Unshakeable Devotional - How To Parent In A Pandemic

How to Parent in the Middle of a Pandemic

By: Jeremiah Ziegler, FFC Youth Pastor
I have three kids, all under the age of 6. If they quarantine us here in Houston, Texas… well, just pray for us. My kids haven’t really noticed the effects of Corona yet, they are just happy to be out of school for another week and to be at home with Mommy, Daddy and Disney + (thank you Disney for coming in clutch with the early release of Frozen 2). This is probably where the vast majority of students are at as well - happy to unexpectedly double their Spring Break time. But the truth is that we are heading into some unprecedented territory, which means teenagers will be facing some unprecedented circumstances and emotions. Many parents, families and jobs will be affected by what we are experiencing and once the excitement of not having school wears off and the boredom sets in, the questions will come. So the question for us parents then becomes: How do I parent my child through this pandemic? In Matthew 7, Jesus is at the tail end of his most popular sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, where he is preaching to a large crowd. As he concludes, his final statement on the Mount is:

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew to beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash” (Matthew 7:24-27)

I think it’s fair to say that the Coronavirus is raining pretty heavy on everyone right now. The truth is that whether it’s a pandemic, the next World War, or a financial crisis, adversity reveals what we have built our foundation on. Have we built our foundation on God’s promises? Or have we built it on financial security, daily routines and the “American Dream.” This is such a great opportunity for us to see where we can rebuild our foundation - especially our relationship with our kids - and for our kids to build their foundation on God’s Word. Now more than ever we must be intentional about the conversations that we are having and the habits we are building in our homes. So, how do we build on the foundation that Jesus commands? Here are a few practical tips:

Stay Engaged. This is essential. A lot of students will be moving to online school and stuck at home, it is going to be easy for them to disengage from the world around them and any sense of normalcy. Here are some ideas on how promote engagement:

Set a reminder in your phone to call your kids (if you’re still going into work) at lunch time and go over a verse or two with them. Remind them how important it is to spend time with God and that you are there for them.
Have dinner time together. Take advantage of schedules slowing down and have intentional conversations with your children. This may be bring some stability for them to a quickly changing social landscape.
Go through a family devotional. YouVersion has some incredible reading plans that are simple and can be done together in person.
Host a family watch party - church is not a building or a service. We have to prioritize getting fed spiritually as usual.

Ask Questions. This is so vital to reaching your students’ heart. Students are trying to process this thing the same way we are, but with less life experience and more exposure to voices through media than ever.
Ask questions like: How does this make you feel? Are you afraid? What makes you feel that way?
Let the conversation be a dialogue, not just a monologue. We must be intentional to create a space where kids can voice what they’re feeling. Your voice matters, creating room for theirs does too.

Pray, Pray, and then Pray Again - we need to prioritize prayer more than ever in this season. Different seasons require different behaviors. In Jesus’ most challenging moments he got vertical with God. We need to follow his lead.
Pray God’s Promises - take some time to say and pray God’s promises over your student and your household. Hold onto verses like Psalm 91 that declares no disease will enter your household. Believe in verses like Psalm 23 that proclaim that God is our Shepherd.
Memorize Scripture Together - this is a great challenge that is worth it. A family who holds onto God’s word together is a strong one - whatever the circumstances our outlook may look like.

There is no way to know for sure how long our country and church will be in this season. Students are going to have to adapt to a different way of life and that means we, as leaders in their life, must work even harder to help them experience God. Nothing surprises God and we must prioritize following the prescription he has given us for difficult times. One thing is sure - we are in this together. Things are changing quickly but the good news is that we have a foundation that will never be shaken. Let’s build our lives and our families on the unshakeable foundation of God’s word!

Let us know what is working for you and how we can help. God bless!

-Pastor Jeremiah

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5 Comments


Carissa - March 24th, 2020 at 7:04am

Thank you! This was a great read to help start my day and stay focused on what matters.

Diana Padron - March 24th, 2020 at 8:34am

Thank you Pastor Jeremiah, I wish my kids were still meeting up together with you all. I just feel that not having family and many friends in this new area is a hard thing for anyone. However, this situation has a purpose and I am greatful to be part of a church family that cares. Thank you for sharing

Mandy - March 24th, 2020 at 8:37am

This is very encouraging! I am looking forward to incorporating what I read into our lives. Thank you and be blessed.

Samantha Thompson - March 24th, 2020 at 8:38am

Thank you for this daily devotional! I am also home with 3 kids under the age of 6 and a baby on the way - what a blessing! I have to suggest to all parents to learn something from their child(ren) each week; children love to share their ideas and understanding of things. Let them 'teach you something' new often and validate their knowledge of things taught to them. Let them be heard. What a great blessing it is to hear my 6 year old son say, "God can do anything, right mommy?" Yes! Yes, God can! "You are so right sweet boy!".

Linda - March 24th, 2020 at 10:12am

Thank you for the message. Great reminders and just what I needed this morning.