It’s Time to Take a Walk

What began as a multi-family Thanksgiving celebration turned into a big moment. My family and I had joined Cara’s for the holiday at her grandparents’ house in Pennsylvania. (Cara was my girlfriend at the time, but we’ve been married now for over a decade. In other words, the story turns out well!) With so many relatives in town who hadn’t seen each other in a while, I thought I could just slide into the background and enjoy the moments I had with Cara. Her father, however, had different plans.

Steve is the type of person who does his best thinking and listening while he’s walking. So when he said, “Why don’t we take a little walk?” I knew I was in for something serious. He tried to keep it casual for a bit, but how casual is the situation when a father is walking alongside his daughter’s boyfriend? Eventually, he got to the big question. “What are your intentions with my daughter?” I felt the turkey coming back a second time.

We’ve all experienced moments like those. They seem especially serious or significant. Those times might be with family, or they might be those “holy moments” when a commitment is made to God. As parents, we probably all have times in mind when we know we will have those kinds of talks – the first date, the sex talk, the marriage talk, and many more. Some of us might even start with “Why don’t we take a little walk?” These moments stand out in our minds, and they will stand out in the minds of our children.

If those moments stand out, then why don’t we have them more often?

What if the moments were characterized by sharing our faith and love for God with our children?

Deuteronomy 11:18-19 tells us, “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and mind; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” The expectation is that we will have many walks along the road. In ancient times, people had to walk. They weren’t racing around in cars or catching the metro. So today, we need to be intentional about taking those walks.

My family and I love to check out parks and arboretums. We have a lovely arboretum not too far from where we live. We took Mimi (my mother) with us on our picnic and “adventure” (as we like to calls our nature hikes) on the trails. We came to a place where there was a fork in the road. The three girls were ahead of the adults (not for lack of strength or energy, mind you), and they looked down each path while debating the best route to take. They paid little to no attention to the fact that there was an information board at the fork that provided a map of the area.

As we discussed which trail to take and why, we seized the teachable moment and talked about how we make decisions. Every day we are faced with crossroads. One path is the good way, and the other may lead us into worlds of trouble. How do we know the way? We check the guide. God’s Word gives us what we need to make wise decisions and keep walking on the good path (Jer. 6:16). It wasn’t a long conversation, but it was a chance to point our children to God.

Every day, we parents have opportunities of connecting faith to life. Some of those teachable moments we need to take hold of while others can be more “planned spontaneity.” Maybe the best time is in the car when you have your teen’s undivided attention. Maybe it’s before bedtime when the kids are happy with any excuse to stay up a bit later. Maybe we just need to plan a time and go to our kids and say, “Let’s take a walk.”

I don’t remember much about what followed Steve’s question about my intentions with Cara. He didn’t give me a major speech he’d prepared. He didn’t grill me much more than that initial question. But I knew how he felt about his daughter simply by the fact that he intentionally made time to take a walk with me, and that moment is forever etched in my heart and mind.

You don’t have to prepare a sermon. No object lessons. No visuals. Just you and your child. Passing on faith is a culmination of hundreds of little interactions about God not just one evangelistic presentation. Be sure your child knows how you feel about your heavenly Father simply by the fact that you intentionally make time to take those walks and share your heart. It may just be a memory etched in their hearts and minds for life.

I would love to hear some walks you’ve had with your parents or those you’ve take with your children. Feel free to use the space below to share and encourage others!  

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  1. […] then I hear that echoed in the bedtime prayers of my girls as they thank God for everyday things like a walk outside, an opportunity to try something new or a fun time with a […]

  2. […] your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” In case you missed it, this isn’t given to us as a […]



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