Written by: Lori Fairchild
Eight years ago I sat in a doctor’s office after the birth of my second daughter, waiting for the doctor to tell us exactly what had caused my newborn baby girl’s birth defect. The words the doctor said in that office were life-altering to me as a mom. “Ninety-nine percent of babies with this particular defect are never born. They miscarry.”
Just so you know, my daughter is now a healthy, happy 8-year-old, but those words changed my life. It wasn’t until a couple of years later, when I had a 2- and a 4-year-old that I began to reflect on what those words meant. Every child is a miracle, but when someone looks you in the eye and tells you that the chances of your daughter being here are 1 percent, you start to wonder what exactly you’re supposed to do with the miracle you’ve been handed.
Those first two years of my second daughter’s life were mere survival. With two girls less than two years apart, it was all I could do to get everyone fed and bathed every day, much less contemplate my motherhood philosophy. But one day, I looked at my preschooler and my toddler – two little girls who are as different as two children can possibly be, and I thought, “What am I supposed to be doing?”
The answer came to me swift and sure.
“Teach them about Me,” God said.
“I’m trying, but I don’t have enough time in my day to add Bible lessons to it. Can’t you see I’m swamped just by the needs of my kids?”
“I give you the opportunities, you just have to use them,” He whispered.
In that moment, God revolutionized the way I viewed my role as a mom. My job was not to set aside separate time for Bible lessons. My job was to capture the moments that God gave me in our busy lives to teach my kids about Him.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 became my guiding verse: “These commandments that I give you today are to be on 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. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
God told the Israelites to teach their children as they walked. These people were wandering around in the desert. There wasn’t time for formal lessons with their kids. God wanted His people to talk about Him with their children all the time.
When I started to look for them, I discovered that teachable moments abound. A walk to the park can result in a conversation about God’s creation. A bump or a scrape leads to some discussion about God as a healer. A visit to a friend with a new baby becomes fodder for talking about how Jesus came to earth as a baby.
Moments we can use to teach our kids about God happen every day. They are everyday moments. We simply have to be intentional in looking for them. Making God a part of your everyday conversations, your everyday moments, makes God a part of your family. It makes Him real and tangible for your kids.
And the great thing is that it’s never too late to start looking for those teachable moments to use with your kids. Whether your child is 1 or 21, God will give you teachable moments. All He asks is that you be available to use them.
Lori Fairchild is the writer of the Everyday Truth blog and Facebook page. She is a speaker and author who’s calling is to help parents find and capture those teachable everyday moments that God provides.