Have you ever heard the saying, “The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time”? I’d honestly never thought of how to eat an elephant, mainly because it doesn’t sound too appetizing, but I understand the principle that to get something big done, you need to focus on a little bit at a time.
Parenting and teaching my children is one of the most overwhelming things I have to do in my life. I understand that the responsibility to train my children in the ways of the Lord rests on my shoulders as a parent, but sometimes it’s hard to find the consistent 20-30 minutes needed to have “family devotions.”
I’m sure I’m not the only one.
As I’ve been studying in my doctoral seminars about the importance of transmitting Biblical truth to our children, I have come to the conclusion that many people believe that the best way to do that is to have daily family devotions.
While family devotions are important, and you make them a priority, I believe there’s another aspect of training that often gets overlooked–nuggets of wisdom and time.
I think that the 2-5 minutes of important conversations you can have with your kids in the moment when something impactful is happening can have a huge impact on their spiritual life, if you’re strategically looking for them.
For example, the other day, one of our neighbors’ Christmas decorations were vandalized. Apparently, some eighteen-year olds came by and slashed their inflatables. These “blow-up bandits” got away with it the first time. The second time they came back to “finish the job” and were eventually caught.
The next morning, the kids were all talking about it on the way to school. I overheard their conversation and had a chance to interject some biblical worldview into the conversation and talk about consequences to our actions as well as forgiveness and repentance. It wasn’t a formal “devotional,” but I’m sure it’s a conversation that will impact the way my children process events in the future.
These little experiences are important. They aren’t planned. They happen in the moment. But the cumulative impact they can make in the lives of our children are innumerable. They are part of the mandate in Deuteronomy 6 that says, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
Do you have an experience of a time when you shared a “nugget of wisdom”? Share it in the comments below.