As I recently sat on an airplane, anticipating take off, the flight attendant began to explain the importance of following the emergency procedures. She pointed to the procedure brochure conveniently located in the pouch in the seat in front of us and encouraged everyone to follow along as she communicated each detail.
Although she didn’t say it, I was thinking: In the case of an emergency, this information could make the difference between life and death! However, very few passengers seemed concerned. Several young people continued listening to their iPods with ear buds nestled in their ears. People were checking their e-mail and texting on their cell phones while others were reading books. I saw no one even look at the brochure, nor feign interest in it instructions.
I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if there was an emergency. Would they rush the flight attendant and beg her to help them? Would they frantically thumb through the brochure looking for answers? By then it would be too late since emergencies don’t offer time to learn, study, or practice necessary skills for an appropriate response.
In much the same way, God provides His Word so we will not be caught off guard when a personal crisis occurs. As parents, it is our job to spiritually prepare our children for personal emergencies. If we wait until an emergency occurs, it may be too late.
Although we are not responsible for their response, we will be accountable for accurately and diligently communicating truth and its application to our children. However, it’s not enough to merely become proactive in conveying truth, we should do so in such a way that it can be effectively received.
Unlike the flight attendant, we should require respect from our children, especially when communicating truth:
• Ask your child to momentarily stop what he is doing to listen to what you have to say.
• Let him know that what you are saying reflects God’s Word rather than your own opinion.
• Show him how biblical truth could apply to the personal situation you are addressing.
• Enter into dialogue to assure that your child has received understanding of the truth conveyed.
• Follow up with conversation to see what your child did with the truth he received.
Preparing your child with truth could mean the difference between spiritual life and death, spiritual victory and defeat.