Parenting = Chaos
Maybe it’s just me, but I talk to enough parents to know that chaos is a part of daily life.
Every day, a child needs clean clothes, food to eat, places to go, money to spend, and at least 37 other things. Add in a couple of extra kids and the number of things to do every day simply multiplies. The cruel trick is that it is too much. It’s not manageable. It’s impossible to get it all done – but parents wrestle with the feelings of guilt, shame, and utter exhaustion because the list of things is never completed.
Oh, and somewhere in there, we’re supposed to help our kids grow spiritually. We’re supposed to pass on faith. We’re supposed to “raise them up in the ways of the Lord.” This is where a lot of parents really feel guilt.
Moses actually spoke to this very challenge. In his old age, he worried about the faith of the next generation. He knew that few things mattered more than ensuring our offspring loved and followed God. He prescribed a method for spiritual transformation in Deuteronomy 6 that often goes overlooked..
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.Deuteronomy 6:4-7
Did you catch the simplicity of generational spiritual formation? Did you see the prescribed methodology?
Moses describes meaningful conversations that happen at specific times in the day. In this passage, Moses describes rhythm. Daily and weekly rhythms where faith passes from father to son, mother to daughter.
Moses is simply describing simple rhythms that happen every day, even in our busyness, where faith conversations can thrive.
Even in the chaos, there are daily rhythms and in these rhythms, there might be just enough space for a spiritual seed to be planted or watered. Mighty oaks and children grow and thrive when consistent things happen day after day and week after week.
I know, it still feels daunting. You might be thinking:
Don’t overthink it. Every conversation isn’t a whole conversation. Sometimes it’s just a few words. The faith of your kids isn’t hanging on a couple of key conversations you have with them, but hundreds and thousands of small moments that show up on a regular basis.
Check out one of our Parent Toolbox resources. It’s called “Create a Rhythm with your words.” It’s age-specific prompts specific for various daily rhythms. It’s easier than you think, it’s just picking up a new skill.
The chaos may never go away. But even within the crazy, you kind find rhythms where faith is prioritized and kids learn to trust and follow Jesus.
NextGen Pastor at MISSION Community Church
Leading in Children’s Ministry since 1997, Kenny Conley has been the NextGen Pastor (supporting youth, kids, and families) at MISSION Community Church since 2016. Kenny and his wife, Sara, live in Gilbert, AZ, and have three children (Titus, Genevieve, and Elle). Kenny loves hiking, watching movies and is always on the lookout for the perfect burger.