You can apply Scripture in your teachable moments in several ways.
1. Discuss. Talk about the verse that you find under your chosen topic, clarifying any words a child may not know. For
example, what if craftyWill thought his mom was talking about fun art projects (crafts) while she thought they were having an
excellent discussion about being sly or tricking others? He could have totally missed her point. Young children especially need the visual reinforcement of seeing you turn to Scripture for wisdom. So, even if you’re using a resource such as Parenting with Scripture to find verses, try always to switch to your own Bible or your child’s Bible whenever you are actually reading the verse to your child. This visually reinforces the truth that this wisdom comes from God and not from
some lady named Kara Durbin!
You’ll find that sometimes you can use verses positively to address a negative behavior. When a friend’s daughter was two and- a-half or three and struggling with tantrums,my friend often leaned on Proverbs 17:22: “A cheerful heart is good medicine.”
This mom found that it helped her daughter focus on the choice to be cheerful. Once the child was calm enough to talk with her mom, this mom would say, “I know it upsets you that ______, but throwing a fit or pouting is not the best way to respond.” And then she’d prompt her daughter with what the Bible says: “A cheerful heart is______?” And her daughter would respond, “Good medicine.”
Sometimes this mom would point out the contrast between a cheerful heart and a grumpy one, asking, “What kind of attitude
makes us feel better?” Once her daughter remembered that throwing a fit doesmore harmthan good, this mother would pose
the choice: “Which kind of attitude do you choose to have?”
It’s a joy to be part of the process when a child makes a connection between life andGod’sWord. Another friend of mine who
had been teaching her children that “love is kind,” was delighted to hear her three-year-old say, “Mommy, I thought ofwhatmy brother would want first. I was kind!” Transformation by God’s truth in our lives is the ultimate goal of these teachable moments.
2. Pray. Pray using the Scriptures. Many verses lend themselves naturally to prayer. For example, under the topic word Crafty, you’ll find Psalm119:29: “Keep me from deceitful ways.” After you’ve read God’sWord and explained the version, reword it to pray something like, “Lord, please help keep Will from being crafty or mean. Thank You that You forgive us when we do wrong.” A section on praying God’s Word for your children appears at the end of this book.
3. Memorize. Especially if your teachable moment applies to a pattern of behavior more than a single incident, you and your
child may want to consider committing a related verse to memory. Then, when the issue arises again, God’s Word will
already be handy, on your heart. God’sWord is powerful and can help change behavior (2 Timothy 3:16–17; Hebrews 4:12). I’ve selected fifteen verses that apply to numerous teachable moments and included them at the end of this book, along with tips for memorizing God’s Word. You and your kids will never regret hiding HisWord in your heart (Psalm 119:11).
4. Underline. It’s meaningful to underline an applicable verse in the Bible and write the topic word beside it. Here’s one more
reason you will want to give your child a complete Bible at an early age. Even pre-readers can recognize chapter and verse numbers and will enjoy seeing Scriptures they have learned about underlined or highlighted.
I know firsthand the treasure of having a well-loved Bible from childhood.When I was little, I wanted a Bible just like my mom’s, and I was thrilled when I received one as a present. As I grew up, I underlined verses as I memorized them and marked ones that spoke to me about a particular topic. I loved being able to flip through, finding familiar passages withmy notations in that big book. It made God’s Word feel like home to me. By the time I was a freshman in college, that Bible was falling apart. My dear roommate gave me a new one for Christmas, and I knew I needed it. But, oh, how I hated to leave behind all those markings that made the Bible so familiar to me.
So during that Christmas break, I painstakingly transferred every underlining and notation to the new Bible. It’s the Bible I still use today. It’s even harder for me to consider changing Bibles any time soon because I’m sure I’d feel compelled to do the same thing again!
The verses you’ll find under the various topical headings in this book tend to be individual verses or very short passages, but, of course, sometimes Bible stories apply to your teachable moments. One mom shared how she and her children stopped to give a homeless man cereal bars and a water bottle. She was easily able to connect their sharing with theGood Samaritan parable. “Any time you can tie a real-life example back to a Bible story is sweet,” she told me.
Such opportunities demonstrate how consistency in daily reading of God’s Word or Bible stories pays off for you and your
children. The benefit is they will know what you’re talking about when applications come to mind.