Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Teachable Moments

I am SO excited to be a father! (Well, technically, I already am, but you know what I mean). One of the things I am most excited about is teaching my child. How to tie shoestrings. How to ride a bike. How to walk. How to talk. How to read. Stephanie and I are both teachers at heart and love to see people grow in their understanding of things.

We are already starting to pray for our child that when it comes to the more intense issues of life--salvation, faith in Christ, and repentance from sin--that God will soften our child's heart and give them a trust in Christ even at a young age...And I love when I see parents who share that same passion for seeing their children come to salvation!

I fear that sometimes though, as children get older, we are tempted to be content with the fact that they are "saved," and don't work as diligently to lead them toward maturity in Christ. I think that as parents, we need to be constantly looking for "teachable moments." Our days are filled with them.

Your child gets a bad grade and is sad. Your child scores several goals and gets a little puffed up with pride. Your car breaks down and you're tempted to get ticked. Someone says something really hurtful about a member of your family, and you're tempted to anger. Things don't work out the way that you had expected. Someone spills the milk. Someone left a pen in their pockets and it went through the washer....These all--whether big or small, and even if they seem mundane and completely unspiritual--are opportunities to teach your children spiritual truths.

In each of those circumstances, we can model Christlike-ness (whether that takes the shape of patience, forgiveness, humility, etc.) In the moments where we fail as parents, we have a chance to model repentance by admitting our sin and changing course. In discipline or correction of our children, we can have conversations about sin--how it dishonors Christ, but also how it's been paid for on the cross. Rather than taking out our anger in the discipline process, we can punish when necessary but also teach that God's anger for their sin has already been laid on Christ. A huge part of our role as parents is to help our children keep identifying sin in their lives and help them as they put it to death....Let's not be content to have "saved" children, but strive to raise mature Christians.

So today, look for teachable moments. They're all around you. And you're teaching your children constantly, whether you realize it or not. Make sure you're teaching them to honor Christ.

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