Just within the past couple days, we’ve received more bad news about COVID-19. In the beginning, we would just tell our children about an outbreak that’s been going “out there” that affect many people. However as they started to hear more about last minute changes like why their classes got canceled and then there would be no Sunday School meeting for the rest of the month, we knew that we needed to take a bit of a different approach to help them process that information.
I always believe that our job as a parent is to keep building signposts that point our children to Jesus (Deut. 6:7). So in the morning when our daughter’s class got canceled, we thought this would be a good opportunity to bring up that point to them again and spent time together to talk and pray about it.
As we sat together to talk about it, we tried to approach the subject from two sides, the spiritual and the practical.
Point Back to the Bible
The Bible is true when it says because of the Fall, this world and everything in it is cursed, that’s why we have all kinds of difficulties and sufferings in this natural world (Gen. 3:17-19). Unfortunately, getting sick, and even death, is just the reality of life (Job 14:1) but Jesus Christ had completed His work on this earth and conquered death, sin, and satan.
God is sovereign in all of this and He will protect us from evil, including sickness. This does not necessarily mean we will never get sick. But if we do get sick, He can heal us. But even if He did not, we can still trust Him that He has a different plan that is greater than our understanding (Dan. 3:17-18). The point is, it’s okay to ask protection from our Father in Heaven so long as we leave all the decisions to Him (Psalm 91).
We tried to explain what all the confusions were about on their level. We told them (calmly) that we had our concerns and worries too but God was sovereign and good and we could always approach Him with all our worries in prayer. Jesus understood our fears and we could totally surrender everything to Him.
Afterwards, we took turns to pray and let each child pray with whatever concerns they had. Then we prayed for other people who were already affected that they would be given the hope of the Gospel. We also prayed for all who were involved, from the authorities, healthcare workers, caregivers and others, to have strength and wisdom to take care of the sick and do their job to maintain stability. We also prayed so that cure can be found soon.
Singing good hymns is also good in building our faith. Not all songs are created equal, we recommend singing hymns that are based on sound Biblical doctrine.
Finally, we addressed the practical side of it to act on our faith (Jam. 2:14-18).
Our goal to go over the practical is to teach our kids that after we prayed, we still need to do our part and take action as an expression of our faith. Without repeating too much from what have been shared by others, we just want to highlight what we went over with the children about what we can do to guard ourselves from getting sick.
- Have a good hygiene practice by washing hands and not touching face.
- Eating healthy with more fruits and vegetables and less sugary stuff.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Enough sleep.
- Do enough moderate exercise.
- Stay away from people who appear to be sick.
- Reduce unnecessary outside activities in the crowd. And when you do need to be with the crowd, practice “social distancing.”
So some of the teaching points we tried to get across to our kids:
- The Fall caused this world to be cursed by God, so sin, suffering, disease, and even death is part of our reality.
- Jesus Christ came to this earth to save us from our sin and curse.
- If we belong to Christ, we do not need to be afraid because God will always have our best interest.
- We can cast our worries to God and not to worry anymore
- Faith requires action. The way God protects us is also by us taking care of ourselves.
Ultimately, we have to rely on the Holy Spirit to open up their hearts to enable them to see His Truth in times of trouble and use this moment as an opportunity to exercise their faith.