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Moments Matter

Family discipleship moments are about being prepared to take advantage of opportunities to communicate God’s truth in whatever circumstances come your way.  As parents, we must be committed to capturing and leveraging opportunities in everyday life for the purpose of leading our kids to believe in, love, and follow Jesus.

We see the challenge to adopt this mindset in Deuteronomy 6.    "4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 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. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."  DEUTERONOMY 6:4-9

A quick look at this passage reminds us of a few key truths:
  • Remember who you are raising.  You are raising kids who know God's character and love Him with everything that they've got.  (v. 4-5)
  • We must be intentional to impress the commands of God on their heart. (v. 6-7)
  • Discipleship happens every where we go and in the midst of everything that we do. (v. 7)
  • As families, we can set rhythms and reminders that point us back to Jesus and our faith. (v. 8)

To live this out, there are three things that every parent should be doing:  
  • SAY IT UNTIL THEY LIVE IT:  impress these words on our your children’s hearts  
  • MORE THAN SUNDAY:  incorporate faith conversations into family’s routines
  • POINT THEM TO THEIR FAITH ALWAYS:  make God’s truth and leadership visible in your home

But how, we do this?  Is there a parenting best practice that we can pick up and live out?  Yes there is.  That's where moments come into play.  I have seen the success for leveraging moments in all of my kids though out their lives.  In fact, I'm convicted that the secret to my parenting success is Kristi’s ability to see how every moment matters and how every moment builds on another.  She constantly looks to see how she can use what is happening now to help in the future, build character in the future, build Godliness in the future.

You can do it, too by leveraging teachable moments and Jesus moments.

Teachable Moments are real-time, age-appropriate discussions for kids to learn about themselves, God, and the wise things to do.  If you have kids, ages 2+, you need to prepare for and engage in teachable moments.  These moments are intentional, not accidental so make your plan.

  1.  Picture of the Person That You Want to Raise  
  • What do you want to matter to them?  
  • What type of relationships do you want them to live in?  
  • What do you want for them to be known for?

GOAL:  Not Just Raising Good Kids - Raising Godly Adults

2.  Pray About the Person You Want to Raise
Be as specific as possible with your prayers for your kids.   I 100% believe that our kids have been shaped by some very specific prayers by their mom.  What if kids don’t have a mom or dad praying for them?  Bridge that gap.  Grandmother, aunt, uncle, friend - bridge that gap.  I am 100% sure that I am who I am today because my Mamaw bridged the gap and prayed for me in ways that my parents never did.

3.  Understanding of Situations That They Will Face
Being present with your kids helps you be prepared for situations that your kids are facing or will soon face.  We need to prepare practically and scripturally for these conversations.

4.  Looking for Open Doors to Have a Teachable Moment
Kristi and I will pinpoint areas that we want to develop in our kids.  We will talk about concerns we have or strengths we are seeing, then we will look for an opportunity to have a teachable moment in that area.  Because we are a team, we trust each other to identify the need for teachable moments and we trust each other to have the moment with our kids.

“Not every moment has to be profound. Moments can be simple;
you occasionally stop, look, listen, and encourage.” (Family Discipleship, pg. 116)

Jesus Moments are when we introduce our kids to Jesus and lead them to believe in Jesus as their Savior.   While this may seem intimating, you can do it.  You can tell your kids the Gospel and lead them to put their faith in Jesus.

Keep it simple by remembering that we are raising kids who know the character of God and live to love Him and people.  Here is the Gospel in one sentence that you can share with your kids:  Because God is perfect and we are sinful, God sent Jesus to die for us and be raised again so that all who faith in Him will have life with Him forever.  It's just that simple, but we complicate it with our concerns.

When our kids are young and they begin to process the Gospel, we are excited, but also somewhat uneasy with the conversation because we want to make sure they "get it."  We ask questions like:

  • Are they old enough to believe?
  • Do they know enough to believe?
  • If they believe now, will they forget it later? 
We are all searching for a way we can feel totally at ease while trusting they will “get it” in their heart and mind.   This is where your faith need to come into play.  Trust that God can and will work in your kid's life and they grow in their relationship with Him.  Our kids believed in Jesus when they were young.  As teens, they "owned" their faith.  Now, as young adults, they are living their faith.  When were they saved?  When did their relationship with God begin?  It began the moment they put their faith in Jesus as preschoolers.  

If your child is processing the Gospel and considering their next steps.  Don't question it.  Celebrate it.  It's what you have been praying for.  It's why you have been bringing them to church.   It's how God is working in their life.  Celebrate it by encouraging them and cheering them on.  

For more on Time, Moments, & Milesontes click here.