We have been catapulted into a new way of living due to the spread of COVID-19. It was not our choice; it came out of the blue. It can feel somewhat like riding a rollercoaster that you did not choose and neither did your child. However, even during these turbulent times, God is faithful. He is at work. If you are having a ‘wobbly moment’ and believe me we’ve all had them here are 7 truths to hold on to as parents and carers:
Just like you have navigated every other weird and wonderful event parenting has thrown at you, you will manage to get through this ‘COVID-19’ season as well. It is a season, it will change us, but it is just a season.
Right now, it feels like nearly everything has changed. Routines have gone out the window and new ones are emerging as each day passes. Our lives were turned upside down in only a matter of weeks, and with unknown time frames and no clear end in sight, it is completely normal for us to feel uncertain and insecure. As Christians we can cling to God’s Faithfulness and that is nothing like the way He holds us! God is the same God He was before Christmas and is the same God He will be in years to come. This verse may make a great home memory verse.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
An extended period at home might not be your preference, be assured for child’s journey of faith - you are still in the right place. Our relationships with God take place in the mundane moments of daily life, so does discipleship. God designed the home to be the centre of a child’s discipleship. He positioned parents and carers to walk alongside their children as they explore and develop their faith and beliefs. While many things may have been taken away from you at this time - your position in your children’s lives and the chance to connect with God each day is no different than ever before. Your children will not forget the feelings of faith and hope that you create in your home during this time.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Just by doing life together and walking with Jesus yourself, you are already supporting your child’s relationship with God in more ways than you can imagine. If you do nothing new this season, know that God is already working through you. If you wouldn’t yet call yourself a Christian but are exploring faith and spirituality, doing this openly around your family facilitates their discovery too.
We are all different, we all connect with God in different ways, and we all do family life in different ways. Your family and your child are unique so there is a unique way for each parent and child to explore faith in this season. Try to let go of the list of things you think you should be doing and instead do what you think will work best for your family. Take other people’s ideas and suggestions if you want, but if they don’t work for you - that’s fine! Don’t make things harder than they need to be by trying to make your family do something that isn’t a good fit.
You don’t have to feel like you have it all together or know all the answers! However excited, tired, terrified, organised, hopeful, fearful or tearful you are - you are the most powerful influence in your child’s life and God is using you every day to love and support them and point them on a journey towards him.
While we might not be able to be with each other face to face, know that you are not alone. God didn’t intend parents to raise children on their own. Whether or not you feel it right now, he’s surrounded you with family, friends, neighbours, other parents, church community, teachers, vicars, children’s workers and more - and they are all still there to support you. Whatever you need right now - someone to talk to, someone to read bedtime stories over facetime, someone to text you encouragements or play games over the garden fence - I know he has those people for you. Ask God to remind you who they are, and then have the confidence to reach out to them for help. You don’t have to walk this alone.
While these are truths that it might be particularly beneficial to hold on to during this crazy season, I encourage you to let them take root in your heart. They will remain true long after this pandemic ends. We are praying for you and Team Energize are creating some great online resources to help you as you disciple your children.
"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season, we will reap, if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9.