In our intergeneration Sunday School class we are studying prayer. A couple of weeks ago we were concentrating on how God can answer our prayers: Using a stop signal, we have learned that God answers in one of three ways: Yes, wait, or no (green, yellow, or red, respectively). On this day, we were asked to share with the group a time when God answered a prayer with a "no," so I shared briefly about when I was in High School and really liked a guy and asked God to let me marry him. And He said "no." The adults in the class gave a knowing smile and nod (presumably because many of them had very similar experiences).
That was two weeks ago. Last night at bedtime, Jackson asked me to tell that story again. So I did and let me tell you, it got us talking about some great things: about how sad I was at the time to not get the answer I wanted, but how thankful I am now that I got a much, MUCH better husband instead. They asked questions about "the other guy" and why he was not good, which drove us into a conversation about what a godly spouse acts like, and how important it is to be that and look for that. Davis asked "how did you know it was God, and not your own head giving you the answer?" And that, of course, opened up the conversation to talk about how reading the Bible gives you so much information about what God wants for your life and what he is telling you.
Initially I did not want to make this conversation very long and so I made the story very simple - just a couple of sentences. And I am glad I kept it simple, but I am now very encouraged to share my history with the kids (as age-appropriate - but sooner than I would have expected) as a way to help them form the world view the Lord wants them to have.
So, if you have skeletons in your closet, be thankful. They will be great material for real-life examples for your kids to explore the character of God and what God desires for his children. Don't be afraid to pull the curtain of authenticity open for your kids to witness!