Raising children in the midst of a pandemic

There is a lot parents could be doing in this season to raise a generation that follows in the footsteps of Christ

This season of Covid-19 has not been a walk in the park for most families. After the government shut down schools and with many parents working from home, life’s hustle and bustle suddenly slowed down. As a result, families have spent more time together and unique parenting challenges have surfaced, with some bitter lemons coming our way. However, we can choose to make some pretty good lemonade!

Jesus had a normal childhood growing up with the same progression every parent desires for their child. In the midst of this Covid-19 storm, parents can borrow a leaf from the upbringing and childhood of the Messiah as they nurture their children to be seasoned in all aspects of life.

Mentally, Jesus grew in wisdom and at a young age sat with teachers and priests of the temple to listen to the scriptures being taught, absorbing the discussions with religious leaders, asking probing questions and gathering knowledge. His wisdom astounded the teachers.

As parents we need to do all we can to let our children develop diverse perspectives and have a proper world view to gain an understanding of the realities of life and how the world works. The world is changing hence the need to gather information on new knowledge. As children go back to school, their efforts should not only be geared towards gaining gold and silver but also wisdom.

Ever thought of challenging your child to learn a new skill this season? It could be writing a script, typing, first aid or playing the guitar… anything that adds value and unclogs the mind.

On matters health, have you noticed that the household food budget has skyrocketed in recent months? Snacking habits have kept out taste buds entertained while waist lines have taken on new shapes. Fitness routines, balanced diets and rest is a good place to start to build the kind of health that will increase the length and quality of our lives.

Jesus grew in stature as He helped His father in his carpentry business. In His adulthood, He frequently walked with His disciples. I bet the cross He carried was made of heavy wood and some considerable strength was required. Our children should be encouraged to get up and run because they are youthful, and parents could join in – do something fun as a family like learning the Jerusalema dance challenge!

It is written that we should seek first the Kingdom of God. Our children should know God not academically but intimately. Family members can take turns to lead a time of devotion that includes sharing the word, praying and singing or anything else that glorifies the Lord. A legacy of Christian faith is the best gift children can get as they will grow in the fear of the Lord, knowing their true identity is in Christ Jesus and loving the Almighty God with body, mind and soul. Imagine raising a generation that knows the Lord and is not afraid of being His witnesses and sharing the gospel to the ends of the earth!

James reminds us not to merely listen to the word, thereby deceiving ourselves, but to do what it says because we will be blessed in what we do. Finding life in Christ translates to obtaining favour from God (Proverbs 8:35); favour lasts a lifetime (Psalm 30:5) and prospers the work of our hands so that whatever we set our efforts on, God will surely bless it.

It is said that a good network of relationships is evidence of a child who has grown in grace and is accepted by men and women. Healthy emotions, loyalty and faithfulness, a heart of gratitude and a diet of kindness result in stable individuals. Children from privileged backgrounds should not grow with an entitlement attitude but should be taught the value of work whereas children from less privileged background should not grow up believing they deserve pity. When things return to normal, our children should engage in community service to build social skills. Let us avoid breeding academic giants and social dwarfs!

I pray that God will continue to guide us and grant us wisdom as we raise our children so they grow in wisdom and stature, gaining favour with God and man.