Today, I competed in a noon ping-pong tournament in my pajamas while eating leftover pizza. I went on walks with three of my four kids. I ran the dishwasher twice. Our day also included Zoom Wars—the dreaded competitions when more than one kid has an online meeting.
Like you, COVID-19 has brought a weird new normal to our home. It’s also brought lots of idle time—and bored kids are fighting kids. I just broke up an argument that was headed for a Cain and Abel situation over the remote.
Grace for Your Family when You’re in Quarantine
We didn’t invite this quarantine into our homes, but it does bring a lot of opportunity. Usually, efficiency is priority in our families. We settle our fights quickly so we can rush to the next soccer practice or the next meeting. But now, we suddenly have all this time together and no place to go. Could these long days be a chance to change the culture of efficiency in our homes to a culture of grace?
And could that change everything?
Grace for Your Unique Quarantine
The good news is that your family’s quarantine doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. Your crew gets to be its own unique blend of crazy and wonderful. Shoot for vulnerability during these long days. Let your people be who they really are. And then love them as they are.
In our home, the same Monopoly game has lasted three days. Some of our kids are so competitive that we have to “stop and talk through this” when things get ugly (and that happens a lot). We’ll finish the game eventually, but for now, we’re learning (slowly!) that insulting other players isn’t okay.
Pinterest would have you believe that a quarantine means snuggling up to build epic Lego castles together. Our house looks very different than that. Two of the Hergenrader kids need long stretches of silence or they get irritable. One extraverted child needs to talk from sunrise to sunset, and another needs twelve hugs before lunch. When the rest of us give them grace for what they need, they feel seen. This is real connection; this is the grace we all crave.
Quarantine days feel hard because this is a tough situation—not because you’re doing it wrong.
Rooted in God’s Grace
Crisis is a magnet that pulls up deep feelings, and the world is in crisis right now. The people in your house are mourning a different April that didn’t happen. That April was full of parties and games and days spent with friends.
Right now, your kids need lots of grace—for each other, for themselves, and for this new normal. Where will they find it? Check out Ephesians 3:14–21. This is the love that is deeper than everything else we know. This is the grace that will get us through COVID-19.
Take this chance to add new faith practices to your home. Read a devotion every day. Keep a prayer journal. Tell Alexa to play worship music.
During this quarantine, fill your house up with the sustaining love of God. Show your kids that crisis is also a new opportunity to depend on God’s strength.
It’s so hard to see the three thousand-foot view of this situation when you’re worried about your dwindling toilet paper supply. But easier days are coming.
Think about the first Easter two thousand years ago. The disciples believed that the Romans had won. They were locked in the upper room scared and second-guessing everything they had witnessed about Jesus. They were mourning.
And then? Jesus showed up and absolutely blew His friends’ minds by standing right there in front of them, showing the deep holes in His hands. Joy had returned. It turns out that God had a bigger plan the whole time.
Pray for Easter morning grace in your home, even if the fights feel as black as Good Friday night right now. Yes, you are frustrated with your spouse, your kids can be so cruel to each other, and your patience was used up a few days ago. But this will not last forever.
Remember, joy comes in the morning. And the gift of this season can be a real understanding of God’s grace that is ever present. The gift of this season can be grace upon grace for each other.
That is exponential grace.
That is a culture of grace.
That is a gift to your family.
Create a culture of grace in your family while in a season of constant togetherness.