and groom can imagine is recorded for future admiration.
Then there is that flash after the birth of our first baby. That is so we can remember all the “firsts”: the first day of life, the first bath, the first tooth, the first step, and of course, all the first holidays.
One time I heard Brother Jack Hyles say that he didn’t take pictures. He kept his memories stored in his mind. I think that statement is really true for all of us. Memories are stored in our minds. At the
beginning I said that a memory is the retaining of a mental impression. Each day we are retaining all kinds of mental impressions of things, people, and situations that are going on around us. The question that we should be asking ourselves is: What kind of memories are we helping our children to store in their minds?
You rarely ever see pictures of parents yelling and fighting, or Mom sleeping till noon, cluttered houses, stacks of laundry, dirty dishes in the sink, unmade beds, or Dad sacked out in front of the television. Yet, for many children, these are exactly the memories they have of their homes and family lives.
Just stop and think what goes into taking a good picture. In most photos, we only see smiling faces, combed hair, and perfect backgrounds with just the right pose. We want every aspect to be just right.
First, we must consider the lighting. We stand so the light hits in such a way that it will not cause shadows or make a glare. Then we check to see the background choices. We want it to be beautiful. We check our appearance and the appearances of those who will be in the picture. When everyone is in his proper place, posing just right, we ask him to smile and say, “Cheese!” (My husband’s favorite line at this time is, “Do I have to act happy?”)
Why is it that we worry more about a piece of film we put into an album than about the lives of those around us? Why aren’t we worried about the real-life, lasting memories that we make in our homes? Here are some questions that we should ask ourselves about making memories for our families:
- Will we have memories of reading the Bible and praying together?
- Will we have memories of going to church and soul winning?
- Will we have memories of spending happy and fun times together?
- Will we have memories of a clean house?
- Will we have memories of a father who worked hard to provide?
- Will my family have memories of parents who were there for them and their many extra activities?
- Will my family have memories of parents who didn’t just say, “I love you,” to them but demonstrated that love in daily living?
- Will my family have memories of parents who love each other?
- Will we make memories that will be enjoyed later in
members have grown older and some no longer live at home, I find that we spend the time we are together reliving the many childhood memories. Some are good and happy memories, while others are sad. One thing we do remember is how God was sufficient through them all. I am so glad that we made many memories that are worth remembering.
I also find that we are still making memories—now including daughters-in-laws and grandkids. We can help them make memories of their own.
Remember, today is the day our children will remember tomorrow.