When you don’t have time to teach your kids about God

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My nonverbal preschooler giggled from behind the closed closet doors. I lay on the floor, pretending to weep while another child slipped behind me, opening the closet doors for him. The little giggler tiptoed around me then up the ladder to the top bunk, hiding under the covers. When I knew he was gone, I lifted by head and gasped in fake astonishment at the empty closet.

My older son gestured upward and shouted, “Jesus is alive!” eyes wide and grinning huge.

My little one shouted and climbed down from the bunk bed, and we all cheered and danced around him.

We had just re-enacted the story of Jesus’ resurrection, which we did because I was desperate for a way to connect my nonverbal 3-year-old with the Bible. He loved it. And it took us less than 2 minutes. (The first time. We then had to redo it about 5 more times!)

This type of LITTLE discipleship opportunity seems to be coming my way a lot these days.

  • There was the ride in the car when we had finished listening to “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” and ended up having a conversation about substitutionary atonement (but not in those words).
  • Then there were the times I prayed with my eldest when he was feeling left out at school, had conversations about death and heaven, or talked about how to respond to the Spirit’s nudge in his heart.
  • And finally, there are all the little, forgotten moments in our day where we said a quick prayer or had a brief conversation about telling the truth or being kind.

These unexpected moments are where my own faith journey and those of my children intersect, and they aren’t usually very long. In fact, I’d say the average length is about 30 seconds.

But those 30 seconds have the power to shape their eternal future.

Those 30-second moments are like putting a dime into an investment account. A single dime adds up only to ten cents, but a dime a day for an entire lifetime, combined with the principle of compound interest, creates something beyond belief.

THE POWER OF LITTLE MOMENTS

Do you ever wonder HOW to teach your child about God, even when life is going at breakneck speed?

Does leading your kids to Christ seem like a lot of pressure?

Do you feel like you need to have a theology degree or at least a pastor to call up every time your kids ask a wacky question?

Rather than wallowing in frustration or shame, ask God to open your eyes to the 30-second moments all around you. They can take place anytime you’re with your child:

  • In the car
  • At the breakfast table
  • While brushing teeth
  • While waiting for the school bus
  • At bedtime

In fact, I believe these kinds of small, daily faith moments are what Deuteronomy 6:6-7 is talking about.

“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.”

This passage was originally spoken to families who were living in a tent city. They were the children of political refugees, fleeing from generations of enslavement. They lived in the desert. The women spent their entire day cooking, cleaning, caring for their children, and dumping sand out of every shoe (sound familiar?) and the dads spent their days at their jobs, only to come home to no dishwasher, no microwave, and no hot tub. These people were BUSY. And God didn’t ask them to add anything to their lives. They were to talk about God and his commandments when they were with their kids, whatever they were doing.

They were likely using these little moments with their children, just like we do; moments while they were washing clothes, baking bread, weeding the fields, walking to the well, or building homes.

My friend, stop beating yourself up for not having a daily 30-minute family worship session.

Instead, take a cue from the ancient Israelites and teach your child about Jesus in those 30-second moments. That is how faith is formed. In normal, everyday life.

While eating dinner.

While walking the dog.

While strolling through a mall.

When tucking kids into bed.

This is impactful because 30-Second Moments peppered throughout the day add up to hours, days, and weeks of faithful living. They are the foundation, on which we can add longer moments when our kids are paying attention and we feel to tug of the Spirit to do more. But these short moments often end up the most memorable.

This means that any mom (or dad, or grandparent) who wants to know how to teach your child about God CAN do it, because it’s simpler than you think. You can help your children grow deep faith roots through 30-second moments that add up over time.

You don’t have to do it all or know it all. You just have to start little.  Get Christie’s free Start Little Guide!

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Christie Thomas

Christie Thomas is a mom and writer with over a decade of experience as a children’s ministries director. She deeply believes that every Christian parent can confidently nurture deep faith in her kids through tiny habits that add up over time, which you can discover through her free resource, the Start Little Guide. Her devotionals and children’s books help parents cultivate faith-filled moments with their kids. She lives with her husband and three boys in Western Canada.

Instagram: @littleshootsdeeproots
Facebook: @ChristieThomasLittleShoots
YouTube: @BedtimeDevoMama

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