Today is a day that only occurs once every 100 years. It is the only time you can write the date will just one number 11-11-11. To most people this really doesn’t mean anything, but for some, it can be a memory that they never forget.
My father-in-law, Thorold M. Watson, was born in 1903 on the tiny West Indies island of Barbados. I can’t tell you how many times he told me how he remembered writing 11-11-11 on his school work. His teacher had taught him the significance of writing this date as it was the only date you could write with just one number and it only occurred once every 100 years. He also told me that when he got home from school that day and told his mom about the date. She made a big deal about the date and impressed upon him that many people will never be able to write this date because they are born and died during the 100 years between the dates.
In the Bible, we read how important memories are. Schools didn’t exist back in biblical times so it was important for the parents to teach their kids everything they could, especially about God and their family. Fathers would instruct them on the laws of God handed down to Moses. He taught them about creation, Adam and Eve and how they were all descended from them.
Fathers also told them about how Adam sinned and what happened to all of mankind because of it. They heard how the earth became totally corrupted that God destroyed it with a worldwide flood, but He saved 8 people, Noah and his family, along with the land animals.
Memories and traditions were extremely important to the Jewish people. Imagine the lesson of faith that a young Isaac learned when his father Abraham was prepared to sacrifice him because God had instructed him to. Isaac remembered that day for the rest of his life and passed that memory on to his sons, Jacob and Esau.
Jesus also taught his disciples and others around him about the memories of the past. He taught about Adam, marriage, creation, Abraham and David to name only a few. And like so many others, Jesus often spoke of His family; Adam, Abraham, David and His heavenly Father. It was important for him to impress upon His people that family and memories are essential for everyone.
So I encourage you to take advantage of this unique date and take time to make a memory with your family.
Parents and grandparents do something special to help your children or grandchildren remember today’s date. Write it out with them. Put it on your refrigerator or wherever you post their drawings. Or put it in a scrapbook, journal or diary. As you work on your memory, tell them about you, your parents and your grandparents. Help them to learn about their ancestors and to keep the memories alive. Also teach them a Scripture verse. Pick one that means something to you.
Kids, ask your parents and grandparents about today’s date and what makes it so special. Then ask them to sit with you and help create something to remember the date and day with. Ask them about their parents and grandparents. Then listen to them tell you about your ancestors and whether they believed in Jesus Christ or not and why it matters.
To all of you, don’t let this day pass you by without sharing your faith in Jesus Christ with someone in your family, a friend, school mate or someone you meet in your daily routine. Nothing could make this once in a century day more memorable for you and someone else than for them to hear about Jesus and then pray to accept Him as their Lord Savior. Indeed, this would be a day they’d never forget as long as they live.
Psalm 127 says that God gives us children as a reward, not just because He loves us and we want them for ourselves, but because He is equipping us to do what He has called us to do as His warriors: build and guard. Build the house of God and guard the city that has foundations in the very midst of His enemies. This psalm tells us, so beautifully, how that will happen: by filling the earth with offspring—children—who have been brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and who themselves have caught the vision to reestablish the righteous rule of God on the earth. They will in turn produce offspring who have the vision as well, and on and on until the knowledge of the glory of the Lord covers the earth as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).
The picture the psalmist uses is that children are “like arrows in the hand of a warrior.” What does this mean? It means that our children are the primary weapons God has given us to do what He has asked us to do—to build and to guard. But they obviously are not ready for that task when they come out of the womb. In other words, if we are to build and guard successfully in the world, we must first build and guard in the lives of our children! Hence the task of parenting; we are preparing our weapons of war for battle! We have been given 20 or so years to accomplish the task of extending our influence for the kingdom of God into the next generation.
So, successful parenting is ultimately not to make us, as parents, look good to the other families in our church, to make life easier for us, or even to prepare our children to grow up and be successful. No, children are ultimately for God and His purpose of extending his righteous rule over the whole earth as His Son Jesus Christ becomes in experience what He is in fact—King of all kings and Lord of all lords.
The Family, God’s Weapon for Victory is an encyclopedia of information about how to move your family toward being what the title declares, including a theology of family, the husband-wife relationship and training children from birth to marriage. Filled with illustrations from the author’s own life, including his myriad failures, the book is a fascinating read.
“When I read The Family: God’s Weapon for Victory, I laughed, I cried, I rejoiced, I repented. It moved me again and again to pray for my children. I read parts aloud to my wife. I committed myself to going through it again, slowly, savoring and studying it with care, applying its lessons to my family. And I determined that the way I serve my family and the goals I have for my children in God’s Kingdom must change. If transforming lives is Robert Andrews’ aim, this book is an arrow that hits the bulls-eye!” —E. Calvin Beisner (Knox Theological Seminary)
“This book is a bit like Narnia’s Aslan—it is not safe, but it is good. Be prepared to have your tender toes stepped on and your cherished assumptions challenged. This is not just another book on the family. Instead, it is a book of profound Biblical truths and straight forward practical counsel. This book will prove to be of immeasurable help to families in these difficult days in which we live. I highly recommend it.” —George Grant (Author)