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Tracking the Teachable Moments: Guest Post From Linda Weddle From Awana

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Dr. Meg Meeker

Dear Readers,

It’s my pleasure to “swap” blog posts today with Linda Weddle from Life Threads, the blog for Awana.

Life Threads is also featuring a post from me today, so make sure you check it out. And both blogs are conducting product giveaways this week. At Life Threads, enter to win a Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters gift pack— including the original book, The 30-Day Challenge, and the Small Group DVD Study.

At MegMeekerMD.com, we are pleased to give away two outstanding books for teachers, educators, and youth leaders,  How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph by Larry Fowler and Raising a Modern-Day Joseph by Linda Weddle.

Find more information about Awana, these books, and how to enter the giveaway at the end of the post.

Meg

As they meandered through the museum, Dad took advantage of every possible moment to integrate a biblical focus into what his children viewed. Obvious teachable moments jumped out at him as they walked through the Life Origin Exhibit and then later the World Religion Exhibit. He found a more subtle opportunity in an Ethics and Morality display.

Dad felt great. He liked challenging his kids to think through why they believed what they believed.

Still in a good mood, he treated the kids to ice cream on the way home.

As they pulled away from the drive-thru window, he groaned, “Oh, no, I gave that crazy clerk $10, but he gave me change for $20.” He looked at the long line of cars behind him. “Oh, well. We don’t have time to fix it. I guess it’s their loss.”

Ahhh … another teachable moment.

AS WE RAISE OUR CHILDREN, WE ENCOUNTER A MULTITUDE OF TEACHABLE MOMENTS – EVERY DAY.

From our attitude as we welcome our kids to the breakfast table to our choice of before-bed TV shows, the hours are filled with such moments. True, that teaching might not be what we should teach, but we are still teaching.

God-centered teachable moments are based on two principles:

1. Teachable moments involve words. 

We often hear phrases such as “actions speak louder than words,” but God has told us that hearing words is foundational to our faith (Romans 10:17). Without words, we grasp only part of the message.

God has chosen to give us a lot of guidance regarding our words.  They should be wise (Proverbs 15:1-2); pleasant (Proverbs 16:21); and encouraging (Ephesians 4:29).

We know these principles. We apply these principles … but sometimes we do so only in relationship to other adults – not our families.

Yet, we are told to set an example to the younger generation with faultless speech (Titus 2:7-8).

Peter’s admonition to know answers to faith questions applies to our kids as well as to our neighbor or the lady in our Bible study (1 Peter 3:15).

OUR KIDS NEED TO KNOW THE “WHYS” THAT INFLUENCE OUR FAITH AND THEN THEY NEED TO SEE US LIVE WHAT WE TEACH.

Because …

2. Teachable moments involve actions.

The father in the above illustration felt like Super Dad coming out of that museum. He had gotten into great discussions with his children. But that moment at the ice cream shop diluted his message.

We can talk about honesty, but when our kids see us cheat on our taxes, yell at the neighbor, or watch inappropriate TV shows, the words we say (no matter how parentally elegant) become muddled in their brains.

Paul wrote these very thoughts to the Jewish leaders in Rome. “You, then, who teach, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? …” (Romans 2:21).

SEE, WHEN OUR WORDS AND ACTIONS MERGE TOGETHER, THE MESSAGE BECOMES ONE OF CLARITY AND SINCERITY – A MESSAGE WORTH BELIEVING.

Yet, we parents are human. We won’t get every teachable moment right … but even then, we must do what we can to correct the situation.  (For instance, Dad could take his kids back to the ice cream shop and return the extra change.) Even in the “fixing,” we are teaching our kids.

Good parenting takes effort. We need to be prayerfully intentional about teaching our children through both what we say and what we do …

… whether we’re wandering through a museum, stopping for ice cream … or living all those moments in between.

Linda Weddle’s 30-plus years of experience as a teacher, curriculum writer, author, speaker and ministry leader make her an important voice on ministry to children, youth, and families. She has written 13 books including How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph and has worked at Awana as a writer, program designer, and speaker for the past 20 years.

ABOUT AWANA

Awana is a global ministry that helps churches and parents raise children and youth to know, love and serve Christ. Each week, more than two million kids take part in Awana through more than 27,000 churches in the U.S. and around the world. Awana is an organization with fully integrated, Bible-based programs for ages 2 to 18 that actively involve parents, church leaders and mentors.

Raising a Modern-Day Joseph by Larry Fowler

This book reveals five Master Life Threads—character qualities of the Old Testament Joseph—that map spiritual maturity from childhood through young adulthood. It’s more than a title; it’s a call to action. Valuable for anyone involved in children’s spiritual development—from pastors to parents.

How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph by Linda Weddle                           

This book provides the action steps for carrying out the principles set forth in Raising a Modern-Day Joseph so you can plan the best itinerary for your child’s spiritual journey. The book includes checklists for parents to evaluate what they’ve taught and a worksheet for families to develop their own spiritual steps. A church section gives ministry leaders suggestions on how to support parents.

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