I’m a new Dad. At least, I think I still am. My daughter is four going on 20, and my son is not quite one. In this time of quarantine I’ve found myself doing things I never expected. It’s not like I’m doing anything remarkable; but for me, they are brand new adventures. I’ve started running and have discovered that while it’s the worst, it also is somehow kind of great. I’ve discovered I like making eggs for my family and I like knowing I can successfully make one kind of food my kids will eat.
Most significantly though, my wife and I have begun far more intentional discipleship with our kids. While our family is young, we think God has given us a tremendous gift of time together to build rhythms and practices that we hope will help our children meet Jesus in their own unique ways. It is likely my daughter’s first memory will come from this quarantine season, and my wife and I are trying to make it count while also leaning into how God has uniquely made our kids.
My daughter is a scientist. She has a deep passion for people and a curiosity about all things that don’t make sense to her, a list that seems to be getting smaller every day. She loves the Bible and is asking big questions about stories I had never even heard of until I was in my early 20s. When the quarantine started, I watched her brain process and mourn the loss of routine, and I was amazed at how quickly she found new joy in FaceTime calls, Zoom hangouts, and socially distant play dates. She has adapted, learned so much, and is becoming resilient to forces outside her control.
My son is a tank. I’m pretty sure it is scientifically proven he is so loud that if you’re really quiet as you read this – no matter where you are in the world – you can hear him fighting me as I’m trying to put him down for a nap. I know he’s still a baby, but I can already picture how God might use him for His kingdom. In this time of quarantine, I’ve watched God stitch him together day by day, and I pray he and I will be able to recapture the slowness of this time as he grows up.
I believe that my kids discipleship journey starts with my wife and me leaning into God’s plan and His control, and continuing to do so even when life starts to feel more “normal" again. The work of child discipleship is slow, and I am so grateful my wife and I have begun this journey in earnest during a time when the frenetic pace of so many households – ours included – has been slowed down to only what’s necessary.
For those of you reading this who are dads like me, I want to end with a message of encouragement. Keep leaning in to the slower pace we have all learned during the past couple of months. I don’t know if I’ll keep running when all this is done, but I do know the slow work of child discipleship isn’t going to stop when the world picks its pace back up. For kids to develop resilient faith we must keep paying attention to them and leaning on our perfect Father whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light. I hope you join me in that journey.