Creating and Capturing a Teachable Moment: Discernment

There are two types of teachable moments…when you create them and when you capture them.  
This example encompasses both, so I thought I would share to help explain the different ways of parenting with Scripture through teachable moments. 

We were on our way to Life Group a few months ago and I thought to grab a copy of my book on the way out the door so we could focus on a topic as our family devotional in the car.  We often have “devotions on wheels” if we are going somewhere as a family in the evening and know we’ll be rushed when we get home.  The travel time allows for a more relaxed, leisurely discussion.  Spending time on a topic is a way of creating a teachable moment.  We are going through Parenting with Scripture alphabetically (one topic every week or two) and had come to the topic of Discernment.  We chatted through the definition, discussion questions, and action ideas as we drove along.  Creating teachable moments is wonderful because it allows for a positive and pro-active approach to God’s Word! 

At Life Group, my daughter asked if she and a friend could go play outside.  Noticing she had a cookie in her hand and thinking that I had seen her with one earlier, the following discussion ensued.
Me:  “That’s fine, but no more cookies, please.”
Daughter:  “Oh, this is my first cookie.”
Daughter’s friend:  “No, that’s your second cookie.”
Daughter (blushing)…says her friend’s name in an embarrassed tone. 

Ding, ding, ding, ding….a Teachable Moment to capture!!!  I raised my eyebrows at her but decided that was not the appropriate time or place to have the discussion and made a mental note to follow up later.  I’m so thankful that God gave us His Word on Discernment earlier that afternoon because I probably wouldn’t have thought to take that angle otherwise.  As we pulled into the driveway that evening, I told my daughter to head up to her room and that she was in time out until I came up to visit with her.  The time-out gave me a chance to write some Bible references from the topic Discernment and Honesty.  In discussing the situation, she said that she was just kidding about only having had one cookie and that lots of kids joke about things like that.  Hmmmmm….I wasn’t so sure if that was true or if she was adding another lie to keep from getting in trouble.  Either way, because we had created the teachable moment with Discernment earlier, it was a natural fit to carry that discussion on into this specific situation.  We discussed how Discerning means to “see clearly” the situation and make an appropriate choice.  Was her choice to lie or tease about the cookie a good choice?  No, that was not showing good discernment and we discussed why.   I then gave her the list of four verse references and asked her to look them all up and then write her favorite one on a note-card to think and pray about and memorize if she wished.  I was also clear to distinguish that the Bible verses were NOT her punishment.  Her consequence was to lose her ipod for a period of time.  I don’t ever want my children to look upon God’s Word negatively.  Therefore, whenever we use Scripture reactively, as in this case of capturing a teachable moment (rather than proactively when we have created  a teachable moment), we talk about how God’s Word is a blessing and a “lamp unto our feet.”  Instead of beating them over the head with it regarding the issue at hand, we try to look at in light of how it will help us in future situations. 

Be on the lookout for creating and capturing teachable moments in your own family!  As Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, we can parent with Scripture any time and any place!  “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon 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.”

Monday 25 February, 2013  |  Copyright ©2013, Kara Durbin read more>>

Want weekly tips on Parenting with Scripture?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and
receive notifications of new posts by email.