Monday Morning Musings is a hodgepodge of contemplations as I begin a new week. Check-in every Monday morning to receive a myriad of thoughts from my vapid brain.
When COVID Came to the Powers House
For several days the Powers family has been on COVID-19 lockdown. My wife and I tested positive for the Rona Virus. As a result, we pulled our kids from activities, and we cleared our calendars. For the record, I have no love for the bipolar nature of the CDC. In my view, their recommendations and policies have been political and inconsistent since early 2020. Nonetheless, we are following their recommended guidelines. Lord willing, we will reemerge into society in due time.
I don’t want to give all my opinion on masks, the COVID vaccines, the WHO, unelected bureaucratic health officials, or the CDC (other than what I have already stated). Oh, I have opinions on all of the above, but I’ll exert a little self-control. I have more pressing matters to discuss.
I also don’t want someone to read this and think I am insensitive to those who have had COVID but have suffered in more severe ways. My motive is to share what God is currently doing in the Powers family. I want to share how God’s providence fits into the reality of COVID coming to the Powers house.
Moments after receiving positive tests, I chatted with my wife about the providence of God. In God’s providence, we received COVID. For several months prior, our lives had been busy. Real busy. Before receiving COVID, my wife and I remarked how we needed to slow down and create more space. What are our priorities? What does God say about how we prioritize all the “things” of life?
Yes, being sick is no fun. There was a 24-hour spell that was quite miserable. But there have been many other hours when we have played multiple games with the kids. Uno is a current favorite. We had family worship on Sunday, where my oldest child learned and lead three hymns on the piano. I shared with the family the story of Nicodemus and Jesus in John 3. During the wretched 24-hour COVID spell, the kids made us dinner because they knew we didn’t want to get up. And it was the best mac and cheese I have ever tasted! My kids desired to serve their mom and dad, and the opportunity happened because of COVID.
All of this is God’s providence on display. God gave us COVID, and while it has not always been great, we have taken the opportunity to build relationships with one another. We have had the chance to slow down. Lord willing, we will emerge into society having learned these valuable lessons.
Modeling the Christian Faith
I have an additional musing for this Monday. In recent weeks I have been pondering a lot about ecclesiology. If you don’t know what ecclesiology means, it’s the study of the church. The topic of ecclesiology is deep and wide. Tomes have been written solely to describe the nature and role of the church. For now, I want to focus on the importance of parents modeling the priority of the local church to the children. How and what parents prioritize begins in the home. Before continuing my rant let’s remember this verse from Deuteronomy.
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. – Deuteronomy 6:4–7– Deuteronomy 6:4–8
Deuteronomy 6:4–7 connects with parental modeling in the following way. Modeling is a way children are taught about the Lord. Parents model what they believe by what they say, do, when they sleep, and as they “walk by the way.” In other words, kids are taught by the rhythms of everyday life. Now on to the rest of my rant.
Kids are Watching
Here is an underrated thought for parents: your kids are watching, and your kids observe more than you realize. For example, how one spouse speaks to the other spouse will have an impact on their kids. If a spouse treats the other one like a jerk, then you’ll raise jerky kids. Every parent looks at their kids and realizes they are looking into a mirror. There is more to parenting than how a husband and wife speak to one another, but the primary point is that kids observe take on much of what parents model.
Now let’s tie this into faith. How parents model faith is critical. Kids are watching how their parents prioritize their faith. When it comes to church – remember the word, ecclesiology – kids are watching to see if you prioritize what you confess.
The 3rd Commandment
In Exodus 20, we read.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.– Exodus 20:8–11
Did you know that other than the 1st Commandment, the 3rd Commandment received the lengthiest explanation? Before all the moderate to non Sabbatatarians get their undies in a bunch, you need to remember that most church history reads this commandment and considers it applicable to the current times. The hard-core Sabbatarians say that everything but church attendance is off-limits on Sunday. I am not looking to explain my position on the Sabbath, but I want to make an observation.
There has been a massive shift in the American church culture. In a relatively short amount of time (30 years-ish??), church members no longer prioritize church attendance. Church is now an add-on. It’s a part of a routine. It’s a place you see other people. And less and less, it’s not an opportunity to corporately encounter God with a spiritual family. And kids are watching their parents minimize the significance of the local church.
No Swimming on Sundays
During COVID in 2020, I began to swim laps with my oldest kiddo, and it was during this time when I realized she is part fish and part human. Eventually, there was a conversation about her joining the local swim team. One day she and I finished swimming laps, and we happened to cross paths with a swim coach. She encouraged Chloe to try out and she eventually made the team. But I had several questions in that moment, and one of them was about swim meets and practices on Sundays. I explained to the coach that practicing our faith is essential, and while I will push my daughter to work hard and compete well, swimming can never become a priority over the church.
The Take Over of Youth Sports
Here is the bottom line. Youth sports and activities have taken over Sundays, and as a result, Christian parents are placed into a position to decide what is more important: spiritual matters or athletics? Church or swimming practice? And you know what, parents? Your kids are taking note of what you are prioritizing.
It’s Not Just Parents with Kids
I know it’s not just parents with kids who face prioritization pressure. Any Christian and church member faces pressure at home or from other activities that intersect with the local church. And choices have to be made, and the choices you make reveal your priorities.