Photo by Javier Graterol

Parents

Isn’t it odd how much we crave a break when life is so hectic and yet, we complain that there’s nothing to do when virtually all activities from school to sports to church are cancelled? I suppose these two predicaments may be extreme, especially the later one that we find ourselves in right now.

However, the idleness social distancing can lead to does call to my mind Paul’s admonition to make “the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Eph 5:16). In this verse, the verb “making” that Paul chose literally means to redeem–redeem when the hour hand seemingly flies by, and when it drags.

To that end, I’d like to share some resources that I believe will help you redeem the time for God’s glory.

The Bible

Seriously, are you spending time in God’s Word and challenging your children to do the same? Are you gathering your spouse and children for family worship? Are you logging in to Facebook or YouTube for our virtual services on Sunday? If you haven’t read Matt Shirley’s excellent post on this topic, check it out.

The extra time also provides space to commit God’s Word to memory. I challenge you to stay up to date on your Bible memory using our churchwide memory plan.

News

News consumption has grown sharply in the past weeks. How do we sift through the endless stories on the coronavirus? Where can I read a biblical perspective on current issues?

The World and Everything in It is an excellent daily podcast providing a wide range of news coverage with biblically objective journalism at its core. Each episode lasts 30 minutes and is well-worth every minute of it.

This resource would be helpful for parents and older children.

Music

Whether you are musically talented or not, God has hard-wired our brains to resonate with music. In fact, it’s been said before that music is a universal language.

Even without a paid subscription to Spotify, you can access the songs our children at WBC were practicing and listen to them here. You’ll find a wonderful playlist with upbeat songs here (click here for the Apple Music link). These songs would be appropriate for children of all ages.

Seeds Family Worship is another wonderful resource providing free biblically based music.

Sports and More

Thankfully the weather is getting warmer and the kids can get outside more. Connect Ministries has published a helpful document to resource parents with physical activities such as child-friendly construction ideas, indoor and outdoor rec ideas, science projects, craft suggestions, and much more. You’ll find the ideas for kids of all ages here.

Books

As the old saying goes, “Readers are leaders.” What better time to enjoy a good book or two than now? Although I have not personally read each of these books, Justin Taylor shares an extensive list of recommended books for children, preschool through middle school. Taylor is the executive vice president for books at Crossway, a Christian publishing company. You can read the list with direct links to Amazon here.

If you’re lost where to begin, here are some recommendations, which include books you may have seen on the church’s bookstall or received from the church one of the past Decembers as a gift from the church to young families:

TV

I saved this one for last because I know how tempting it can be to let screen time dominate our lives, especially in a season like now. At the same time, I’m thankful for a TV, even without my personal favorites like March Madness and Braves baseball. With sports being off the table for now, I’m leaning heavily on others’ recommendations for good shows and movies. One post that I will recommend is Brett McCracken’s 30 Edifying Things to Watch When Stuck at Home.

I’d love to hear how you’re filling your time these days. Feel free to share ideas with me and other parents in our church family. No matter what, though, let’s aim to seize each day for God’s glory and our good!

Steven