At home with your family? Isolated from friends and community? Actually, God designed family to be the epitome of communal strength and enduring relationship. Family can do more than offset the isolation of social distancing; if you let it. You know, those people you live with that are driving you crazy? Those are your people.
These are the relationships that continue far beyond Covid-19 and they will be the ones you share all the memories with in thirty years about what happened when you ran out of toilet paper and how a state representative told people to use a blow dryer to heat up their nose to keep from getting sick. You’ll probably be telling the next generation too.
Here’s a raw truth: isolation is detrimental. Isolation leaves us at the mercy of our own dark and deceitful heart and – heaven forbid – the news channels. The enemy has free reign to twist and manipulate our thoughts and memories when no one is there to be a sounding board of truth; no one to keep us grounded. The downward spiral is swift.
According to Psychology Today, individuals placed in solitary confinement experience “perceptual disturbances, hallucinations, and derealisation experiences; affective disturbances, such as anxiety and panic attacks; difficulties with thinking, memory and concentration, the emergence of fantasies such as revenge… paranoia,” and so on.
But you aren’t in solitary confinement. You are quarantined at home with your family. While you would probably appreciate some personal space right about now, consider this a blessing and this moment a gift.
God places family and community at the forefront of our list of priorities. We are called to live in community with each other and not give up meeting together. The bond of meeting together, sharing struggles, meals, joys and sorrows is the essence of life and needs to be the center of every family.
We can become so busy pouring into the outer ring of community such as work, bible studies, church, and other various ministries and hobbies that we neglect to nurture the greatest (and most immediate) community God has given us: family. This is a special time in history when we can dive into that bond and nurture the parched branches of our marriages, children, brothers and sisters.
Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-26, Matthew 18:21-22, 19:3-6, 1 Timothy 23:2-5 and pray Hebrews 10:24-25.
As we strive to do family God’s way, consider the verses above and compare how God instructs His family (the Church) to interact and the way your family interacts. What are some of the differences? Similarities? What can you do different? What do you do well?
What is something you can do right now to take advantage of this time and strengthen the bond of your family?
Lord, during this quarantine, help our family to become more like yours by considering, “how to stir up one another to love and good works.” And when it is over, “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but [to continue] encouraging one another.”