How 45 seconds can change your parenting

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Rex (my youngest) giggled as he stood behind the closed closet doors. I pretended to weep on the floor as Dodget slipped behind me and opened the door to let him out. Rex then snuck up the ladder to the top bunk and hid under the covers, while I lifted my head and gasped in astonishment at the empty closet. Dodger gestured upward and shouted, eyes wide and grinning huge, “Jesus is alive!” Rex then burst out of the covers with a shout and we all cheered and danced around the bed.

We had just re-enacted the story of Jesus’ resurrection, which we did because I was desperate for a way to connect my non-verbal 3 year old with the Bible. He loved it. And it took us less than 2 minutes.

(The first time. We then had to redo it about 5 more times!)

This type of short discipling opportunity seems to be coming my way a lot these days. There was the ride in the car when we had finished listening to “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” and ended up having a conversation about substitutionary atonement (but not in those words 😂).

Then there was the time I prayed with my eldest when he was feeling left out at school or the conversation about death and heaven.

These unexpected moments are where my own faith journey and those of my children intersect, and they aren’t usually very long. In fact, I’d say the average length is about 45 seconds.

But those 45 seconds have the power to shape their eternal future. 

Those 45 second moments are like putting a dime into an investment account. A single dime adds up only to ten cents, but a dime a day for an entire lifetime, combined with the principle of compound interest, creates something beyond belief.

Does discipling your kids seem like a giant ball of stress to you? Do you feel like you need to have a theology degree or at least a pastor to call up every time your kids ask a wacky question?

Start looking for the 45 second moments.

–>In the car.

–>At the breakfast table.

–>Before bed.

I believe this 👆🏽is what Deuteronomy 6:6,7 is talking about:

“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.”

The ancient Israelites mostly lived a harsh, hardscrabble life. When they sat at home, they were likely either working or eating. When they walked on the road, it wasn’t to walk the dog – it was to get somewhere. When they lay down after a long day of subsistence farming or rock quarrying or trips to the well and grinding grain for bread, it wasn’t on an innerspring mattress. Their leisure took place on the Sabbath only.

The commandments Moses gave them were simply talked about during daily life. Perhaps they had specific times of conversation, but most families weren’t sitting around discussing theology.

They were likely using these little moments with their children, just like we do. Moments while they were washing clothes, baking bread, weeding the fields, walking to the well, or building homes.

My friend, stop beating yourself up for not having a daily 30 minute family worship session.

Instead, seize those 45-second moments.

Sometimes those moments will become a natural 30 minute discussion, but most times they will remain 45 seconds.

But that is how faith is formed. In normal, everyday life.

In the 45-second moments of life. 

While eating dinner. While walking the dog. While strolling through a mall. When tucking kids into bed.

Because 45-second moments peppered throughout the day add up to hours, days, and weeks of faithful living. They are the foundation, on which we can add longer moments. But they often end up the most memorable.

praying that you find some 45-second moments this week,


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Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash