Who would have thought that we would be quarantined in our homes with our families for an extended period of time. Unlike a snow day, which is welcome to many, this is an unprecedented event unlike anything we have ever seen or experienced. How are you doing with all of this? It's a lot to take in on so many levels, right? How are you coping with being at home? How are you interacting with those under your roof? If it has been difficult for you, there is good news from the word of God.
First, it may be helpful to remember that we all will get on each other's nerves sometimes! As parents, we get tired. One of my favorite "tired parent" moments was when one of our daughters, who is now a teen, was about eight years old. It seemed as if she had been calling my husband all day. Her endless questions and ongoing demands for his full attention had really gotten the best of him when she called, "Dad!?, Dad!?" for the gazillionth time, his response was, "I'm going to change my name." To which, her complete literal and concrete reply was, "Okay, shall I call you Father?" Well, at that point, me as the bystander could not keep my laughter quiet. The side-eyed glare from my husband at me, resulted in him laughing too. This diffused the moment and we still laugh about it today.
Second, it may also be helpful to remember that our children are facing their own set of realities. As they are trying to navigate this upheaval in their lives, it's prudent for us as parents to be truthful, open to conversations and dialogue, and empathetic. Recently, one of my daughters flopped down on my bed and exasperatedly declared, "I miss my life!!!" In her world, high school, friends, extracurricular activities are everything. Being a responsive and compassionate ear for her is critical in helping her to cope and overcome in a sound, healthy way.
The reality is, we are all human beings with vastly different personalities, temperaments, thoughts, feelings, behaviors, proclivities, and idiosyncrasies. Yet, each of us is deserving of respect, kindness, dignity, and compassion especially during this most unusual time.
So here are few biblically-based survival tips for surviving quarantine with your family:
- Be Kind to one another (Ephesians 4:32)
- Practice gratitude (I Thessalonians 5:18)
- Seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:14)
- Purpose to live together in unity (Psalm 133:1)
- Let love abound (Hebrews 13:1)
- Watch your words (Colossians 4:6)
- Find a quiet place and take time to be alone (Luke 5:16)
Father, in the name of Jesus, we thank you that even during this time of Covid-19 and quarantine you have given us the tools and the capacity to cope, traverse, and overcome in a way that brings you glory. Thank you that you give us your word as a guide and focal point. Help us to apply the truths of your word as we interact with those closest to us. May they feel your warmth, love, kindness, and compassion at work in us that is evident in all that we do and say. Thank you for opportunities to seek a quiet place and have time alone so that we may replenished and refreshed by you. In Jesus' name, amen.