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Teach Your Children December 14, 2006

Posted by rattazzimedia in Christianity, Church, God, Religion, Spiritual, Spiritual Overview, Spiritual Study, Spirituality, Theology.
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The holiday season is full of heartwarming traditions and things we share with our children that have been passed down from generation to generation.  At this time of the year as we are decorating our homes with the signs of the season it might be helpful to pause for a moment and remember God.  But some may ask: Isn’t this season a remembrance of Jesus’ birth?  Well yes and on the surface this all has the feel of some sort of religious activity, for some the only religious activity they do all year.  But these celebrations are all human traditions.  These celebrations, while having the taste of spirituality because they have been passed from generation to generation, had their origins in the mind of man and are no substitute for the instructions from God.  In fact human traditions tend to draw us away from God.  Jesus himself said:   

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”  And he said to them: “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!

At this time of year as we decorating our homes with the signs of the season that remind us of the stories of Rudolf, Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman, I am reminded of God’s instruction to his people from Deuteronomy chapter six.  The instructions from God should be conspicuously held in a central place of importance in our lives.  Like the seasonal decorations we all put up this time of year, our focus on the instructions from God should be noticed by all passers by and passed on from generation to generation:

These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.  Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

What I am trying to say here is that it is vitally important for us to understand the things of God and make every effort to pass on that understanding to our children.  Our holiday festivities are no substitute for that because these are all human traditions.  Things are very busy this time of year and all the hustle and bustle will certainly have the effect of crowding out God.  We must be in the habit all year round of focusing on God’s word, both in season and out of season.  Then when this busy season is upon us we will be less likely to let go of God for the sake of our traditions.  Teach your children the word of God.

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1. dragonmommie - December 14, 2006

Thank you for your post, James. We have a 21 month old boy and I am wondering what traditions, both religious and generational, we will carry on for him to grow up with. Yes, sure we take him to church and my husband is teaching him to bless himself. We both want him to feel comfortable in church with the desire to stay put when his peers, as he gets older, will want to leave or not go at all (like I did). A cousin of ours has gotten an advent wreath for children to start a tradition and we will do something similiar. I feel as if we are starting from the ground up as I really don’t have any religious traditions from my own family to carry forward.

Thanks again for voicing what most people do not want to think of. Most people look forward to the commericalism of this season and do not want to think about the “real reason for the season” (I hate cliches!), but I can’t understand why people bother at all to go to church for Christmas at all…as you said that one time a year they do attend. Ironically, I can tolerate those people more who don’t go, period, than people who make the show of going once or twice a year; then I remember that it’s not for me to judge, that will come soon enough for them. After all, I cannot cast the first stone as I do not have a clean history, myself.

Ah, I digress… sorry about that. I should return to my own domain where I can give voice to my thoughts without taking up someone else’s space…. thanks!

2. rattazzimedia - December 14, 2006

Don’t worry Dragonmommie, take up all the space you want and thank you for your comments and support.


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