Four Daily Teaching Moments for Parents
- 2003 15 Apr
Does it seem that you cannot squeeze another activity into your already overscheduled daily routine? Does the thought of a 30-minute family devotion time each morning seem impossible? Be encouraged! In the 2nd of a 20-article series Dr. Dunlap suggests a 15-minute plan, three times a week. He discusses the four natural teaching times that occur each day and explains how to seize the opportunity to train children in the midst of those brief moments.
How can we make our family devotion times meaningful? I often hear this question in my counseling practice. I dont want to bore my children and make them dread family worship, parents tell me. Yet they are committed to the concept of family altar and want practical suggestions for making family worship something the entire family looks forward to.
We should talk to our children about the Lord in the morning, at night as we go to bed, at mealtimes and when we ride in our cars.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7 is a sobering command for parents who desire to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord:
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 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."
Utilize the four natural teaching moments that occur throughout the course of an average day.
Most families today live in a constant whirlwind of activities. Often both Moms and Dads work schedules must be considered. Many single parents juggle the demands of two jobs. Every parent is called, nevertheless, to obey the very practical directives of the Deuteronomy command.
Talk to your children about Gods goodness as you sit at home together to eat a meal. Ask each child to share one blessing from his day with the rest of the family. As you hug them goodnight, or tuck them into bed, pray with them. As they lie down, take five minutes to read them a Proverb from the Bible, or an Arch book, for example. Arch books are individually published Bible stories that are beautifully illustrated, and written in poetry form. Best of all they are short.
As you drive along the road (most of us dont walk to our destinations anymore,) quote scripture verses together. Keep an index card taped to your car dashboard with a short Bible passage written on it. You may need several weeks to memorize it together, but make an effort to commit a small portion of it to memory each time you drive along the road.
A fifteen-minute family devotional plan is an excellent place to start.
Finally, teach them the ways of God as you get up. Formulate a simple, solid plan for family worship and set aside a block of time each morning to begin your day with Christ, as a family unit. Begin with fifteen minutes and as you implement your plan, progressively build from there if you choose to increase your devotion time.
You will be encouraged by the spiritual dividends that will result from your time investment in family worship.
Dr. Don Dunlap, a pioneer in the placement of Pastoral Counselors in the offices of Christian physicians, has conducted over twenty thousand appointments during his ministerial career. His counseling practice includes adults, children and families in crisis. Dr. Dunlap is committed to facilitating a network of telephone counselors. His goal is to provide help for the many people unwilling, or unable, to meet face to face with a competent counselor.