Missed Opportunities—

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise

(Deuteronomy 6:7).

About twenty years ago, when I had several young children of my own, I remember a time that elicited tremendously judgmental thoughts (and words). While driving to church, I looked over and saw a fancy SUV equipped with the fairly new technology of flip-down video screens. Two young children had their eyes glued to the screen, watching a cartoon.  I thought to myself, “This is just appalling. These children can’t even make it from their home to wherever they are going (probably church) without watching a TV show? Why don’t these parents talk to their children? What will this do to their spiritual, mental, and emotional development?” See what I mean? So judgmental!

Fast forward to this past year of 2022. I am now driving the last of my children, my twelve-year-old son, to school every morning. The trip typically lasts eighteen minutes. Approximately three minutes is spent on the usual school-based questions: “Do you have a test/quiz today? Have you done all your homework? Any friend/enemy problems lately?” Then, for the next fifteen minutes, we peacefully listen to eighties music, with the only conversation being about the band, singer, or song we have just enjoyed. What an amazing parent I am! My son is now a world-renowned eighties music trivia master!

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks: What a terrible, hypocritical parent I am! What opportunities I have missed! If all I cared about is my son being an academic genius, popular with schoolmates, and an eighties music lover, then I have fulfilled my mission in life. But that is not what is most important to me (or his mother, for that matter). Just like you, we desire for all our children to love Jesus and grow into mature faithful, righteous disciples. Just like you, we long for them to learn God’s Word, love God’s Word, and live out God’s Word in His world. So, why hadn’t I taken advantage of one of the easiest opportunities of all? I had eighteen minutes a day with my son as a captive audience!

Well, after a conversation with some of my long-time children’s ministry peers, I realized that I needed what most of us require: a resource, a guide, a tool. Sure, I also needed to be convicted of my sin and to repent of my laziness. But most parents desperately need help knowing what to talk about with our children. We need questions to ask. We need topics to discuss. Most of all, we need Scripture to be our foundation. I am a biblical counselor, Sunday School teacher, seminary professor, and long-time children’s ministry director, and I sorely needed the help. So, I developed Road Talk for me—and for all parents who struggle like me.

Road Talk is built on the command given to parents in Deuteronomy 6. In a flip-book style, passengers read the Bible text (one to three verses) and then read five questions. Parents and children use the questions to talk about God’s Word and apply it to their lives. The text and questions can easily lead to longer conversations and even more questions. Volume One includes ninety-nine passages from Romans through Colossians. Road Talk is a straight-forward, easy way for parents to turn some of those missed opportunities into fruitful discipleship moments.  I’ve needed this resource for a long, long time, and so have my children. What about you?

John C. Kwasny  is Director of Discipleship Ministries at Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Ridgeland, Mississippi. John has received his M.A. in Counseling and his Ph.D. in Christian Education. He is also the Worldview Integration Specialist at Christ Covenant School, an adjunct professor at Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson), and Director of One Story Ministries, authoring Children’s curriculum for the church, school and home. John and Martie have eight children. He has a regular podcast called, Biblical Counseling Today.