The Corona Survival Guide For Parents


Start and end with grace

Question: What’s the definition of a hot mess?

Answer: Trying to video chat while your three-year-old is in the room.

I’m not sure if the folks at Webster will agree with my definition, but I have a hunch that you will. Being a parent was already hard, but the coronavirus has made parenting more difficult than skiing a double-black-diamond course.

On one leg.

With an eye patch.


While humming NSync’s greatest hits.

From the endless cycle of shopping, cooking, and washing dishes to the impossible task of being productive while full-time parenting, many of us are facing a unique challenge in our lives as mothers and fathers. 

Which is why we need a survival guide. For the next few days, I want to fuel up your soul by reminding you of God’s truth, especially his empowering promises to sustain his people, parents included.

Here’s my first encouragement—Start and end with grace.

There’s so much for parents to do. My wife, a wonderfully organized woman, has to-do lists for herself, to-do lists for our daughters, and even a to-do list to create other to-do lists! Because there’s always so much to do and always to-dos that we never get around to doing.

That’s why we’re in desperate need of what’s already been done. 

Years ago, I noticed a pattern in the letters of the apostle Paul. He would both start and end his letters with “grace,” the undeserved love of God that finished our salvation on the cross. No matter how long the Christian living to-do list was in the middle, he sandwiched it with grace.

“Grace and peace to you. . . . The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you” (Romans 1:7; 16:20).

“Grace and peace to you. . . . The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you” (1 Corinthians 1:3; 16:23).

“Grace and peace to you. . . . May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all” (2 Corinthians 1:2; 13:14).

Get the point? If not, keep reading through the book Paul wrote. Go ahead, read all of them . . . unless there’s a toddler awake in your home!

Paul was radically and wonderfully committed to starting and ending his letters with grace, the love of Jesus that declares how he forgave and saved us. And, through the Word, this grace is God’s gift to you too.

There will be so much to do as a parent from sunup to sundown, but our souls find rest, not in a to-do list but in what Jesus has already done.

So when the alarm goes off and the to-do list is calling your name (or a kid is jumping on your bed!), remember grace. Through Jesus, you are loved, treasured, and holy in your Father’s eyes. And when you crash into bed at night with 16 boxes that didn’t get checked, remember that grace is still true. You are forgiven for every failure, flaw, and sin, even sins against your kids.

That’s how parents survive corona. In fact, that’s how parents survive every day.

May grace be with you today!