Sunday, August 29, 2010

Teachable moments

I touched on this in passing in a prior posting - where I said I watch TV with my children - actually, I watch cartoons with them - like The Flintstones, Tom & Jerry, Jetsons...cartoons I watched as a child.

It's really interesting watching your children watching television - I almost feel it is a divine assignment - you may not agree with me and really, that's fine by me. Well, let's go on...

While I watch my children watch TV and watch what they are watch, I keep my spiritual antennae up. There is so much entertainment and laughter in some of those cartoons (& in other shows too); yet there are also so many subtle messages that sneak into their (& your) subconsious while you're watching (& possibly not watching your mind). Take Tom & Jerry for example, they are "living up" to themselves - yes really cat and mouse life. However have you noticed how mischievous and destructive they can be? Seems like they have "upped" their game and become worse from when I watched it as a child - won't you say so?  So for me, there are many teachable moments in one episode - I ask my children what they think about the tricks and trap, mischieviousmess and misbehaviour and how it can impact them if they do the same? I also like to ask what their take-aways are...when I remember of course.

Another example: Recently we watched one episode of Jetsons where there was a bit of lying and cheating in order for one person to win a competition - so each time that was done, I asked my children what that was and they responded with the right "label". It helps to say it as it is - that way you can take it to the next level to ask: "Is that right?"  Or evn ask: "What is the right thing to do?" More teachable moments  - indeed one teachable moment leads to another - before you know it, it's a lifestyle.

You can consciously and continously identify and exploit teachable moments in your everyday lives - not just when you gather to read the Bible and pray as a family. I actually believe that that's what God meant when He said (emphasis mine):   
"Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates." (Deut 6:6-7 - The Message)
"Place these words on your hearts. Get them deep inside you. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder. Teach them to your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning until you fall into bed at night. Inscribe them on the doorposts and gates of your cities so that you'll live a long time, and your children with you, on the soil that God promised to give your ancestors for as long as there is a sky over the Earth." (Deut 11: 18-19 - The Message)
So basically after internalizing God's word, He expects us to "break it down" into what I'd call "sound bites", for want of a better term, and then help our children internalize them too. He's not expecting the Sunday school teachers or their school teachers (especially for those who's children attend Christian schools) to do it. God expects you to talk to them about Him everyday, everywhere and in every way. He also loves to hear you talk about them to Him.

Strive to walk your talk and talk your walk with Him.
Teachable moments abound....you just need to look around. 
God bless

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