At the start of this school year, I saw a video of a music teacher expressing how she feels about distanced learning. Wanting to demonstrate through song, she began strumming a pleasant tune on her ukulele with a smile on her face …
Then, without warning, she unleashed an agonizing scream!
Can you relate to her 2020 school-year vibes?
Every year has its challenges, but this has been one of a kind. Are you and your kids feeling a bit tossed about by the challenges of the year and in need of an anchor?
What if you decided to anchor this school year in Scripture?
The stability of Scripture this school year
In my early school days, my mom crafted a simple melody, quickly coined as our “family song.” It paraphrased Psalm 119:9-11 for lyrics: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
These particular verses reminded me to anchor myself in God’s Word, during the school year and otherwise. It helped solidify my confidence in Scripture as a sure stability and aid for living a God-honoring life. Befriending the Bible keeps you steady.
Especially with so many kids “working from home” right now, what an opportunity you have to point them to God’s Word! Each month you could focus on a different passage to dwell on and…
- bring it up in your prayers.
- text it to your older kids once a week.
- challenge everyone to memorize it together.
- find a podcast on the month’s verse and listen while you’re driving to the store together.
- talk about it at the dinner table.
There are so many incredible passages you could pick, but here are a few verses and theme suggestions to pray and think on this school year:
“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15)
I’ve held fast to this verse for the last year. When I’m racing to keep up and weary from trying, it reminds me to physically and spiritually pause. Let this verse remind your kids to rest in God this school year. Resting looks like giving up our pride, submitting to God’s lead, and trusting in His timing.
“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1).
Do you think to praise God? My Mom would have me and my sister popcorn off different attributes of God to give Him praise and remind ourselves of His character. Things like: Creator, Loving, Gentle, Forgiving. What habits of praising God can you instill in your family this school year?
“What must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:30-31).
What a beautifully simple truth. Maybe this school year will be the one your child believes in Jesus. Give your children space to ask questions and pray your children will believe in Jesus, not just know about him.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).
School years are rifled with opportunities for endurance. Hours facing a screen … math problem after math problem … navigating school drama. What if you helped your kids reframe their “trials” as opportunities to boost endurance? Think of it as a superpower!
I’ve had this verse taped to my bathroom mirror since junior high, and it’s repeatedly reminded me how to respond to trials.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Talk about needing to trust Him—2020 has supplied ample occasion for that. But you can paint this season for your family as a chance to lean on God’s understanding, not our own. Pray together for trusting hearts.
“… and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).
Let January be a time of hope. And not in a “I hope 2021 is better than last year” kind of way. Renew your hope in the sufficiency of God’s love and the salvation He’s extended. Like Paul says, hope isn’t shameful or unreasonable. It’s the appropriate response to God’s sure love for us.
If you’re feeling the need for renewed hope this year, consider now these four prayers for the new year.
“Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods” (Psalm 95:2-3).
My parents taught me a song about this verse and I still sing it in the shower (if you haven’t noticed, music is a brilliant way to memorize Scripture). Thanksgiving is not just a smattering of words, but a posture of our heart that you can help instill in your kids this school year.
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).
Although this school year is overwhelming, have you let it dry up your bones? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you seek joy instead of doom and gloom. Joy is a choice.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
Particularly with siblings and spouses, kindness can be a challenge. While we’re utterly dependent on the Holy Spirit for any kind of kindness, a visual and verbal reminder here and there can help bring kindness to your minds this school year.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
All in all, we can attempt to make these virtues part of our life, but without abiding in Christ we’re incapable of anything. This is a great verse to pray over (and with) your children every day during the school year: that they would bear fruit by abiding in Christ, leaning on Him as their source of strength.
There’s nothing more valuable to your child this school year than hiding the Word of God in their hearts. See the impact a few intentional moments this year can make!
Copyright © 2020 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.
Lauren Miller serves on staff with FamilyLife as a writer in Little Rock, Arkansas, though she’ll always be a California girl. She graduated from Biola University and the Torrey Honors Institute where the Lord first planted in her a love for family and marriage ministry. As a single, she loves serving the youth at her church, watching British dramas, and reading a good book in her free time.