I’m often challenged by Moses’ words in Deut. 6:7 encouraging the Israelites to continually teach their kids about God. I try. I imagine most folks are like me—sometimes it’s gone well, others…not so much. I imagine I’m not the only one who struggles to identify teachable moments. I’ve tried to (figuratively) beat my kids with a Bible. That sort of response hasn’t proven to be helpful. Frankly, the greatest successes have come during the simplest times.
I find I need to be reminded of three things:
Laugh. Sometimes we (I) need to be reminded of this simple fact. Kids need to laugh and have fun. This involves things they think are fun; not things you think are fun. This doesn’t mean watching them have fun; you get involved and laugh as well. A wise counselor-friend of mine told me that if I wanted cooperation from my kids, I needed to have fun with them. Fun is the wrecking ball that destroys the wall keeping us from having an open relationship with our kids.
Look. They’re all around us; a sunset, a rainbow, fresh snow—all of these are opportunities for casual conversation to teach your kids (and yourself) something about God. In Psalm 19, David is singing about how the skies and all of nature remind us daily of God’s creative majesty. Or, it could be a circumstance that prompts the conversation. We just have to pay attention.
Link. Don’t over-think it. Apply God’s truth to the conversation. Be open and honest—share your own questions. We don’t have to be professional theologians. Our kids don’t need another sermon; they need a guide. They need someone to point them to the Savior. Just like you, they need Jesus.
Without a doubt you are the greatest influence in your child’s life. Your words and actions mean more than you can measure. Choose them well. Be prayerful.
Yours in Christ,