Have you ever wondered how some parents can take ordinary moments and turn them into God-moments that impact children’s hearts for eternity?
Around Parenting to Impress and ABCJesusLovesMe we call these “Teachable Moments.” And with just a few tips, I believe you will be able to have multiple God-moments with your kiddos too! Let’s dive in.
▼ Jump to Listen to Episode #21: How to Turn Ordinary Moments into God-Moments? ▼
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 tells us:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (Emphasis mine.)
In reading this, you may be thinking: That’s great but how do I do this? How can I take an ordinary, everyday moment and turn it into a God-moment where I am “impressing” on my children or students God’s commandments?
What is a Teachable Moment?
To begin, let’s look at my definition of teachable moments: A God-given opportunity that arises with your child or student, that if grasped, provides an ideal chance for learning to occur. Notice that these opportunities are God-given and thus we don’t have to manufactory these on our own. So, take a deep breathe and discover how easy this is.
The 2 Levels of Conversation
At the start of each conversation there are two basic options. You can reply with a short, direct answer (Instructional Talk) or take the opportunity to provide an academic or biblical learning conversation (Relational Talk).
Let’s say that you and your kids notice a rainbow in the sky while driving to the playground.
Option #1: Instructional Talk
Your child says, “Mom, there’s a rainbow.” And you reply, “Oh cool. Now, don’t forget your water bottle.” The conversation drops, quickly moves to another topic, or silence fills the air.
Option #2: Academic Learning
Academically, you respond with a comment about the shape of the rainbow, the colors, and how a rainbow is created. Or with older children you can discuss folklore and fairytales by talking about the legend of the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
Option #3: Biblical Learning
To turn this into a God-moment, talk about Noah and God’s promises. Discuss why God sent the flood and how God loves us so much He promised never to do that again. Following the child’s lead on questioning, go into as much depth as needed.
God-moments happen when you take an ordinary conversation and bring God into it.
Here are some examples to think about:
What Bible story contains this topic or character issue? (e.g. fear, kindness, jealousy, anger)
What does God have to say about this situation? (e.g. hitting your sibling, use of money, exercise, unkind words)
How can I encourage my child to praise God? (e.g. seeing a beautiful flower, getting a good grade on a test)
How can I point my child to God’s character, wisdom, mercy, protection, or love? (e.g. praying when you see an ambulance, referring to a Bible verse specific to the child’s situation)
There is no end to the ways to take an everyday encounter or conversation and turn it into a God-moment.
But Teachable Moments Take Times…
Have you noticed the time-theme running through the last few Parenting to Impress podcasts? It’s because we all need to be reminded that Biblical parenting takes time!
For you and I this means getting ready to parent by spending time with the Lord for a daily quiet time to pray, read the Bible, and listen. It means being Holy-Spirit led to order our days and schedule so that we make space in our busy lives for conversations that lead to God-moments. If impressing God on their hearts is the most important thing we do, then our calendars should reflect this!
Of course, there are times when you simply need to get a task completed. Not every moment is going to be a God-moment!
But, when we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit and when we are parenting with the end in mind, we can readily switch gears when needed. We can move from just handling a situation to taking that moment to the next level.
Trust the Process
Right now, some of you are hearing lies from the enemy that God-moments are out of your league. Notice I said “lies.” The beauty of God-moments is that we can trust God to equip us because He is the provider of teachable moments!
You are doing exactly what you need to do – educating yourself to know what teachable moments are and how to use them by reading this blog and listening to the podcast below. Now, you can rest assured knowing that God will empower you.
It Starts Today
So, what are you waiting for? Ask God to point out a teachable moment to grasp today. Then be watching, listening, and ready to take hold of the opportunity. Afterward, head over to the Parenting to Impress private Facebook group and share. We’d love to celebrate with you!