Devotional & Reflection

Week 3, June 2002

Deut 6:6,7: Seeds of Godliness - Turning Life's Situations into Teaching Opportunities
By Bernard & Caron Lim, Executives

Deuteronomy 6:6,7 "These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.
v.7 "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."

A little over two years ago, we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy named Joshua, our third child. Since he was about 18 months old, Joshua has been very responsive to the teachings that we imparted to him. We could literally 'get' him to do just about anything without question - sing, dance, shout and pray to the Lord. In his simple and innocent faith, he would believe anything we say. However, our experience with the two older children is somewhat different - simply because they expect an explanation to teachings as opposed to just accepting them 'lock, stock & barrel'.

Recently Rachel, who is my 8 year-old daughter, asked me to explain what 'Grace' meant. My immediate response was straight out of a bible dictionary - 'underserved mercy'. She walked away after replying 'Oh...' and somehow I sensed that I had not been able to satisfy her desire to understand a great 'mystery of the kingdom of God'! (Luke 8:10). But I was quietly thankful that she did not pursue her curiousity because I was not ready with a demonstration of the Truth. However, there was a gnawing in my spirit of the need to teach the children the TRUTH because the Truth would 'set them free'. (John 8:32).

The opportunity came when we took the kids out intending to buy Isaac (eldest son) a bicycle as a reward for an important project he had completed well. Rachel knew that she was not there to get a bicycle but I surprised her by offering to bless her with one as well after speaking to Isaac about it. I spoke to her privately and she was obviously elated. However, in the next few minutes, I found her having a little tiff with her brother over a trivial matter regarding her new bicycle.

Then it dawned upon me that God had given me an opportunity - a teachable moment of the Truth. I pulled her aside asked her if she felt she deserved the bicycle unlike her elder brother who had earned it. She kept quiet for a moment and said 'No'. That was when I told her that my decision to bless her with the bicycle 'in spite of' her behaviour towards her brother was GRACE in action and that her salvation was also through GRACE. I could see in her eyes that she 'saw the Truth'. She repented and more than that, she caught the essence of what I had attempted to teach her earlier on through a theological definition!

Jesus was a master Teacher - excellent at helping his disciples and followers whom He met understand kingdom truths simply by using creation, real life's situations, political situations, anecdotes and parables that were relevant to them in those days. Here's really something we can learn from Jesus about parenting - we can do likewise and make the most of the teachable moments the Lord make available to us - teaching our children in the context that they can identify with and in the language that they can understand!

1. How can we actively participate to help our children learn kingdom values?
2. What kingdom truths are God teaching your children through you?

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