May 06, 2010

The Precious Pauses of Parenthood…

Written By Cary Schmidt

Learning to seize the teaching moments that may never return…

On a breakfast date this past week, Haylee asked me, “Why did you choose to like Mommy instead of another girl?”

Wow! What a cool question! And what a wide open door. That’s like someone asking a Christian “Why did you choose Christianity over all the other religions!” It was a golden opportunity to paint a portrait in her young mind of what qualities are truly, deeply attractive.

At the very instant she asked the question, the Holy Spirit immediately began to prompt me to not miss this teaching moment. And so, asking for wisdom, I began the list, teaching her along the way:

She was godly—she loved the Lord, walked with Him, and had a very good testimony with her friends and family. She wasn’t worldly in her dress, music, or lifestyle.

She honored her parents—she was very close to her daddy and loved her family. They were her best friends, and I never saw her disobey or dishonor her parents.

She obeyed her teachers—she had a submissive spirit to those who were her authorities at home, school, and church.

She was meek and quiet—just as God teaches that beauty should first be about a meek and quiet spirit, she wasn’t always trying to be the center of attention. She didn’t flirt with boys and try to be accepted by people.

She wasn’t rebellious—she didn’t have a reputation for breaking rules, defying authorities, of having a bad attitude like so many young ladies.

Following this, we had a talk about what real beauty is and isn’t, and why. And since then, we’ve had several really good conversations with about a hundred follow-up questions from her inquisitive mind. That single moment, along with a few other events that the Lord arranged that week, brought about some of the most significant conversations I’ve had with her.

How often do we miss teaching moments with our kids? For me—probably far too many! We get busy. We’re on our phones, answering emails, sending texts, processing information, and making plans—too often at the detriment of a precious pause when an innocent heart would have asked a searching question. The moments are doors into their thinking, their reasoning, their hearts. If we miss them or ignore them, our kids get the message—I’m not interested in you. Then these moments go away and our kids take their questions elsewhere and find deception rather than answers.

How awesome would it be if we could capture every teaching opportunity and use these real life situations to drive vital biblical principles deep into the hearts of our children?!

Do you have a daughter? Has it ever occurred to you that, if her relationship is good with you, she’s going to want to know what made Mommy attractive to you, so she can be attractive to you as well? And in turn, she will be attractive to a godly man like you in her future. What a powerful picture of the development of a young girl’s heart for her Heavenly Father, her father, and eventually her husband! I sure love the way God put life together!

As a result of recent conversations that Haylee and I have had, our hearts are closer than they’ve ever been. She’s whole. She’s at peace. She knows things are good between her and Daddy and that just makes life better! I can even see it on her face when she looks at me. What power we hold as parents to bring our children’s hearts into a stability and rest.

Ask God to give you wisdom to see the teaching moments this week, and to know what to say when they come around. Your heart and your child’s heart will never be the same!

Lord, please help us not to miss these precious pauses of parenthood…