Busyness seems to rule our lives these days. Whether you work outside the home or not, there are constant tasks that need to be done, and constant demands for our attention. I know for myself, there are days when I climb in bed at night, and I know in my heart I did not pour into my kids like I should have that day, because of all the busyness that kept my attention on lesser things.
I have been convicted lately that I need to do a better job of making sure those days don’t happen. Even on days when I only seem to have snatches of time, busyness is not an excuse to neglect my most important duty, which is talking to my kids about Jesus.
In Deuteronomy 6, in a chapter that is partially dedicated to parenting, God tells us that we are to teach our children about Him and His commands “diligently” (6:7). Not just on Sundays or in an occasional family Bible study, but when we sit, when we walk, when we lay down, and when we rise up. That seems to cover most of the day, wouldn’t you say?
In day-to-day practice, I think there are a lot of natural opportunities that do present themselves. There isn’t a day that we parents get a pass on, and so many little moments are usable if we are intentional about them.
Look For Practical Opportunities
This would be about pointing out things that you encounter throughout your day that could get your children thinking on spiritual things. Talk about God’s creation as you take a walk or visit the zoo. Talk about God’s power and protection when it starts to storm outside. If you hear a siren or see someone who appears to be having a bad day, take a minute to pray with your kids for that person.
Use Disciplinary Opportunities
I know with my preschoolers, there are disciplinary moments that happen daily. It can be so easy to let these moments slide by with a quick correction, but I miss important opportunities when I gloss over these little offenses. This is a great time to not only tell our kids what not to do, but to tell them why – because of God’s commands. We talk about how when we disobey God’s commands we are sinning against God – which is crucial to letting our kids know of their need for God’s salvation and forgiveness through Jesus! When they have already asked Jesus to forgive them and save them, we can talk about wanting to live in a way that pleases God, because of His love for us and our love for Him.
Schedule Routine Opportunities
I think besides the spontaneous opportunities, we need to develop habits in our family routines that show our kids how important our relationship with the Lord is. This can include things like praying before meals, family devotions, or bedtime “Bible time” routines. For our family, our bedtime routine is really important. Even if I have failed at seizing those opportunities to point my kids to the Lord during the day, we always include Bible stories, songs, and prayer at bedtime, which helps in getting us back on track. I would love to also get in the habit of starting off the day with a few minutes devoted to talking about the Lord. The Read and Share 5 Minute Bible Stories book would be a perfect resource for a quick morning Bible time, before things get crazy!
In every minute of the day with your children, you have the opportunity to teach your kids diligently about God. Those verses in Deuteronomy mean that our primary duty as parents is to teach our kids about the Lord, and as Christian parents we need to take that seriously.
If you back up a verse, God exhorts parents that “these words which I command you today shall be on your heart” (6:6). Children can tell the difference between a rushed, obligatory Bible teaching before they turn the light out, and something that just comes from the overflow of your heart. I know this is something that I want to focus on as I try to train up my children in the Lord. If we have hearts that are devoted to God, if we are seeking His kingdom first, then it will be natural for us to see those opportunities, even in the midst of the busyness, to point our children to God.