The Family Months
by Joey and Carla Link
The months of November and December seem to be “family” months. Thanksgiving and Christmas are wonderful times for families to get together, give thanks to God and have fun together. But what is family? While kids enjoy the blessings of family along with the gifts they get and the time out of school, do they really know what “family is?” Do your kids see the way you are raising them as “This is our family” or “These are my parent’s rules?”
Joshua said in his book to all Israel when his family was being pulled to live by worldly standards that many Israelites were choosing to follow, ” As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) Do your kids know your family standards and why they are so important?
Do your kids understand why only certain kinds of clothes and jewelry are appropriate for your family to wear and others aren’t? How about the words that come out of their mouths – are they words that honor God and fit your families values?
It’s one thing for your kids to fit in with their friends, but it’s another thing for your kids to begin speaking, acting and taking on characteristics of their friends, especially when these characteristics don’t fit your family’s values and beliefs. Some parents simply say, “Don’t act or talk like that!” For a small child that works. But when kids start the elementary school years, they need to know why we as a family don’t do this so they can uphold your family values. And just to be clear, “Because I said so,” doesn’t give kids understanding or build conviction into their hearts.
Are your kids characterized by wanting to be part of your family? If they are, praise them and encourage them when you see it. If they are characterized by different values, ask them questions to find out why they want to wear clothes you don’t approve of and how that pleases God and how that makes your family look to others.
This was brought to my attention once again me a few weeks ago when we were teaching in the Lancaster, PA area and I saw a large Amish family, ages around 5 -25 years wearing their traditional attire. Girls were in long dress with white head coverings, and boys wore black pants, had beards and black hats. I was impressed at how they were passing on to their children what they believe God wanted them to look like and how He wanted them to live out their faith. It was a great example and challenge for us as Christians. Do we teach our children what Godly values are and give them all the reasons they need to live and follow your family’s faith and traditions?