Schools are closing. Meetings are canceled. People are panicking. And toilet paper has become the most valuable commodity of our day—Ladies and gentlemen, the Coronavirus has indeed arrived.
Take The Virus Serious But Don’t Panic
Although the internet is booming with hilarious memes about the Coronavirus that are hard not to share, we should take it seriously (but please don’t panic). As always, we should love one another and consider our responsibility towards each other (Mark 12:31). We should especially consider the elderly and sick who are more likely to experience the negative effect of the virus.
So please do follow the CDC’s guide to protect yourself and others. And P L E A S E leave some toilet paper for the rest of us (seriously).
The World Has Slowed Down
During this time, many families have been asked to stay home everywhere around the world. It feels weird. It’s almost like the world has slowed down. Maybe that’s a good thing because life is usually very busy. So busy that personal contact and meaningful conversation has become a rare commodity. And technology isn’t helping as it seems to be pulling us further and further apart. So when we consider these unusual circumstances, why not make the best use of it?
If you are forced to stay home or somewhat confined to your home during the next couple of weeks, here are three things you can do at home with your family.
1. Enjoy and Get to Know Your Family
Many families experience distance between each other because of busy schedules. Parents and their kids often don’t eat any meals together anymore, and when they do, they don’t talk. So since many are forced to spend more time home, why not get to know your wife and children. Ask your wife her name if you have forgotten it. Ask your children personal questions about their likes, fears, dreams and worries. Find out what fun things your kids like to do. Read the Bible and pray together. Play board games. Tell stories. Build a cool blanket fort. Crack up jokes with each other. Do something to enjoy and get to know your family and build meaningful memories.
Here is a list of fun activities you can do with your family (My wife came up with 9 and 10).
- Board games and puzzles.
- Wrestle with your kids.
- Do obstacle courses (Yes, the floor can become dangerous lava).
- Eat bread buns and drink hot chocolate.
- Tell each other stories.
- Make homemade playdough.
- Clean the house and do laundry
- Do all the house projects that you never finished.
- ^…Where is the fun in 9 and 10?
2. Turn Off Your Devices
…But not yet. Do it after you have read this article. Our devices are often like that one awkward person who always interrupts our conversation. Our phones especially separate us from others even when we are right next to each other. So why not find a basket and place it in your home somewhere that isn’t central and then put your phone in it (and maybe even turn it off).
At first, you might need to detox and experience the side effects as any drug addict at a rehab center. Once you are over the shock of not having a bacteria-infected block of metal in your hand, you can do something more meaningful. Write a journal. Begin projects you never got started like your “Honey Do” (again, my wife’s suggestion). Finish the book you never completed. Help your kids with their homework. Spent an extended time in prayer. Read through a book in the Bible. Or study a theological topic you always wanted to know more about.
Do something, but something other than being on your device. Please do fill free to use your creativity if you still find something left in the tank.
3. Rediscover Family Worship
Family worship has been a normal part of family life throughout church history. Families would daily come together to read the Bible, sing and pray to the Lord. But in our modern age, daily private worship has been lost today to corporate worship once a week. That’s why we must rediscover family worship. Charles Spurgeon so rightly said,
“If we want to bring up a godly family, who shall be a seed to serve God when our heads are under the clods of the valley, let us seek to train them up in the fear of God by meeting together as a family for worship.”
Fathers and husbands consider how you can begin having daily family worship with your wife and children–And then do it. My family has our family worship in the morning. We spend time reading the Bible together. I ask my wife and kids questions about what we read. Then we sing a hymn or worship song before we spent time praying to our heavenly Father. It’s very simple yet extremely powerful.
Getting Started With Family Worship
Below are a couple of questions you can ask yourself as you consider starting daily family worship.
- What time during the day works best for us as a family to have 10-15 min together to read God’s Word, sing and pray.
- What Bible book or passage or family worship devotional will best help us grow as a family at this stage of our life (small kids vs. older kids, etc.).
- How can I best involve my wife and kids during our Bible time (nobody likes a one-way dialog–Ask my kids).
Good, short books on family worship
- Family Worship: In the Bible, in History & in Your Home by Donald Whitney
- Family Worship (Family Guidance) by Joel Beeke
The Bottom Line
God is sovereign and in control of everything that happens in the world down to the smallest detail—Even the microscopic Coronavirus. So don’t worry, but trust your heavenly Father through this season (Matt 6:25-34). Enjoy and get to know your family. Turn off your devices. Rediscover family worship. Make every second count for all eternity, and make sure to do it for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31).
“The Christian need not dread sickness, for he has nothing to lose, but everything to gain, by death.” – Spurgeon
Join The Conversation
Comment below and share what you are doing at home with your family during this Coronavirus outbreak.