Asking For a Friend – How to Parent in a Pandemic

by | Aug 19, 2020

I’ve done a lot of things in my life: traveled the globe, started businesses, built bible colleges, finished my doctorate degree, started a church, but nothing compares to being a parent. Nothing is more difficult, makes me lose more sleep or more hair, than parenting. I have four children, and we’re expecting our fifth one this fall. I know parenting can be stressful.

I’ve always heard that stay at home parents have the hardest job in the world, and I never believed it—until this pandemic! I’ve spent more time with my kids than ever before. It’s been some of the best times we’ve had as a family, but it has also revealed to me that I have a lot to learn about how to parent well.

If you’re a parent, I’m sure you feel the same way.

How do you take little humans, developing them into lifelong followers of Jesus that are productive members of society with as little causalities along the way as possible?

I needed a plan, and I think most parents do, so I dove into the Bible to develop one.

3 Timeless Truths for Parenting

1. Parenting is Hard Work

I love my kids, but each one has multiplied the work.

From the beginning the Bible has talked about the hard work of parenting. In Genesis 3 sin enters the world and what is the result of sin: child bearing and child raising become difficult.

The Lord said to Eve, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children” (Genesis 3:16).

Let me just remind you—there is no microwave, fast result, genie in a bottle approach to parenting. What you see on Instagram and Facebook are not reality. You see only a fraction of the story. Its hard work! It’s a lot of prayer, sleepless nights, and a lot of stress. But, there’s good news.

Raising children is a person’s greatest labor, but it is also a person’s greatest legacy.

It will be the thing you are most proud of and the thing you miss most one day.

Psalm 127:3-5

3. Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.
4. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.
5. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.

I know its hard work, but let me remind you its worth it.

2. Parenting Involves Leading

Parenting is not all leading. It’s loving, caring, and laughing. But, if you want to parent well, you need to take your position as the leader of your home.

Edward, Duke of Windsor once said, “The thing that impresses me most about America is the way the parents obey their children.”

Ouch.

More now than ever parents need to assume their role as the leaders of the house. Leaders by definition lead. They know where they need to go, and they have a plan to get there. I know this might sound exhausting, but parents this is your most important work.

Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

That word training is used throughout the new testament as the word discipline or to make fit and qualified. I would compare it sports. If you join a sports team, they have the training season. It’s not the big game yet, but it’s the season where you are training them for what is coming.

We have to give our children a plan: a course, direction, and reminders.

As parents we can’t let our children lead on their own. They can’t figure it out and that’s why God has put us their guides.

Ask yourself: Are you leading your children or are your children leading you?

And parents we need to have the tenacity and drive of Joshua: “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Lead your children into a healthy routine. Routines bring security and health to a family. When there is no routine, there is chaos and disorder. We drift towards unproductiveness.

God is a god of routine. He is consistent, and we are never more like God than when we are consistent. My kids do not naturally fall into a healthy routine. They wake up thinking: feed me, entertain me, and talk to me.

Routines protect kids against themselves. The Bible says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” Proverbs 22:6. Give them healthy habits and it will change their entire life.

Routines should not create stress they should reduce it.

3. Parents Lead Their Children into Genuine Faith

Great parents lead by example.

Children do not need a motto to say, they need a model to follow.


You should have this mindset: I want my kids to be just like me. I want them to know God like I know God, crave church the way I crave church, and worship the way I worship.

Faith isn’t something we do. It’s who we are.

What are you doing to instill genuine faith in God in your children? We are in the midst of one of the greatest crisis’ of a generation, and we can do more now in this season than ever at modeling faith to our children. Remember the goal isn’t to get them into Harvard, its to get them into heaven.

A parent’s priority is to gradually transfer a child’s dependence away from them until it rest solely on God.

We train them, we instruct them, and then we let them soar as life-long followers of Jesus. Look how it worked in the life of Timothy. Paul says, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.” I pray this is what is said about my kids.

We are raising up a legacy of faith, but it has to be led by you. Remember, God will never call you to a situation without giving you the grace to thrive in that situation.

My daily prayer as a parent that I want to invite you to pray is this:

God help me remove the guilt and apply the grace.

Guilt is a weight, but grace is a gift. God has given you the grace to parent your children. Apply these truths of parenting and see how that grace unfolds.

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