Tonight as I was watching The Santa Clause with my family, my mind wandered off to children’s ministry again. I started thinking about how hard so many parents work to keep their children believing in Santa. We even go to elaborate lengths with the mischievous Elf on a Shelf. I remember one year when my kids were really little. We stayed at my parents house on Christmas Eve. My mom went outside the window of the room they were sleeping in, rang a jingle bell and guided a red light past the window so they’d think they saw Rudolph. My kids were so excited! They closed their eyes tightly pretending to sleep so Santa would come with presents. I am sad to say I cannot remember a time my kids got that excited about God, and He is real.
Do we, as parents, go to these same lengths to ensure our children believe in their Creator, their Heavenly Father? I venture to say that sadly, in most cases the answer is no. This is disturbing. What is even more disturbing is knowing I have children in our church who believe in Santa, but are questioning God’s existence. What do we do about it?
Let’s look at what we do special at Christmas time. We read holiday stories, watch holiday movies, build up gifts and Santa, spend more time in fellowship with family and friends, attend special events and more. We need to take a page out of our holiday life and start applying it year round to our spiritual life and raising our kids for Christ. Spend time each week reading and bringing God’s word to life. Take that same enthusiasm you have when reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and read about Daniel or Jonah. Instead of sharing what great things Santa is doing, share what amazing things God did and does even today. For family movie night, watch a movie with a spiritual message. I haven’t tried Pureflix yet, but thinking I may give it a shot. Fellowship with your church family. Enjoy a meal or outing together building Christian friendships.
There are so many ways we can build up God in our homes year round. Talk about God year round in your home, just as often as you talk about Santa in December. We remind our children that Santa is watching; now remind them that God is watching. Remind them that God sees them and hears them. Instead of writing letters to Santa, pray to God. Instead of baking Santa and reindeer cookies, bake Angels, lions for Daniel, animals for creation or Noah’s ark. Wow! With a little effort we can show our kids that God is important and loves them. As you are setting your goals for the new year, I challenge you to write a plan that includes making God more important than Santa in December!
Share things you’ve done to keep God alive in your home throughout the year. I would love to hear your ideas.