What Does God Say About…? Using Scripture in Life’s Teachable Moments
As parents, it seems like we are always in a season of teachable moments. Just when we think we’ve successfully navigated our way out of the “baby phase” or the “terrible twos (or threes…or teens)” another phase of new challenges begins. And let’s face it: even if our children are grown and out of the house, we still interact with people daily, which means life still presents us with teachable moments. We are never too old to learn something new about life, ourselves, and others. Life is full of experiences, and each of us has a unique, God-designed plan for our lives. And because our lives are a gift from God, it is important to keep Him as the anchor and focus in all we do, especially when life gives us teachable moments.
The Bible is filled with teachable moments. It is our best resource of God’s truth and wisdom. But if you’re like me, you do not have it memorized from Genesis to Revelation. I often find myself saying “I know it’s in there somewhere…” And when you are facing challenge, feeling uncertain, or just plain lost, you want a quick, easy to find scripture NOW! Yes, I know about study Bibles and concordances. These are great tools to enhance learning the Bible. But I have found another valuable tool, particularly for parents, who want to teach scripture to their children, while keeping the focus on God as we navigate through life. It is Kara Durbin’s book called Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments. In her book, Durbin lists over 100 teachable moment topics: anger, complaining, forgiveness, responsibility (just to name a few). Next, she lists 5-10 scriptures that address that topic. She then goes on to provide discussion questions that go along with the scripture reading (and the questions can be modified based on the age level of your child). Finally, she offers an action plan for putting the scriptures into practice.
Here is an example from the book, something many parents can relate to as a struggle: cooperation. Here are the scriptures that talk about cooperation: Exodus 23:5, 2 Chronicles 2:8-9, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, and Luke 5:6-7 (in the book the scriptures are printed right on the page). After reading the scriptures, as part of the discussion, you might ask: when do we need to cooperate during the day? Why is cooperation so important? Give scenarios when cooperation is needed and ask your child what they would do to help. As a family, come up with an activity that involves cooperation: play a game together, or do a chore together.
Before we end, there is one (ok, two) pieces of advice I want to give. Yes, this book is a great resource, and I have used it myself. This post is meant to pass along this resource to other parents. But let me be clear: no book can replace the Bible and its ultimate authority. So even though the scripture references are printed in the book, I would recommend reading the scriptures straight from the Bible. This visually reinforces the authority of the Bible as God’s instructions for our lives. It’s a reminder of what God would say about (fill-in-the-blank). The second piece of advice is slow down and listen. In our multi-tasking, fast-paced world it is easy to miss a teachable moment. Slow down and look for authentic moments. If you spend a lot of time in your car going from one thing to the next, utilize the time instead of fighting it. Turn off the radio. Put down the phone (please! It’s illegal while driving!). Commit a few key scriptures to memory (there is a list in the book!) that cover a variety of teachable moments. Consider praying a life scripture for your child—a scripture you commit to memory and pray each day. The one I pray for my child is Luke 2:52, “and He increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” Each day, as he leaves on the bus for school, I pause and pray that quick verse for my son. I pray that you, too, will “impress these commands upon your hearts and 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” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
And remember: “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).