Take Advantage of Teachable Moments with Children, and Use them as Gospel Opportunities

by Paul Tautges | November 19, 2019 2:40 am

In Sunday School, a boy makes a disparaging remark about another boy. A girl reveals private information in the classroom. Another child does or says something embarrassing. While each of these situations may be challenging and uncomfortable to us, they can be wonderful teaching opportunities. As parents and teachers, most of us have encountered one of these or similar situations. How should we respond? Here are some suggestions.

 Turn the attention away from the child involved and toward the heart of the issue.

If sin is involved, bring the child with you to the foot of the cross. We’ve all allowed our sin to manifest itself in our words. Come alongside the child who has sinned and share with them the truth of Scripture, the forgiveness that Christ offers and the steps of repentance including asking forgiveness from God and the person sinned against (I John 1:9[6]; James 5:16-18[7]). This may also require helping the offended person grant forgiveness (Colossians 3:13[8]).

If childishness is involved, teach a more God-honoring word or activity. Sometimes it’s hard to know if a child knows something is inappropriate or if they have not yet been taught. You may have the wonderful opportunity to teach them that a word or sound is not appropriate. Gently letting them know that there is a better or more appropriate word to use may be all that is necessary.

Children often take their cues about how to respond from adults. Even if something uncomfortable has happened or was said, your calm and kind response can often turn the response of the children involved. By not ignoring the problem, but instead addressing the heart of the issue with love and grace, you have gained a teachable moment – a gospel opportunity. It may even be an opportunity for prayer. How we respond to difficult or uncomfortable situations, every interaction, teaches something. Don’t miss the unplanned teachable moments.

[This article is written by Bobette Hatteberg, the Children’s Ministry director at our church. It was originally published on our church website[9].]

  1. Luke 6:31: https://bible.faithlife.com/bible/esv/Luke%206.31
  2. Psalm 139:14: https://bible.faithlife.com/bible/esv/Ps%20139.14
  3. I Corinthians 12:18-22: https://bible.faithlife.com/bible/esv/1%20Cor%2012.18-22
  4. Proverbs 11:17: https://bible.faithlife.com/bible/esv/Prov%2011.17
  5. Romans 14:10: https://bible.faithlife.com/bible/esv/Rom%2014.10
  6. I John 1:9: https://bible.faithlife.com/bible/esv/1%20John%201.9
  7. James 5:16-18: https://bible.faithlife.com/bible/esv/James%205.16-18
  8. Colossians 3:13: https://bible.faithlife.com/bible/esv/Col%203.13
  9. our church website: https://cornerstonemayfield.org

Source URL: https://counselingoneanother.com/2019/11/19/take-advantage-of-teachable-moments-with-children-and-use-them-as-gospel-opportunities/