Yakety yack. Don’t talk back.
Kara opens chapter 4 with an interesting question. “If we planted a microphone in your home, what would we record?” I’ve been chewing on that for a week or so. I’d like to think that you’d hear some significant stuff as Kristen and I lead our home. But, in truth, you might not hear much more than what Kara asserts– logistics.
That’s hardly living the Shema.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 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.
As I reflected on chapter 4 and the Shema one thing popped out to me that I can change right away: I can have significant teachable moments with my kids while going about the logistics of the day.
Connect the Dots
I’ll never forget having a conversation with Megan a few years back. We were packing the moving van to move from Michigan to California. I was so lost in the logistics of trying to move 4 people, 2 pets, and a semi-load full of stuff 2200 miles that I don’t think we ever really talked to our kids about WHY we were moving.
She said something like, “I know all about San Diego and all the fun things we are going to do when we live there. But I don’t know why we can’t live here anymore.”
She was compliant and happy about the move. But she just didn’t get it.
And we had a powerful conversation about following God’s call.
Don’t be a religious leader, be a parent
I’ve had to get over myself with my kids. They could care less that I work with high school students. They could care less about all of the things I do for the Kingdom of God. Doing all of that stuff outside of the home doesn’t automatically translate to sticky faith in my kids. They don’t care that I taught at youth group or wrote something a lot of people liked.
But they care greatly when we go for a walk and talk about what they learned at Awana or talk about the Bible verse they posted on our fridge door from church. In truth, the idea of a family devotional wouldn’t be true to who we are as a family. But we can (and do) have important discussions as we go about our day.
- How do you bring up tricky topics with your children?
- The book emphasizes the importance of listening over lecturing, how have you put that into practice in your home?
- What’s the best conversation you’ve had recently with your kid? Why do you think it went so well?
- Which conversation ritual from this chapter are you going to try? Or what is one you thought of while reading this chapter?