Monday, January 14, 2013

A Great Teachable Moment with Addie

My parents taught my sister and me many of our lessons "when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up" just like Deuteronomy 6:7 states.

I can remember a movie being paused and Dad asking, "What's wrong with this picture?" We would then talk about what was wrong- boy and girl alone in a room together, an outfit that was too revealing, a disrespectful dialogue between a teen and their parent. Of course because we were watching a video tape (gasp! how long ago was that!), Dad would then fast forward to the next scene.

Now Brian and I are the parents, and we are having the same teachable moments with our children. And I can only imagine the feelings my parents may have had after one of those interactions with us because it makes us feel like we have had an awesome moment with Addie (and one day with Ian) and that we have all made a huge stride together.

One of the shows we really enjoy watching with Addie is Leave It to Beaver. We rarely have to skip an episode because of a topic we are uncomfortable with (magic, Halloween, etc.) and we never have to worry about language or a scene popping up.

The other day we were watching Season 2 Episode 9 called The Pipe, in which Ward (the father) is sent a pipe as a gift from a friend traveling in Europe. Although the Beaver has been warned against smoking and is not allowed to even try it until he is 21, he allows himself to be talked into smoking this pipe by his friend- first with coffee grounds and then with tobacco.

And this is how a teachable moment happens in our home according to Deuteronomy 6:7 "Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up ."

As we were watching this episode, Addie sat up a little straighter when Beaver and Larry got ready to smoke the pipe. "He's not obeying his mommy and daddy!"

"You're right, Addie. Is he breaking one of the Top Ten (the Ten Commandments)?"

"Yes. The one about obeying his parents."

"Well, actually it says he needs to honor his parents, but disobeying them is not honoring them."

A little later, the boys smoked the pipe for a second time.

"He's disobeying again!"

"Yes. Who is he listening to? His mommy and daddy or his friend?"

"His friend."

"Who does God say he needs to listen to?"

"His mommy and daddy."

"Yes, because God gave you your mommy and daddy to protect you. You never let anyone tell you to do something Mommy and Daddy told you not to do."

A few minutes later, Larry leaves the house feeling very sick, and Beaver is left to wash out the pipe and clean up by himself.

"See, Addie. His friend talked him into disobeying his parents and then left him to clean up all by himself."

"Why is he washing the pipe?"

"He is trying to hide what he did, but the the Bible says that when we do wrong and try to hide it, someone will always find out what we did (a paraphrase of 'Be sure your sin will find you out' and 'whatever is done in secret will be brought to the light')."

The parents eventually find out what was done because no matter how hard Beaver tried to cover up, he left some loose ends- the cabinet where the pipe was kept was left open, he used way too much air freshener to mask the smell of burned tobacco, and the pipe turned brown after being used (it was an ivory pipe).

Of course, on Leave It to Beaver there were no serious consequences for Beaver's disobedience and somehow the parents carried part of the blame for what was wrong, so our lesson ended there. But it was one of those moments where Brian and I were able to teach Addie a spiritual lesson based on what was happening at the time. The show wasn't paused for our "lessons" and it wasn't turned into a major lecture, but Addie got to interact with us based on her knowledge of God's Word, and we were able to build on what she already knew with a visual example.

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