By Terry Hoskins, Director of Oasis Counsel –
So what is Christmas about anyway daddy? My 2 &1/2 year old son, Luke, is now almost old enough to ask such questions. He is beginning to understand that Christmas has something to do with getting gifts. He gets excited when we talk about Christmas and he connects Christmas to the idea of getting Thomas Train toys; is this the concept I want to feed, or does it mean more than getting gifts?
For some of us its all about the peppermint mochas, homemade fudge, cookie exchanges, and too much food. We get warm fuzzy feelings when we gather around our special treats and share time together as friends and family. As the fresh treats and drinks are pretty remarkable to say the least, but is this the heart and soul of Christmas?
Parents are responsible to train their children to KNOW God!
What is it that I want to teach my son about Christmas? The reality is God has placed my wife and I as the influencers over little Lukie. This is a wonderful opportunity and great responsibility to train him to know and please the Lord. God’s Word tells us to, “train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6, NIV) This is from the Proverbs which means that the majority of the time this will happen. Or to say it another way, Proverbs are generalizations that usually come to fruition. So when we as parents train our children to know the Lord, often God blesses our children and opens their hearts to follow Him all the days of their lives.
Everyday is an OPPORTUNITY to show the Lord to our children!
When Luke asks about Christmas it is important to remind him that it is another day to praise and honor the Lord. God’s Word says, “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.” (2 Corinthians 5:9, NIV) Paul tells the Christians in Corinth that his goal in life is to please God everyday! This is the same message I want Luke to understand, that his life on earth is to please God. So when Luke opens gifts for Christmas maybe he thanks God for the many blessings he has. Or we as parents may read the Bible or sing songs of worship to God as a family before we open presents. The important thing is that we are teaching Luke that life is about pleasing God.
Christmas is a Day to glorify God!
God’s Word says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31, NIV) We are told with even the mundane things of life like eating or drinking should be done for God’s glory. Lukie needs to be taught and trained that when he is eating his Christmas treats, and drinking his warm hot chocolate that this is a perfect time to glorify God. How much easier it will be for Luke to keep Christ at the center of CHRISTmas if he is raised from childhood to do it.
Children become Adults!
One day Luke is going to be an adult. Lord willing, have his own family and then he will have to decide how he will raise his children. What heritage will he pass onto his children? My prayer is for God to use Luke to influence the next generation for God’s glory.
Thoughts to Ponder
God has blessed us with our children. He is the one who gives us opportunity to honor, please, and glorify Him. We are reminded daily of these blessings when we look at our sweet children, as our hearts are filled with love and joy for them. They are a gift from God! They are in desperate need of a Redeemer, just like the many adults who continue to ignore God who has made Himself plain to all mankind. How we train our children with either draw them towards God or away from Him. The most important thing we can pass onto our children is a living, breathing faith in God. What we show our children at Christmas is a small microcosm of what we daily tell them what life is about. We either are showing them how to follow God or rebel against Him!
Examining Heart Questions
What lessons will our children learn from us at Christmas? Who will they think Christmas is all about? Will we teach them that Christmas is about us or God? What path is our children on right now? As parents do we understand that our lives are here to please and glorify God? These are question that we need to have clear biblical responses too! May God give us wisdom and discernment to train our children to know that CHRISTmas and everyday is an opportunity to glorify Him!