“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Eph. 5:16
Have you noticed?… that the days we’re living in are evil? Time is short… before our kids grow up into adults… before the impressionable years are gone… before Christ comes back again.
I was reminded of this just this past week as I was looking at two pictures of our oldest son that are less than three years apart.
Wow… Time flies, and so do the impressionable moments and years we have to make an impact.
Because every day, we have opportunities to influence our kids, regardless of how busy we may think we are. And God has clearly commanded us to influence their lives “when we sit in our homes, when we walk by the way, when we rise up, and when we lie down.” (Deuteronomy 6:7) In order for that to play out in our busy day to day lives, we’ve got to make sure that we make out BIG on the little daily moments.
So here are 5 small daily moments that you can’t afford to waste, but that you can easily turn into D6 (Deuteronomy 6) moments with your children:
1. Morning Time
We are commanded to invest into our children when we “rise up.” Every day, you have the opportunity to set the course for the attitude and direction of your family for the rest of the day. From the way you conduct your morning routine, you are either setting yourself and your family up for success or failure.
Do you wake up with sufficient time for your family to get ready for the day? Are your mornings calm or chaotic? Peaceful or stressful? Are you waking up early enough to have a morning routine that is structured, smooth-flowing, and beneficial?
Sadly many Christian families might find it hard to even squeeze a 1-minute prayer into their morning routine, but what an impact it could make on our family every day if we were to turn our mornings into D6 moments.
2. Driving Time
Given the average lifespan, a person statistically spends 7% of their lifetime driving in a vehicle (source). Even if that’s close to true, that means that a good chunk of the times we have together as a family are also spent driving.
Which should cause us to consider… How can we spend that much of our family life together in a vehicle and not intentionally take advantage of it? Are we using that time wisely or frivolously? Is everyone doing their own isolated thing, or are we purposefully using any of that time together?
Do we ever discuss the amazing world God has given us that’s passing us by on the other side of the glass… Are we having any meaningful conversations… Are we singing songs together… Do we ever just get crazy and have some fun… or anything else of value? The command of Deuteronomy 6 implies that we are to invest into our children even when we travel (“when thou walkest by the way”).
3. Meal Time
Sitting together at the dinner table is more important than ever to guard and prioritize, as eating together as a family continues to become more and more obsolete in many homes. Yet amazing conversations can be had and memories can be made around a family dinner table. If you’d like some ideas for family dinner conversation starters, here’s a list you can use.
4. Down Time
Even when we’re “lying down”, the Bible commands us to invest into our children. In other words, every moment of every day, even down time in our lives, is a D6 opportunity. It might be when you see the beauty of creation in a sunset, or the amazing way that God made the world to work and sustain itself with such intricate detail. However you choose to do it, find ways to regularly point your kids to the awesomeness of God in daily life, even in the down times.
5. Busy Time
Let’s admit it, there are times when “down time” is the farthest thing from reality, when we are just flat out busy. Errands to run, meals to cook, the yard to mow, events to attend.
But don’t ever mistakenly think that somehow this means that those times are off limits for investing into your kids. No. Just the opposite. Those are perfect opportunities to spend time together and invest into them by including them (or teaching them as necessary) those things on your to-do list.
“Very little of our parenting takes place in grand significant moments that have stopped us in our tracks and commanded our full attention; parenting takes place on the fly when we’re not really paying attention and are greeted with things that we did not know we were going to be dealing with that day. It’s the repeated cycle of little unplanned moments that is the soul-shaping workroom of parenting.” – Paul David Tripp in his book, PARENTING
6. Bed Time
Start the day right, and end the day right. And make sure that what happens before bedtime reflects what is most important in your family (God’s Word, prayer, family affection and unconditional love).
Studies have shown that kids who go to sleep regularly on a positive note, not only sleep better, but develop better with age as well. Again, we are instructed to pass on our faith to our children even as we are “lying down”. This is a great indicator of the importance of your family’s bedtime routine.
Remember, parenting is like putting drops into a bucket over 18 years time. Each one seems so small, yet every drop ripples the surface and raises the water level slightly. And yet it’s very difficult, almost impossible, to make up for lost drops that we’ve chosen to ignore or squander.
While all parents keep different schedules and it may be nearly impossible for you to maximize daily on all 6 of these daily moments, make sure you are taking advantage of as many of them as possible? They’ll be gone before you know it.
Our lives are made up of many moments, and those moments quickly turn into months and years. And once gone, they’re gone forever. So let’s redeem the time today by making out BIG on the small daily moments that we have been given.