Updated: Mar 19, 2020
I am sure many of you find yourselves on several of these lists:
"Work from home"
"Newly founded home school dad"
"Creative director of in-home activities"
"Director of chaos control"
and many more
These are unprecedented times in our country and in the lives of us all. What this means is that we have an unprecedented opportunity to "train up our children in the way they should go." The environment and attitude that we approach each of the coming days with will impact our homes and kids in fantastically drastic ways.
The time we have "with" our kids, being in the same space for what seems like a decent amount of time, has obvious challenges as you all try to adapt to an entirely new work/life balance. I believe, in the midst of all of this, that the Lord has planted an opportunity right in our laps. Brothers, our kids will be looking to us, looking to our attitudes, to our perspectives. Will we display trust and reliance on our Heavenly Father? Will we allow the stress of a completely new world shake our faith? Will we be fun, loving, caring and understanding earthly fathers, or will we choose a prickly, stressed out and impatient attitude?
As I type this I know what kind of men you are - you are men who want to be a blessing to your kids. I know that you trust our Father in heaven...but I also know we are in uncharted waters, and in a constant state of new updates which seem to postpone "normal" further and further out. With all this I want to share a couple thoughts from scripture, and then an encouragement.
Exodus 35:35 says, "He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver—by any sort of workman or skilled designer."
Colossians 3:23 says, "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."
These two verses I see as a challenge in this new environment we find ourselves in. God, in Exodus, says that provided the skills, creativity to do the work he wanted accomplished at that time. That work for us is whatever calling is currently on our lives as employees, husbands and dads. God has given us the skills and is equipping us to do what he has set before us (Heb 13:20- 21; 2 Tim 3:16-17).
Second, in Colossians we see a challenge from Paul about "whatever" we do. The word "whatever" holds in it an inexactness which can be haunting. It covers anything and everything, no matter the circumstance. It is truly all-encompassing. There is not an area God has set before us men that He does not desire us to do our very best in. With these two verses I see an opportunity for us dads in our current environment.
Brothers, God has given us skill for this very situation. God tells us to do "whatever" heartily unto the Lord. This includes being a "work from home, chaos controlling, home schooling, creative director, dad".
If all this feels overwhelming to you...well good, it should. We can't do this on our own. We need help! Thankfully God has promised help. In 2 Corinthians 9:8 Paul writes "God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work”. Brothers, God has promised "all sufficiency" and to make "all grace abound to you."
As we walk into each day in this new and crazy environment we find ourselves in, remember God has gifted you for the work. He desires that "whatever" you do, you do unto Him. He has promised to be your provision for this time and task.
Below are some ideas to invest in your families and make some fun out of this time we have with our kids. I pray they are a blessing to you and your family!
Awesome Dad Status idea list
Paper Airplane mini golf
Everyone makes paper airplanes and you make areas of the house “holes” where the planes need to hit, land or go through.
Sit down and build legos together
Make themes (city, country, space, movies, etc)
Next level dad-hood - grab a stop motion app from the app store and use your lego builds to do a stop motion movie with your kids.
If you have a smart TV, look up some Kids Just Dance videos. If you have Spotify, here is the playlist from parents night out - PARENTS NIGHT OUT PLAYLIST Works great for dance party music.
If you don’t have any, make one together with your kids. Each kid can take turns coming up with rules…note this will get very interesting quickly :-)
Read some books together
Here is a pretty solid list of ebooks curated by goodreads: EBOOKS LIST
The Thankful ABC’s
Using each letter of the alphabet, share what you are thankful for.
DubSmash app - this helps you make some lip-sync videos together. (Note: you'll want to select them yourself rather than letting your kids scroll through).