Don't Be a Seasonal Christian Parent

If you are like me, you are trying to get back into a routine after a busy month of Christmas. You made another determined effort to "keep Christ in Christmas" this year, and you feel good about what you did. Sure, you bought your kids toys and books and games and clothes, but you also went through Advent material every day almost every day.

Through all the gifts and gatherings, and all the shopping and decorating, you kept teaching your kids about the real meaning of Christmas. Great work. They needed that reminder.

Sometimes they seemed to get it, and talked about how they love Jesus, and want to serve and love others. But sometimes your efforts seemed fruitless. Like that time when you taught another Advent lesson, and within 15 minutes your kids were bickering over a toy, or over whose turn it was to sweep the floor, or over who got to brush their teeth first.

But it was worth it. Those nuggets of truth that came through your intentional teaching moments, and through your conversations at the dinner table or in the car or in the grocery store? They all added up to help your children grow a little closer to God this past Christmas season.

Now that it's January, I only have one encouragement for you: Don't stop.

Don't stop having intentional conversations with your children.

Don't stop teaching them about the amazing grace of our Lord.

Don't stop making Jesus the focus of every part of our lives.

Don't stop opening the Bible and reading Scripture to them.

Don't stop asking them spiritual questions. 

Don't stop praying with them.

Don't let Easter be the next time that you disciple your children in God's holy word.

My middle school social studies teacher proclaimed that he was a "Bells and Buzzard Baptist." He only went to church for weddings and funerals. Don't be that. And don't be a "Christmas and Easter Discipler." That's just wrong, and it doesn't have the same ring as what my teacher bragged about.

Stay in God's word with your children. Pull out the storybook Bible that's been collecting dust on your shelf, or buy a new one to bring some excitement and newness.

Want to go to another level? Buy a book like Big Truths for Young Hearts, and delve into deeper topics to help your children grow in the Lord. Or teach them how to do inductive Bible study (and learn for yourself!), such as with Boy, Have I Got Problems.

Do you have to have daily family worship? No. At least, don't start like that. You'll probably get burned out quickly.

Andrew Weiseth gives a simple and practical outline for a family devotion time. And he highly recommends incorporating play in your family worship.

Just do something. What you do is not nearly as important as why you are doing it. You must keep teaching them so that they will learn to focus everything on Jesus, so that they will see that Jesus is the center of our lives.

Don't be a "Bells and Buzzard Baptist." Don't be a "Christmas and Easter Discipler." Don't be a seasonal Christian parent.

Don't stop being the parent that your children need. Don't stop helping them grow in and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I say it to you, and I mostly say it to me: Don't Stop.

"And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."
Deuteronomy 6:6-7

"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."
Proverbs 22:6

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  1. We are doing everything we can to give our son the foundation and understanding he needs to succeed in his faith every day of the year. I’ve been reading a brand new book by Dr. Tony Evans. It’s called "Raising Kingdom Kids: Giving Your Child a Living Faith." He says, "It's far easier to SHAPE A CHILD than to REPAIR AN ADULT. Raising kids who recognize and retain their identity as children of the King launches healthy adults who have the capacity to stand strong in their faith." Equipping and guiding our children starts with us, parents! This is the most solid, thorough, inspirational and affirming parent book you’ll ever read! I love it and HIGHLY recommend it for all parents!

    1. Heather --

      Thanks for your thoughts, and for recommending this resource. I haven't checked it out yet, but you are one of several people I've heard recommend it. Sounds great!