We can all agree that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown our world for a loop. Particularly, my heart is heavy for parents with young kids at home during this time.
If your home is anything like mine, there have been big emotions and challenging behaviors in response to the sudden changes in daily life. As my mind spiraled the other day about the many unknowns and hardships, my sister-in-law asked me, “What do you know?” Pushing me to fix my eyes on the truth in the instead of the of turbulence.
We all need people like this that are reminding us to look for truth and to not give up on bringing God glory in the way we love Him and others! Take a look with me at what we know to be true about who God is, who we are as his children, and what he desires for our lives as we follow him through this life!
01. God’s heart is steadfast.
A shaky understanding of this foundational reality can leave us feeling increasingly anxious and doubtful as worldly information is taken in. Too often our beliefs about God are informed by our past and/or present experiences. This is where we start having beliefs of God that do not match his biblical character.
Therefore, we must instead let God’s Word inform us about who He is and thus, let our experiences be understood through the lens of God’s true character. My favorite way to go about this is to read a Psalm and ask the question, “What does this tell me about God?” I will then list out my observations in a simple, “God is…” format, noting all the characteristics I can.
Therefore, we must instead let God’s Word inform us about who He is and thus, let our experiences be understood through the lens of God’s true character.
It doesn’t take long before a practice like this can shift our gaze from the overwhelm of current circumstances to the comfort of knowing God is steadfast among countless other truths. From there, observations from Scripture can be turned into prayers that bring peace. Each moment of pursuit strengthens the foundation beneath us. As the intensity of our days hit, we can stand firm as we trust in who God is.
02. Our hearts are being sanctified.
The more we understand God’s heart, the more clearly we see ourselves and perceive what God desires of us. A good friend of mine has a shirt that states, “I’m the wretch the song refers to.” We are called to accept his grace and recognize our humanity in light of it, especially these days. The abrupt changes in work and family along with helping children who are struggling all have created some level of inner turmoil in most of us. One hard moment later and our wretchedness is showing.
If you're like me, you may be tempted to sit in shame over the mess you’ve made yet again this week. But in this we forget the Gospel. We need to acknowledge our weaknesses and take them to Jesus for his strength. Simply ask, “Why do I do what I do?” Invite God to search your heart and reveal the places that need his light. Along with the exposing of our weaknesses, we need to allow God to confront us with the beautiful reality of who we are as His children
Invite God to search your heart and reveal the places that need his light. Along with the exposing of our weaknesses, we need to allow God to confront us with the beautiful reality of who we are as His children.
What we know is that the Gospel declares us free of condemnation when we put our faith in Jesus. God knew full well that we’d struggle. But he also planned long ago for this time to grow us more and more into the image of Christ. This kind of intention and love from the heart of God draws us out of the spiral of shame and stress towards reconciliation within the relationships around us. Slowly but surely, we’ll be living life as a changed person.
03. Our children’s hearts are ready for saturating.
With families having kids home unexpectedly and many parents scrambling to do school at home, I know that these days are not easy. However, I can’t help thinking about the amazing opportunity for many families to have time together in a way that they never have before!
As Jesus followers and parents, we have a great calling to go and make disciples, which we get to do right in our home. Our children are our closest neighbors! We are given the gift of being able to walk alongside and connect with them as we invite them into our journey with Jesus. And connecting during these days are essential, especially for those kiddos that are having a hard time.
As Jesus followers and parents, we have a great calling to go and make disciples, which we get to do right in our home. Our children are our closest neighbors!
We have a saying in our house that reminds my husband and I to fight for our kids, not with them: “Behavior is communication.”
If for a moment, we can look through the behavior and see their hearts, we may see how thirsty they are for a peace and joy that only God’s Word can bring. What a beautiful time to plant seeds through intentional discipleship and wait on the Lord to grow them up!
In Galatians 6:9, it says that we will reap a harvest of blessing at just the right time if we do not grow weary in doing good. Have you ever read this formulaically? These days, it could be read like, “If I do good in parenting today and don’t give up on these school lessons, then I will be blessed!” The problem is our understanding of blessings and time is not the same as God’s.
We want the harvest to be here and now as we desire the more temporal blessings of life: good behavior in our kids, smooth school-at-home experiences, sustainable paychecks, etc. The good we’re actually called to is a life that pleases the Spirit through bringing glory to God and loving others; the harvest of blessing is eternal life, according to Galatians 6:7-8.
Instead of spiraling on the unknowns during this time, the Lord invites us to hope in everlasting life with him as we faithfully cultivate the life before us now. As we shift our perspective, we can cause our children to have an interest in following Jesus by living in the fullness of joy hat we are offered not just for after this life, but right now as we live in Christ (Psalm 16:11).
Along with that, Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” And the GOOD he’s working out in all things is… physical blessings in the present? No, that’s not a promise we are given. However, the spiritual blessing we can undoubtedly expect is us being conformed to the image of Jesus, as stated in Romans 8:29.
Knowing the steadfastness of God’s heart and how he has so intentionally pursued us, we can be vessels of Gospel saturation to our families, even in the midst of heightened emotions, challenging behavior, and surprise homeschooling.
We can trust that there’s kingdom purpose as we parent through this pandemic.