My younger daughter was getting ready for school. She was less than happy about it. She didn't want to go to school. She was worried about a test she had to take. She didn't enjoy the kids she had to sit with that day. She'd simply had too much fun staying at home over the weekend and didn't want to go back to the hustle and bustle of school.
As she tearfully explained all of these things to me, I reined in my frustration. This wasn't the first time I'd heard these tearful complaints. I knew she wasn't happy at school, but right then, there was nothing I could do about it. In the background, the Casting Crowns' song "Already There" played on the radio. As I heard the following words, this minute into time turned into a teachable moment:
From where I'm standing
Lord, it's so hard for me to see Where this is going And where You're leading me
I wish I knew how All my fears and all my questions Are going to play out In a world I can't control
When I'm lost in the mystery To You my future is a memory
'Cause You're already there You're already there
We spent a minute listening to the song then talked about how we don't have to worry about the future -- not the next minute, not the next day, not the next 50 years -- because God is already there. He's there before us, so we never have to feel all alone. The conversation lasted about 30 seconds, but the lesson learned lasted all day -- and hopefully much longer.
It doesn't take a lot to turn a minute into a teachable moment with your kids. As I wrote yesterday's post, I thought about what we can actively do to turn a minute into a moment. I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't take much -- just three simple steps.
1. Look for the moment. If we're not actively seeking a moment with our kids, then those minutes will fly by without anything meaningful happening. If you're on a walk with your kids and you see something amazing, that's a moment to teach about God's creation. If you're talking to your teenager about a poor decision a friend made, that's a moment to teach about seeking God's wisdom. These moments happen all the time, every day, we just have to be aware enough to recognize them.
2. Prepare to turn the minute into a moment. We never know when an ordinary minute will turn into a teachable moment, so we have to be prepared in advance. That means that we're spending time with God on our own, that we know what His word says, and that we've identified the things that our kids need to hear. If we're not filling ourselves up with God's wisdom and love, we can't be prepared to pour that wisdom and love out on our kids.
3. Grab the moment. When that minute turns into an opportunity to create a moment, grab it with both hands. Don't worry about what your kids will think. Mine sometimes roll their eyes and think, "Here mom goes again." Your kids are listening, even when it seems like they aren't. The best way to teach our kids is not with a formal lesson or a church program. The best way to teach our kids is in the trenches of life -- as they're living in a difficult situation, as they're dealing with a broken relationship. Never be afraid to pour God's wisdom into your kids' lives. Isaiah 55:11-12 says, "As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." When we speak God's word into our kids' lives, it makes an impact on their hearts.
Turning a minute into a moment doesn't take much. It doesn't take a lesson plan. It doesn't take a theology degree. It just takes us being ready and willing to jump in and grab the minute when it happens. That's when it becomes a moment.
Lyrics from eLyrics.net