Our lives have been turned upside down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During times like these we ask, “What is God doing? Why is God allowing this?” While some of the answers to these questions remain hidden from us, we can say with confidence that God wants to do three things in our families during this unusual time. He wants us to grow in our love for Him, grow in our love for our family, and grow in our love for others.
We need an intentional game plan so that we don’t miss out on this spiritual opportunity. God gives us our starting point in Deuteronomy 6:5-7. This portion of Scripture has transformed our family in extraordinary ways.
5You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (ESV)
In this “Great Commandment” we are called into our life purpose: to live in a love relationship with God. God then speaks to parents and grandparents, giving them the mission of helping their children love Him, too.
Look carefully at verse 7. There we find four power-packed moments of the day when God calls parents to spiritually connect with their children: 1) When we sit at home, 2) When we walk along the way, 3) When we lie down, and 4) When we rise up.
Now consider this unusual season of “virus time.” So much has been stripped away from us. Church. School. Work. Sports. Social Events. Travel. What do we have left? It seems like all we do is sit around, take walks, go to bed, and wake up again the next day. What do you notice about those four times of day in verse 7? These are the “heart connection moments” that God has given us to draw close to Him as a family.
So what can we do to redeem this time? Let’s start by obeying God and increasing our time in family prayer and Bible time.
- Increase your time in “family worship.” Gather the family together. Share your prayer requests with each other. Considering singing a worship song together (find a worship song on YouTube if that will help you). Read a portion of Scripture together. Add a reading from a child’s story Bible for little ones.
- Take prayer walks through your neighborhood. Pray for God’s blessing and peace on each home as you walk past.
- Expand to a “global prayer walk!” Consider using a list of missionaries from your church. Use a map to find the countries where they serve and pray for them. Or pull up a news website and identify a country or people group that is suffering right now during this virus time. Pray for the people to be healed and turn to Christ.
- Encourage everyone in your home to take the first moments of every day to spend time alone with God in prayer and in His Word. Help your little ones by sharing this time with them.
- Finish every day with a brief family prayer, focused on giving God thanks for His blessings that day, and asking Him to use your family tomorrow to shine for Him.
God has big plans for His people during this vital time! If we want to be a part of His plans we need to draw closer to Him with renewed passion and purpose.