There are teachable moments everywhere you look in your daily life.
One opportunity came for me as I unloaded groceries into the back of our van. My wife and kids sat waiting for me to hop back into the driver’s seat when I realized I’d forgotten to pay for a $3 case of water in the bottom of my cart.
I ran back inside to pay. At first, my boys were scared I would be arrested, but after assuring them I wouldn’t be, they asked why I would pay for the water. As I arrived back to the car, my wife and I took the opportunity to teach our kids about temptation. We talked about Jesus’ temptation and his resistance. One of my boys remembered the verse that says, “Do not steal.” The conversation continued and our grocery trip turned into a moment of family discipleship.
Here are a few ideas you can use to spark conversations when teachable moments present themselves.
- Explain the Why.
Your kids have insecurities. Think about times in your life that you can relate to your kids. If your child says she is afraid of the dark, respond with “One time when I was afraid of the dark, I prayed and God reminded me that He was with me.” Help your child think about how God can help her when she is afraid. Remind her of Scripture passages you use when you are afraid. Kids need to know why they have these insecurities. Remind kids that when God created the world, it was perfect. He knew, though, after sin, that people would have troubles. The devil tempts us through our insecurities, but God sent Jesus to give us hope.
- Ask the How.
There will be times when you and your children witness someone being unkind. If you find yourself witnessing a situation such as a customer berating a waitress for bringing him the wrong order, use this moment to teach your kids. Ask them: “How do you think you would act if someone brought you the wrong order? How could you honor Jesus in this situation?” Help your children think about how Christians should respond in these situations.
- Explore the What.
I love the show “What Would You Do?”. Recently we were dropping items at the elementary school and running late for soccer practice when we noticed a parent whose car wouldn’t start. I rolled down my window and asked if I could use my only car repair skill: jump-starting her car. My oldest son was not thrilled with the idea of being late for practice and began to complain. It was a great time to remind the boys of the parable of the Good Samaritan. We talked about what to do when people need our help and how we can show our love for God by helping others.
- Look out for the When.
Develop a habit of looking for a time when you can turn an everyday conversation into a gospel-centered one. My kids love to sing worship songs in the car. Sometimes they don’t even realize they are worshiping. I like to ask them what the song means or how that song describes who Jesus is. Use teachable moments every day to point your kids toward Christ.
- Focus on the Who.
For most Christian parents, there is a certain pride that takes over when one of their children attributes some portion of creation or some good event as being from Jesus. Make Jesus a common subject in your house. Talk about Him with your kids. Show your kids that you depend on Him—Jesus, only Jesus.
Jeff Land is Publishing Team Leader for Bible Studies For Life: Kids. He holds a BSW from Mississippi College and a MACE from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jeff has served as children’s pastor and currently teaches second graders each week at his church. Jeff, his wife Abbey, and their four sons live in Coopertown, Tennessee.