We didn’t expect the doors of the church to be shut.
We didn’t expect to be distanced from our brothers and sisters.
We didn’t expect toilet paper to become such a hot commodity.
With so much uncertainty in an ever-changing landscape created by the explosion of COVID-19 worldwide, many parents find their faith shaken, their eyes glued to the news and social media wondering “what’s next?”
But, now is the time to turn those eyes back to our little ones.
Sean Feucht captures this moment perfectly:
As they look to us for answers, we need to look to Him and consider how we’re showing up at home for them every day. Are we snapping? Stressing? Absent?
Here are five ways to strengthen your child’s faith (and your own), while creating a peaceful home during COVID-19:
1. Share faith-filled scripture to combat fear and refocus eyes on Him
In Psalm 34, King David magnifies the name of God and proclaims in verses four and five, “I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him will be radiant with joy; their faces will never be ashamed.” When you or your child feels fearful, turn to the Bible or even BibleGateway.com to find relevant scriptures focused on what God says about fear and faith.
2. Stick to Sunday school, even if it’s at home
Structure is vital right now—embrace it where you can and reestablish it. Gratefully, many churches are pursuing online options like Facebook Live to stream Sunday services and even children’s programs. Even if your church doesn’t have this option, you can still tap into other free resources, such as LifeWay’s Kids at Home digital pass, offered for free for the next 12 weeks. The lessons are for first through sixth-grade and offer a new lesson uploaded each Thursday. Feed their hearts and spirits with truth and structure. Simply go to LifeWay’s website, register and enter code “VZMD4SSQ38.”
3. Pray together daily
Prayer is a conversation-starter and also a good way to check in with your child to see what s/he is feeling. Ask them what they want to pray for. Listen and even write it down in a family prayer journal. Don’t be afraid to ask your child to elaborate on their feelings and then speak directly to them as you pray together. Remember, the Bible says, “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20). If you want to feel His presence, welcome Him with prayer.
4. Empower them with the answers they want to know
In times of uncertainty, resist the urge to brush off your child’s questions, and instead let them lead the conversation, offering answers appropriate for their age and temperament. Here are basic answers offered by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and PBS about COVID-19 that you can reference.
5. Take time for your own self-care
How we manage our own anxiety and stress will have a ripple effect on our children. Take time to grow your self-awareness about how you are feeling, and then determine how you need to manage it. If walks help relieve stress, take a daily walk at the beginning or end of the day. If reading a book or talking to a friend will do it, be intentional and take that time for yourself. Journalist and author of ParentShift: Ten Universal Truths That Will Change the Way You Raise Your Kids Wendy Thomas Russell shares the healthier you feel, the better you will be able to show up for your child.
Lastly, put this Bible verse somewhere prominent—your kitchen, bathroom or anywhere everyone will see it.
Philippians 4:4-7, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
We are in this together and He walks with us.