One of the things I remember especially about my grandpa was that he would tell stories. He would often tell hilarious stories of things that happened when he was young, and he would get to laughing so hard that he could barely talk; this in turn would get all of us laughing without even knowing the whole story. Sometimes his laughter was in fact funnier than the story - but we had a great time listening to him tell his stories.
Grandpa would also tell made up stories to us kids (me, my brothers, and my cousins) in an effort to teach us lessons. One that I am sure all of my relatives will remember was about a man he called "Catchafu." He was a very skinny man that would capture and imprison children that disobeyed their parents. He would go into great detail telling us of the dangers of disobedience in an effort to help us realize that we would be much better off if we obeyed.
As an adult, he continued to use his story telling to teach me lessons about my marriage and raising my children. I remember when my oldest son was getting one of his first haircuts from my personal barber (Grandpa), he was frightened, he didn't want to sit still, he began crying and fighting against my grandfather as he was trying to cut his hair. My grandfather then told me a story of a family; they were from Germany, and the man was so hard on his son - in fact when his son fought getting a haircut - he removed him from the barber chair, took his son into the restroom, and promptly disciplined the young child. Well, I got the message and took my son in the other room and disciplined him. When I put him back in the chair for his haircut, he sat still and the job was finished in no time. Then I remember my grandfather as he looked at me and said, "you know, I guess that German man knew what he was doing."
My grandfather knew the thing for me to do was to discipline my son, but he didn't want to flat out tell me - "go discipline your son;" he wanted me to understand it for myself. Telling a story is wonderful way to teach a truth to a child, a lesson to an adult, or to convey a message to someone in a way that they'll understand. The Bible says that Jesus used parables (parable means: a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson. 2. a statement or comment that conveys a meaning indirectly by the use of comparison, analogy, or the like). Matthew 4:1-2a says, "And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. And he taught them many things by parables..."
Moms, teachers, Sunday school teachers - why not follow the example of our Lord and help your children to really understand what you are trying to teach them by telling them stories. Children love to hear stories about things that happen to other children. I am thankful that I had a grandfather that was a story teller - he used his stories to teach me so many things.
Have a wonderful day!