Monday is overflow day on my blog, where I dive deeper into a topic we didn’t have time to discuss during Sunday’s message.
I’ve been posting overflow blogs each week of the It’s Complicated series, and you can read each one HERE. You can also access the teachings, social media artwork, and submit questions at awaken.church/itscomplicated.
Make sure to join us on the Awaken Facebook page this Thursday night at 6:30pm CT for a special parenting edition of our live Q&A!
Sunday’s message was on a favorite topic of mine: parenting. We discussed Psalm 127, and how children are arrows in our hands.
Life is full of teachable moments.
Whether it’s grades on a test, bullies at school, cuss words in movies, or a baby in the womb, kids are on a constant quest for information.
Our kids are 9 (10 this weekend), 7, and 2 1/2. Haddon, our youngest, is in the “why” stage. I remember the other two doing this, but not quite to this extent. Here’s a real conversation from the other day:
H: Dad, where are we going?
H: Why are going there?
Me: To eat lunch!
H: Why are going to eat lunch?
Me: Because we’re hungry.
H: Why are we hungry?
Me: Because it’s been a few hours since breakfast.
Me: Uh… It just has.
I know these conversations can get annoying, but I’m learning to encourage the questioning. So many of the things that are old and underwhelming to us (boring) adults are new and exciting to our kids. What we may view as a common, ordinary occurrence, could be a unique teachable moment for our kids.
Don’t despise them; seize them.
When your kids ask questions, don’t brush them off; give an answer. Even if it’s a potentially embarrassing or awkward question. I know it may feel awkward answering questions about sex or dating, but it’s only awkward if you make it awkward. If your kid brought it up, they must not think it’s too awkward to discuss…so don’t make it that way!
If we don’t guide our kids when it comes to challenging topics, our culture and their friends will. (tweet this) That’s a scary thought, isn’t it?
Whatever the situation or question is, if there’s a lesson in it, use it.
Be intentional with teachable moments.
Teachable moments were so important to God, He built them into the habits and fabric of His people. The Jews had annual feasts and festivals, daily sacrifices, altars, monuments, tithing, and so many other things designed to remind, teach and fight forgetfulness.
Before Israel could march beyond the previously flooding, miraculously dried up Jordan River, God made sure to preserve some souvenirs. He had 12 men go back into the dried up river bed, carry 12 stones out, and stack them on top of each other. Why? So they would be visual conversation starters for parents and kids in the years to come. Divinely-planned teachable moments.
Just read the Gospels and Acts, and you’ll encounter teachable moments everywhere you look: healing, shipwrecks, sick people, funerals, thieves, natural disasters…
Recent Teachable Moments in the Miller Home:
- Some choice language we forgot about on Home Alone: we apologized to the kids first, then talked about how some people say words we shouldn’t repeat
- A girl who was rude to one of my daughters at school: we talked about how to treat others who don’t treat us nicely
- A temper tantrum and resulting punishment: my daughters may have appeared to be angels when they joined us on stage, but don’t be fooled!
- Good grades and not-so-good grades: we discussed how being a good student is a way to honor God and stand out from the rest of the crowd
- Wearing helmets while riding bikes and why they’re so important
- Praying before school: my kids are so accustomed to praying in the school drop-off line that now it would feel odd not to – Monday-Friday, we pray with them that they would shine brightly for Jesus in their class and with their friends
- Leadership: how other kids (and siblings) copy what our kids do, so it’s really important for them to set a good example
- Why mommy and daddy like to kiss: that was a fun one! I think their response was, “Ewwww!”
- Yahir Trinidad: our 6-year old Compassion International child we sponsor monthly – we discussed what Christmas is like for him in Mexico, and we pray for him throughout the week
There are many more, and inevitably some opportunities we missed as well. Don’t let life just go by – use circumstances all around you to sharpen and aim your arrows (Psalm 127:3-5)!
And for some bonus footage…
Here’s video proof that my son loves to quote Psalm 23, even though he wouldn’t say a word when we brought him on stage…