Do you remember the opening scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? He’s rushing down the hallway of his house, moving through his morning routine, when he looks at the camera and says: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” That’s impressive insight from a high school boy.
After all, what parent hasn’t felt this way about their pace from time to time? When my son was born, a friend told me these would be the longest and shortest days of my life. And it’s true—some days feel like a never-ending scramble that end with the lingering question, “What just happened?”
Parenting success is comprised of a series of moments and not one single point in time.
As ministry leaders, we want to help families win. But if you work in a church, you have a limited amount of time with the kids and students in your midst. On average, you have 40 hours a year to say everything you want to say and do everything you want to do. For this reason, what you do on Sunday matters.
But how you set parents up for the week matters more. Because, while you have 40 hours, a parent has about 3,000 hours with their child in a given year. That’s 75 times the amount of potential influence you will ever have as a church!
Sunday should be a launch pad for conversations to take place at home during the week.
In Deuteronomy 6, Moses gave history’s first mini-parenting seminar. In it, he told the Israelites: “These commandments that I give you today are to be on 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. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” – Deuteronomy 6:6–9 NIVThese commandments that I give you today are to be on 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. Click To Tweet
Moses didn’t say, “If you want your child to love God, plan regular daddy-daughter dates,” or, “The key to parenting is attending a special event at church.” No, Moses’ advice for raising the next generation was to take advantage of the moments that already exist in the rhythms of day-to-day life.
Instead of encouraging parents to create more moments in their week, we can cue them to use the times they already have better. Every week, most families experience some variation of morning times, drive times, meal times, and bedtimes together. Through these kinds of opportunities, we can help parents use their 3,000 hours to make a greater impact on the hearts of their kids.
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