Do I Know You?

A Your Mother’s Guidance teaching by Rebecca Masinter:

In Exodus 6:2, God appears to Moses to send him on a mission to speak to the children of Israel. Moses should introduce God to the Jews as the One who will redeem them from the slavery of Egypt and ultimately lead them to the land of Israel.  However, before Moses can get to that part, God gives His introduction: “I appeared to the Patriarchs, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and I made promises to them and I made a covenant with them to give them the land they dwelled in…”  Why does the Jewish nation need a history lesson now?  Why can’t Moses just say, “God appeared to me and He will redeem you!” 

I think that perhaps God is giving the Israelites an important message:  He’s saying, “I know you don’t really know me yet very well, and we don’t have much of a relationship as of now, and a lot is about to start happening very dramatically.  You may feel unsure about all of this and about Me, but here’s the thing: I had a close relationship, a relationship and a binding covenant, with your grandparents.  We have a strong history together and whether or not you realize it on your own yet, we have an intact and foundational relationship that goes back generations.  Everything that will come, the Plagues, leaving Egypt, the splitting of the Reed Sea, and settling the land of Israel is building on the relationship I forged with your fathers and will forge directly with you, “I will take you as mine for a nation and I will be your God” (Exodus 6:7). 

When parenting our children, they need to know that we have a deep relationship with them before we do things together, before we ask things of them, and before we try to teach them.  Before any parenting can happen, our children need to feel that they are in an intimate, eternal relationship with us, their parents.

How can we do this today?  For today, let’s follow God’s example and share with our children the history of our love for them from the beginning.  Show them baby pictures of you holding them tight, tell them how happy you were at their birth, and share with them, (even your teenagers!) the adorable things they used to say and the activities you used to share together when they were little.  We need our kids to know that our commitment to our relationship with them began way back at the beginning and will continue forever just as God introduced Himself to us with the same information.

2 thoughts on “Do I Know You?”

  1. I think it’s interesting that you bring up this topic. I have had multiple occasions when I felt like I had to do just what you’re saying when I was raising my son. As he got older it wasn’t as easy to get him to trust my advice or to follow my instructions as it was my daughter. My son was constantly doubting the validity of the compliments I would give him about how well he was doing in school or if he finished a project. My son was adopted but was always a family member. It wasn’t until I began pulling out old pictures of my siblings and I and telling him stories about our former lives before he came along. Afterward he seemed to become more comfortable and a bit more confident. Thank you for your insight!!!

    1. Janet, I will pass on your words to Rebecca. Of course, there are differences between individuals as well as between boys and girls, but I wonder if your son needed reassurance that he was part of your extended family as well as your nuclear one. The more you shared, the more grounded he was. Fascinating!

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