“Celebrating Christ’s birth helps our children be thankful for the Lord’s generous love and gift of salvation.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 19, 2021
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Deuteronomy 4:9
Years ago, our family decided to begin a new Christmas Eve tradition: Spaghetti! We wanted to add a little spice to the menu, knowing the traditional turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce could hold their own. I set up the camcorder on a tripod, and we all had a fun evening, laughing at the extra attention and being polite toward one other for the camera!
My wife Rita created another helpful Christian tradition early on with our four daughters. At Christmas, after one of the girls opened a present, they were instructed to walk over and thank the gift giver. Rita knew a child’s (even an adult’s) tendency is to jump into enjoying the gift without expressing gratitude to the giver. This simple strategy of being thankful first, put pressure on us as parents to model the same!
One beautiful example of Christmas joy was a three-year-old grandson who expressed his gratitude to us with a red sheet of construction paper scribbled with a purple crayon. A child’s simple heartfelt thank you, brought tears to our eyes.
In the Scripture above, Moses gave Israel a very clear command to be intentional in the instruction of their children and grandchildren. He reminds them to remember what the Lord had done. Stories of His faithfulness were not to fade from their hearts. These people of God had suffered under slavery, but were delivered by the Almighty’s miraculous deeds. Nothing they or their children faced could extinguish their experiencing the Lord’s salvation. Emotionally recounting God stories gives mental word pictures that remain. Lessons in the Lord’s faithfulness inspires gratitude for His love.
“The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them” (Acts 15:12).
Accounts of our answered prayers prepare our children to pray and thank God. One thought is to record your family prayers on the left column of a prayer journal and write the answer to those prayers on the right side of the page. Update your prayers weekly with your child and review how the Lord has answered your petitions. Gratitude is as much caught as taught. Talk over meals about God’s work in the people you encounter at work. Describe how He has been faithful in their lives to overcome obstacles. Celebrating Christ’s birth helps our children be thankful for the Lord’s generous love and gift of salvation.
A last idea we enjoyed was reading out loud the Christmas story followed by the children acting out what they just heard. Our oldest Rebekah, willingly took the lead to script, cast, direct and produce the story by assigning each of her sisters a role, while improvising along the way. The girls still talk about these precious Christmas traditions which beautifully, as adults, they are now introducing to their families. Consider Christmas traditions to create warm family memories!
“Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David” (1 Kings 3:3).
Heavenly Father, teach me how to teach my child and grandchild about your Christmas gift, your son Jesus, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.
What is one simple way to instruct my child to be grateful for Christmas?
The Piano Guys: O come, O come, Emmanuel
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