As we watch the latest news about the coronavirus pandemic, those of us who are Christian husbands and fathers have a unique opportunity to step up and be the spiritual leaders of our homes. Because God is sovereign and in total control of all things, this is not a time for fear or panic, but rather a time to put our faith in God into action on behalf of the ones closest to our hearts, as well as all those we influence.
Three simple “steps” you can take as a husband/father:
STEP UP—Take the initiative to have a family meeting in which you lead a constructive discussion (with everyone participating as much as possible) about…
- What is going on around the world, the country, and your area regarding the virus and how it has impacted people (use age appropriate language and imagery).
- What questions, concerns, fears each family member might have.
- What God says in his Word about such questions, concerns, fears (discuss such Scriptures as Psalms 23, 46, 91, Mark 4:35-41, Romans 8:31-39, Philippians 4:4-7)
- How you will respond as a family to this challenge in practical ways that honor Jesus.
Then lead your wife and family in prayer for the world, nation, your area, your family and friends.
STEP IN—Take the initiative to spend one-on-one time with each family member in private, asking them their thoughts/concerns and how you can be praying for them.
Then lay your hand on their shoulder and pray for them specifically.
STEP OUT—Take the initiative to demonstrate what a Servant Leader (like Jesus) looks like in action.
- Do household chores you normally may not do (make a meal, take out the garbage, help with homework, etc.)
- Brainstorm together ways your family might help neighbors who need assistance during this time.
Then follow through with that help.
Remember, you can’t give what you do not have, so take time to fill your own “spiritual tank” by spending some daily “quiet time” with the Lord, reading his Word and praying for his wisdom and courage in leading your marriage and family. For “such a time as this” God has you exactly where he wants you to be.
Having served as a pastor for 30 years himself, Bob Shull has a special heart for pastors, ministry leaders, and their families.