Do you ever go to one extreme and then start feeling the urge to swing back, not necessarily to the other extreme, but more of ‘in the middle'? I always think about the ‘lukewarm' in the Bible when I think of those having the impression of these actions or even one that is like ‘a tree in the wind' that can easily be swayed.
In 2003, our family learned the history of several of the holidays that we, as Christians, have celebrated. That information shocked our socks off and frankly, made us swing to one extreme… not participating in them. As we learned more, I could see the wonders of the feast in the Bible, that continued to be celebrated even in the New Testament. Yet, it seemed that the more we looked into them, others who were doing them were attempting to put on the chains that Jesus died to free us from, while others seem to be exploiting them for profit.
Amidst all of these changes and learning, we were raising our children the best we could, attempting with our whole hearts to be found faithful with the blessings that were giving to us and seeking His guidance in the direction for our family. We could look around and see the affects of families, as parents were willing to climb into debt for that prized gift to be put under the tree and knowing we were spending money that we really could have been putting to better use in other areas of raising our family. So for us, it was easy to put the gifts aside and raise our children with the focus of Christ for the holidays.
Fast forward nine years, to the present day and you would find us search and discussing our decision we made all those years ago. Not believing we made a mistake, as I see the fruit of our decision to know that ‘a fast' of gifts were necessary for our family in order to remove the bondage of the commercialism of the holiday that we ‘confess' to be for Jesus and turn our hearts closer to him. As November was passing by, our hearts became heavy to have a VERY Christ Centered Christmas, one that will leave us longing for the next December, because we want to be SATURATED in learning about Him, emulating His love for others and giving good things… gifts to our children!
We know that He doesn't give us gifts that would harm us, so we are looking for what is specifically good for each child's uniqueness, gifts that will bring them closer to the Savior, gifts that will strengthen their character and inspire them to be strong in their faith and in the gifts of their heavenly Father!
This is going to be a GREAT Christ Centered Christmas… and I just can't wait to see the how His Name will be praised from those whom He has entrusted us to raise for HIM!