“These commandments that I gave 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”
Does anyone else feel like “busy” is the default mode that we live in these days? Work, school, play, chores, sports, church, and, oh yeah, checking Facebook. It seems like no matter what we do, something is always clamoring for our attention.
As Christians, one thing that we must make time for is discipling, and if we are parents, there is no more important group to disciple than our children. If you are like me, however, you may wonder where you will find the time to do this. I think we find that God doesn’t want to burden us with another “chore” that must be done, but instead shows us that in the everyday busyness that we face, and with a little intentionality, we can go a long way to raising our children in the Lord.
In Deuteronomy, Moses is reminding the people of God how God has worked with them and the commandments He has given them. Moses instructs parents to retell these things to their children. In doing so, he points out four important times in our day for discipling our children.
Home Time: “When you sit at home” – Don’t miss the opportunities that you have in the home. Turn off the TV and put down the computer and cell phone for a few minutes. Would your family benefit from a time of family Bible reading or maybe reading a devotional book to them? Maybe instead of letting the last TV show or movie preach to them unquestioningly, you could pause it and ask how what is being presented squares with what God says. The home is a hotbed of opportunities for discipling your children. Don’t let them slip by.
Transition Time: “When you walk along the road” – These are the transition times. In our day, we don’t walk everywhere, but we drive. Here you have a captive audience and the opportunity again to disciple. Ask questions. If you see a beautiful sunset, talk to your children about how God made that. If you come upon an accident, pray with your kids for those involved. If nothing else, click over to a Christian radio station and see what thoughts might be stirred up by the music.
Bed Time: “When you lie down” – When you are putting the kids to bed, do you read a Bible story? Pray together? Talk about the day, and the things God might be doing in their lives and the lives of their friends?
Morning Time: “When you get up” – I won’t lie, this is probably the hardest. Mornings are hectic for most folks as we scramble to get the kids ready for school, get ourselves ready for work, and get everyone there on time. But maybe the very thing we need to set our day on the right trajectory is to pause for a moment and read a verse with the family. Or it could be a prayer for God’s grace and guidance for our day. Don’t overdo it, but don’t let this critical time go by.
But I don’t have kids at home! These times are significant not just for those of us with kids, but for the retired couple, the empty-nesters, the college graduate, and everyone else too. Husband, are you leading a devotion time with your wife at home? Grandmother, when you are driving a friend somewhere, do you make use of this transition time? Single guy or gal, does God have a place in your bedtime routine? In your mornings?