3 Ways to Instill Faith in Your Children this Easter |
By: The GOV Team | Published 4/11/14
No matter if the origins of the holiday are rooted in Christianity or not, it seems every season brings new controversy to Christians. Have you noticed this?
Christmas: Santa Claus, Elf on the Shelf, trees and lights.
Valentine’s Day: Chocolate, candy hearts, cards.
St Patrick’s Day: Leprechauns, green clothing, accessories, candy.
You probably get the idea – and we didn’t even list Halloween! The challenge with these nationally recognized holidays is that we easily fall into one of two camps:
1. Boycott. After all, this is just another greedy, consumer based holiday which is completely devoid of all real meaning…
2. Hey, it’s for the kids. What’s wrong with making Valentine cupcakes for their entire class? And while we’re at it, let’s not forget to buy candy for the Easter egg hunt at church.
No matter which of these two camps you might find yourself in, it’s easy to offend – in fact, it’s nearly impossible not to offend at least one other Bible believing Christian who, from the goodness of their hearts, believes you are being led astray in your parenting.
So while we aren’t here to debate the theological right or wrong of leaving a basket full of candy from the Easter Bunny for your kids, we DO have some ways you can keep your kids grounded in their faith.
1. Keep the focus of Easter on Jesus, and what He did by dying on the cross.
A major way you can do this is to consider making it a policy to not judge any other believers for their choices in celebrating Easter. Choosing to offer grace and love to others, while firmly holding to what you believe God is requiring of your family, not only demonstrates the nature of Jesus to your kids, it also shows them Christianity is about following and becoming like Jesus daily – and showing that love to those around you.
True faith, true Christianity is not being holier than thou, or merely abiding by a set of rules. Easter is the perfect time to lead this by example. Why? Because the one thing you DON’T want your kids to take away from Easter is that it’s ok to gossip or look down on the choices of other Christians – especially ‘less righteous Christians’.
Families are simply going to have different convictions about many things, especially celebrating holidays. Modeling for your children that you can live by your convictions, agree to disagree with other believers without turning down your nose at them, will speak volumes to them. (Sadly, many grown children who have left the church state hypocrisy and self-righteous attitudes were one of the biggest turn-offs to them in their faith)
2. The next time you find the need to discipline one of your children, bring the cross into the conversation.
Jesus died, and rose again to save us from our sins – including the sin your child recently committed. And while there are consequences to sin, there is always grace and forgiveness. There is so much beauty and wonder in what Jesus did for us! We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Helping your children understand the significance of the cross – what Jesus did, and how it affects them every day of their lives, will make Easter much more real and significant to them.
3.What Jesus did on the cross was so powerful, we could talk about it everyday for the rest of our lives, and we still wouldn’t be able to comprehend the magnitude of what He did.
So what can you do to show your kids the power of the cross every day? It can be as simple as ‘thanks’. Simply telling Jesus “thank you” for His gifts on a regular basis is a wonderful way to help your children understand that what He did affects them and their future. While it may sound simple, acknowledging the gifts we’ve been given, instead of dwelling on what we don’t have, is powerful and life-changing. Author Ann Voskamp beautifully illustrates this in her book, One Thousand Gifts, a must read if you haven’t read it yet.
We’d love to hear about your ideas for helping Easter come alive to your children! Regardless of whether or not you eat candy or put out eggs, how do you instill genuine faith in your children during this season?