With the headlines and news reports about the COVID-19 or coronavirus, it’s easy for anxiety and fear to set in. With schools closing, March Madness being canceled and the president’s address, this is a real threat to our communities. As parents, our job is to protect our kids from threats. This is one of the reasons why the phrase “Mama Bear” exists. By nature, we are protectors.
Aside from cleaning our homes, washing our hands and keeping our kids away from large-group gatherings, there is an important opportunity for us in the midst of the chaos. An opportunity to talk to our kids about some hard things going on in the world around us. Chances are, they have questions about what’s happening and feelings that they do not know how to express. If you are honest, you probably have questions and feelings too.
In the midst of this pandemic, you can leverage the coming days for discipleship. Here are five questions or conversation starters in light of the coronavirus.
1. Who do we trust?
We trust the Lord. He is on his throne and no matter what is going on around us we put our trust of Him. He is faithful and true. He is not surprised by any of this and we trust Him. Ask your kids, “Who do we trust?” Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” No matter what happens in the days ahead, Jesus remains the same.
2. Are you afraid of what’s going on?
Asking this question may get a simple answer of “No” and that’s ok. Let it pass and do not insight fear into your kids but if they say anything else, have the conversation. Talk about what they are afraid of, what they are hearing and what they think is happening. You don’t have all the answers, sometimes just verbalizing our fears gives us hope that they do not control the situation. John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful.” Jesus is the giver of peace. Help your kids see this peace in the middle of fear.
3. What can we do for those affected?
This is a great opportunity to pray. Pray for those who are sick and for those in the medical field working hard to find a solution to this problem. Pray for a cure, an antidote to the COVID-19. We can also talk about all the families who may have lost a loved one around the world. If you have younger kids, they may not understand this, but for those who are older, this is a great time to talk about grief and the hope we have in Jesus. Psalm 62:5 says, “Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him.” We can rest in our hope.
4. What should we do?
This one is easy, follow the rules that the CDC has told us to follow. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face and sneeze into your arm. What we can do from our homes is pray. Again, this is a great opportunity to teach your kids about prayer and the power of prayer. Prayer is an invitation to go to the Lord on behalf of others, it is also a way to posture our hearts to relying on the Lord. 1 John 5:14 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” We serve a God that not only loves us but he also hears us. Help your kids know that the Lord hears their voice.
5. Did you know that Mom/Dad is __________________?
Use discretion on this conversation. Know your kids and what they can handle. One of the best ways to open lines of communication is to find a common ground. Chances are, you have questions and feelings about what is going on. Open up with your kids, things like “Did you know that dad is worried about the stock market?” Honestly, I am worried about the financial ramifications of all of this, so I can share my thoughts and feelings. This may not apply to every kid, but letting your guard down lets your kids know they are not alone. On this one, we can point our kids back to the first question, who do we trust?
Who do we trust?