Those of you who attended the FJIF Take-Home Event, you heard some of this; but I wanted to take a bit more time to look at how we can and should intentionally T.R.A.I.N our children. Proverbs 22:6 encourages us to train our children and offeres a promise in return. Moses in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 tells us to teach our children the commandments and Love of God, and do it ALL THE TIME! In fact, there is never a time in which we are NOT teaching our children about God and His Love / Promises.
Therefore, since you're doing it anyway: WHY NOT BE INTENTIONAL IN IT?! Mark Holmen, former Senior Pastor at Ventura Missionary Church, and found of the Faith Begins @ Home movement, wrote a book called Faith Begins at Home. He takes the word T.R.A.I.N and makes it into an acronym for us to easily remember 5 key principles in how to intentionally disciple our children.
For this post, let's only focus on the first letter "T." T, if you were not able to quess, stands for Time. In today's world, time is one of our most precious commodities. The primary question I hear from parents is, "When is there time to talk with my children about faith?"
For most parents the stereo-typical image that comes to mind when you say "faith-talk" is having an hour-long, sit-down discussion at the kitchen table with the Bible open and a candle burning. Of course, the realty today is that a lot of families don't even have kitchen table, and they certainly don't have a full hour when they can talk together! In our increasingly busy lives, we must make the best of the time that we have. So when is the best time to discuss our faith with our children? The only reasonable answer is anytime.
Here are 3 of 7 times that are perfect times for starting to converse to your children about God and Faith:
1. Car Time - Doesn't it seem that the most time you spend together as a family is when you're in the car, on your way to the next thing you have to do? Try turning off the radio and asking your children what "highs" and "lows" they had during the day. Then take a moment to pray for the event that you’re headed to next.
2. Sick Time - Another significant block of time that you have with your children occurs when they are sick and have to stay home from school. While no one looks forward to his or her child being sick, it does provide time to have a healthy conversation. Sick time gives you a chance to watch videos or listen to music together. So why not chose videos that will naturally lead to talking about issues of faith and life?
3. Bed Time - There might not be a better time to talk about faith than at bedtime. Share the highs and lows form the day and then take time to pray for each other. With teenagers you can ask, "What's on your schedule tomorrow that I can pray for? Do any of your friends need prayer for anything?"
(These sections are taken directly from Mark Holmen's book.)