Before the COVID-19 quarantine, families longed for lazy days at home together. They dreamed about snow days off from school, time for family movie nights and moments to read a book together before bed. All the things we dreamed about are here. We can actually do them.
These times remind me of the Israelites in the Old Testament. The Israelites were often forgetful people. Time and time again they saw God keep his promises, and yet they doubted him in times of trouble. All these things give us so much opportunity to show God to our kids in the midst of all the unknowns we face today. The days are filled with chances to show God even when we don’t talk of him directly. Here are four ways to show God in the quarantine that you may not have had time for in your regularly scheduled life before COVID-19.
- Consider sitting down at the table and having breakfast together. You most likely did not have time to do this before. In life before quarantine, everyone was rushed in the morning to go off to work, school, the sitter, or whatever was on your schedule. Now, you can take 20 or more minutes to eat breakfast, and do it together.
Whether you enjoy a bowl of cereal, toaster pastry, or a full hot breakfast, do it together. During your breakfast, go around the table and each share a short praise. Help your kids see God in the morning as they start their day. Then, when you go back to your regularly scheduled, crazy busy lives, you can remember and share short praises while you are rushing around in the car. Psalm 34:1 (ESV) says, “I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Let’s work hard at praising God in our families.
- Memorize a verse as a family each week. We’re all familiar with the verse in Psalm 119 that says, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Let’s help our kids put it into practice. Post your weekly verse on little cards all around the house to see throughout the day. Then use a buzzer or alarm that signals a “recitation break.” When the noise is made, everyone in the house stops and says the verse to the person closest to them. This will be sure to add some fun to your day. At the end of the week, all those who can say the verse get a special dessert!
- Take time to do service projects as a family during this time. Consider making a card or a coloring page and mailing it to someone. If you don’t know who to send it to, ask your church to give you some names of shut-ins or people who live alone. Perhaps you can brighten a neighbor’s day by singing a song to them on their front porch and leaving some cookies. Consider video chatting with someone who lives alone to give them someone to see and talk to. Use these opportunities to talk to your kids about why God wants us to serve others. Read the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 together as you decide how you can love and serve someone else.
- Make a prayer request visual that you can use daily together. This could be in a journal, on a poster or chalkboard, or just a piece of paper. Make this visual available to everyone in the family to put up prayer requests. Then find time throughout the week to pray together. As you see God work, write that beside the request.
Remember, our kids are watching us. They are watching to see where you put your trust. They are watching to see who you are resting in. They are watching to see who you are praising during this time. Let’s show them that we remember that the God of the universe is in control. Our Savior is taking care of us. We are trusting and resting in him.
Someday you will talk about this memory as a family. All the sentences will start with “remember when…” and what will the end of that sentence be? Perhaps they will remember a new rhythm that your family found during this time. A rhythm of praising God together or memorizing Scripture together. In the future, COVID-19 will be in the history books at school. Your kids may be adults then and what will they tell your grandkids? Perhaps they will tell them that their family trusted God and he provided for them.
Take some time to talk of God each day. Talk of God during the e-learning, the movie-watching, the sibling disputes, the continuous snacking and the quiet moments. During COVID-19, let’s live out Deuteronomy 6:7. Then pray you continue the changes you made during this time in your regularly scheduled life.