We have no Internet. Those four words would have struck me with horror a few months ago, I think. The whole idea of not sorting my email, not pulling up weather, not clearing the latest updates from my Facebook, that would have made my palms sweat.
Now, however, it’s a reality. We’re living in an RV for a season, making do with a tiny living area, a bunk room, and a master bedroom. All that without a single hint of wifi.
And you know what? I love it. True, I get a bit anxious at times when I think about the 100+ emails I’ll have after the weekend. But my girls are watching. They’re seeing how people can function without an iPhone or an iPad or an iAnything. They’re seeing how families can spend more time just talking when there’s no Netflix. They’re seeing how a game of Uno (with real cards, even) can be more fun than computerized distractions.
Most importantly, though, without the noise, my wife and I are finding many more opportunities to teach from the moment. Really, you have to when life gets cramped and little tempers can easily flare.
In a trending blog post, Tricia Goyer explains the power of teaching from real-life moments like this. Parents get the chance to live out the lessons that the Bible teaches so that their kids can truly see what following Christ means. To help you out, she provides six tips to make it practical:
1. Converse creatively.
Pull from current events, TV shows, magazines, games, your past, or any area of life to connect with your kids and teach them the lessons they need.
2. Be real.
When you mess up, own it. Your kids need to see your humility.
3. Show you care.
There’s no lack of trouble and stress in this world. You can’t stop them from experiencing it, but you can teach them that Christians care about others. When there’s pain, pray and help.
4. Be available.
This one is both really easy… and incredibly hard. Take time to look at your children when they speak to you by putting aside any distraction. This shows them what it means to value others.
5. Take advantage of all life’s situations.
Children often listen more attentively when you can tie lessons into what they’re experiencing. But to find such moments, you have to…
6. Give your time.
Any relationship takes time to develop. Spending time with your kids when they’re young gives them reason to trust you when they’re older. This one is huge.
A parenting article on Crosswalk by Whitney Hopler adds some bonus ideas to help parents in the battle to raise kids who love Christ:
Model a passionate relationship with God. Show your children that you have a passion for God. If you do, you’ll be credible when you teach them spiritual truths, and your kids will catch your passion themselves.
Ask your kids questions. Recognize that when you ask your children questions, you can find out about them and what they need to know. So rather than giving them lectures (which never works, anyway), use questions to build your relationship with them, start conversations, and focus on what your kids want to know at any given moment. Ask them questions about school, the media, their friends, family, hobbies, and church (especially what they’re learning in Sunday School or youth group).
Now, we want to hear from you (parent or not). How can we take advantage of everyday moments to share the gospel? What tips do you have?