You, as parents, spend on average from 2,000 to 3,000 hours a year with your children. In present circumstances it’s even more - to your eternal joy!! And, now you’re at home ALL the time, it means that as well as home schooling and home entertaining you are also home churching!!
No SHOULDS here!
Don’t believe anyone if they say to you ‘You should be doing this, or you should be doing that.’ First thing to say is DO NOT feel you have to be a teacher, a CBBC’s presenter or a children’s/youth minister! You do NOT. There are LOADS of resources out there for every sphere of life and I’m sure social media is making you feel guilty as you can’t help but compare your family to others. But all you need to do is be yourself, communicate with your offspring, feed them, clothe them and love them.
You are the best resource!
Church, as we know it now, is just you and yours but here again, do not feel you have to do anything extra or special nor prepare clever Christian resources to make up for the loss of church. Do use the great children and youth videos church staff are providing but take note, God has placed you in your child’s life and you are perfectly positioned to be church with them just as you are. You are the best resource for your children right now - I know you’re their only resource but we can’t help that! The coronavirus pandemic is a significant opportunity for us to see God, to connect with Him, to grow in Him and to share His love and to do so WITH our children.
The best way to help your children do this is to let them see your imperfect, yet real, relationship with God. We learn by watching and trying things and developing a relationship with God is no different. Showing them glimpses of your relationship with Him is like giving them a window into a living, but not perfect, relationship.
How to be a window into your imperfect friendship with God.
You don’t have to have deeply spiritual bible studies round the kitchen table, you don’t have to have long prayer meetings at bedtime, you just need to show them you and God together.
Show them how much you love the bible. Perhaps you could choose to read it while the kids are around, rather than during that well-earned moment of peace once they’ve gone to bed?
Verbalise your thoughts instead of just thinking them –only for GOOD Jesus type thoughts of course!
For example, ‘I was feeling so hurt and angry about what Andy said. But after I chatted to God about it, I felt better,’
Thank God for things out loud instead of in your head. Let your children hear the name of Jesus in the right way, refer to Him whenever relevant so it’s a natural thing to do. May seem weird at first but it’s worth it. Use this opportunity of extra time together to tell your children how you came to know Jesus as your friend. Let them be with you as you pray and chat with someone. Pray together little short prayers as soon as you hear a need. Don’t become a constantly victoriously living Christian for whom God always comes up trumps and answers every prayer the way you want. Share your difficulties with them.
Don’t worry about it though and DON’T feel guilty if you feel you’re not performing well enough. Remember there are no ‘shoulds’! There’s no pressure to immediately create glimpses into every area of your life with God – as you get used to the idea, you’ll begin to spot more opportunities.
If you don’t think you’re a good example of a Christian don’t worry. As long as you are on a journey with God, you really are perfectly positioned to take your child on that journey too. What is most powerful for children to see isn’t how ‘good a Christian’ you are, but the reality of your relationship with God. It is incredibly powerful for a child to hear a parent say, for example, that they don’t understand how God works but they do know he’s the most amazing friend. The best way for them to learn is to explore things with you. ENJOY!
Sharon Blair with some ideas taken from the ‘Parenting for Faith’ website.