Mark and I watch as our kid’s get wrapped into the excitement of Christmas baking, presents, and the thrill of the holiday season. We watch and we groan as we watch and listen to them and none of what we see and hear seems to be about Jesus. We wonder should we can the holiday all together, throw it out, and not celebrate it at all. Should we ignore it? I personally do not think that is the answer, I do think that the answer lies not with my kid’s, it lies within how I handle the holiday!
The bible teaches parents to teach our kid’s about God and we are to do this when we rise and when we sit. We are to do this as we go about the day working and playing, we are to bring Him into every aspect of our day. My kid’s learn the excitement of Jesus’s birth from how excited I am about Jesus’s birth. They learn the importance of a relationship with him and what a healthy relationship looks like as they watch me and my relationship with him. The saying, kid’s catch more than their taught, is completely true. This includes their relationship with Jesus. It’s also realizing that like anything else our kid’s are exposed to it takes time and it is also up to God, not me, to speak to their hearts. I can teach them, I can lead them, I can show it through my relationship with Jesus, but it is God who grows and waters the seeds that are planted. I am responsible before God for my relationship with him, I am responsible for the example I set for my Children. But, what God does with that in my kid’s lives is up to him.
It is hard for me to let my kid’s go into the arms of God. Not because I don’t trust him, I do completely trust him, but because I’m a mom who loves my kid’s and wants the best for them. Because, in my human mind I want to control what happens to them, I want to control what they are exposed to, I want to control and make sure they love Jesus and serve him. But, I also know from knowing myself my parents couldn’t make me do anything. Sure, they could give me consequences, they could “make” me, but more often than not, that breeds a heart of stubbornness. Which actually sets their hearts against Christ rather than a wooing loving relationship. God does not nor will he ever make me have a relationship with him. I need to give my kid’s the same courtesy, get out of God’s way, and let him lead and woo my kid’s hearts. He after all created them, he knows them far better than I ever will. He is very capable of drawing my kid’s to himself.
I can give my kid’s traditions to make a holiday special, be it Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, Passover, or any other celebration. But, it is not the tradition that will save them, it is not spoon feeding something to them, it is giving them Jesus. It is praying for Jesus to move in their lives and then getting out of the way.
So, I will continue to let God transform my life, I will continue to grow closer to the Father and the one who made me. I will invite my kid’s into our traditions, I will invite them into conversations about Jesus the Saviour, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, our guide. So, I’m going to let my kid’s off the hook, I’m going to let them get excited about Christmas presents and reindeer. I’m going to trust the Father with their hearts! I see glimpses of their hearts as Naomi plays Mary carrying baby Jesus around our house, I see it in glimpses of Maddie comparing on her own without my prompting the Christmas story in Matthew and in Luke. I see it in Titus as he wrestles with all of it. Wrestling the questioning heart is what God is best at and he is not one bit worried about Titus. I will watch in awe as we come to Christmas morning and let my kid’s be excited.