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Discipling Kids in a Season of Quarantine

by Sam Heaton on March 30, 2020

Hey parents!

My heart hopes this finds you well & rested, but my head knows that you’re probably trying to help one kid with a school packet while making sure the other doesn’t try to grab the ceiling fan during your 3rd Zoom meeting of the day while at the same time the thought crosses your head that it’d be good to eat lunch at some point since it’s already 1pm. While I don’t exactly share your struggle, I see you & am sincerely praying for you all. 

I’m sure that at some point you’ve logged on to some social media and have seen couples & singles without kids talking about what they’re doing with all their quarantine time, which promptly tempted you to throw rotten fruit at them (from a 6ft distance, of course). So I hope this doesn’t come across as a “look, you have all this time! DO MORE STUFF!” kind of thing. However, in spite of the many many negatives of this quarantine, we belong to a God that loves to part waters when enemies rush in, make mustard seeds move mountains, and breathe life into the dustiest, dryest of bones. I believe some amazing things will be done and Kingdom movement will happen in this season. 

Specifically for our kids, my prayer is that years down the road they say, “Looking back, I know mom & dad were full of worry & stress, and had a thousand reasons to be. But all I remember is that this was a special time when I felt closer to God and my crazy family than ever before.” I hope this is your prayer, too. 

To that end, I’d like to encourage you in your family devotions. Some of you do this already, some of you don’t; either way, now’s prime time for it. The primary discipler in your kids’ lives should not be me (or Mike, or Tim for that matter). The Biblical direction (supported by numerous studies on kids who keep the faith into adulthood) is that parents should be primarily responsible for the discipleship of their kids. I don’t say this to shame anyone - there’s a fountain of grace for our failures, and all of us will fall short in one way or another in this area. Grace gives us the power to get up and, in the power of the Spirit, get moving. And family devotions are a great way to get moving. 

The best way to start is to, well, start. A good word on doing family devos comes from Dwight Schrute in The Office: “Michael always says to me, K-I-S-S, ‘Keep it simple, stupid.’ Great advice, hurts my feelings every time.” If you’re just getting started, don’t make this an elaborate, complicated thing. Keep it stupid simple (I don’t want to hurt your feelings). Read a passage of scripture and pray together. Or, read a passage of scripture and talk about it, ask a few questions, and pray. If you want to do more after getting that rhythm down, go for it. Get creative and fun with it. Break out the sheets and pillow forts and reenact the Bible story. But do stuff in a way that you can stick with doing these for the long haul. 

Whether you’ve been doing this (or something like this) for awhile or not, I’ve included a bunch of resources to help you out below, divided between stuff for you, stuff you can use for devotionals, and stuff for kids that have some down time. Please note that some of these are extensive resources that I haven’t fully used - as always, use discernment. If I can be of any help to you in this, or any other area, please let me know. 

Resources for Parents

Resources for Family / Kids Devos

  • Aside from reading the Bible itself of course, here are some of the best books you can use.
          Story Bibles:

Resources for Kids + Free Time