“Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.” – Deuteronomy 11:19
Carroll Bryant is quoted as saying: ”No matter how many plans you make or how much in control you are, life is always winging it.” Life is much like that and so is parenting. Parenting is often being prepared for the unexpected. You must often be prepared to enforce a command, intervene in an argument, confront a wrong, hold out for a better way, remind someone of a truth, restore peace, maintain discipline, give a hug of love, laugh in the face of adversity, mediate an argument, and all in a moment’s notice. The best way to prepare for the unexpected is to have some idea of what may be coming next. And the only way to gauge or guess what is coming next is to talk to our children on a regular basis.
Not only should we talk about what is going on in their lives but we should also look for opportunities to talk to our children about God, answer any questions they may have and prepare them for the future. Find a way to connect to your child every single day, even if just for a short time. Find some time to hear the highlights of their day, and to talk to them about the things you want to address. You may have to be creative, as kids will rarely volunteer too much information.
Find some time to talk to them about God’s love and His word. Maybe it is at dinner and or maybe it means less time for the kids on their computers or video games. You have to be thoughtful and creative because kids won’t want to stick around if the conversation is not interesting. And we must walk the talk as parents.
If we look at a child and say, “God is the most important thing in my wife, but you are not far behind,” that won’t have much impact if we are at work all the time. We can talk about tithing, but if we don’t tithe it will have little effect. We have to ask ourselves, what message are we sending to our children?
- How much time do you spend talking to your children each day?
- How much of that conversation is spontaneous and how much of it is more strategic?
- Do you have a set time each day to talk to your children?
- What can we do this week to be more successful in talking with our children?