As I was cleaning my bathroom today, as is the regular routine in our home, I was pondering all that I anticipate to happen on Christmas day morning and beyond.
I had gently reminded my girls that it would be better to clean our dirty bathrooms on the eve of Christmas instead of on Christmas day. Since we usually do this on Fridays, I thought it would be nice to not have to do any cleaning on a very important day.
I tell you all of this because for many years, 7 to be exact, I have been doing this. Since I was pregnant and on bed rest with my third child I have had to involve my two older daughters in the house chores. That includes doing their own laundry, washing dishes, sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, etc. It was fun for my almost 5 and almost 3 three year old at the time, to let them toss the laundry from the second floor stairs into a basket, to put in the washing machine. They liked being able to play in the water of the dirty dishes and make bubbles. But, as time went by and the novelty of playing “mom” wore out it became a chore.
Today I was reminded by the Holy Spirit that it has taken 7 long and arduous years to train my children to NOT complain (so much) when asked to do their chores, but instead to do it more or less happily and just be done, until the next time. They actually went about their chores for the morning without any verbal complaints and almost no physical signs (rolling of the eyes) to complete them! Praise God for that! It only took 7 loooooooonnnng years!
I was also reminded that in the same way that I have been training them to do all they do “unto the Lord”, heartily, that I should continue training them “in the ways of the Lord, so when they are old, they will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6)
Every chance I have had to be with my kids I have spoken to them about the one who gave us all life and what He has done for us as a family. I have even been accused by one of my children of being an extreme Christian because I talk about God all the time I’m around them. I found it a little amusing and a little scary that she would say that, but she’s right. I bring God into everything, every moment that we are together, when appropriate, to remind them that we are not in this world for our selfish desires. We are here to glorify the one who gave us life and meaning. AND we can enjoy ourselves while doing this too.
SO, what I want for Christmas this year and every year, until it happens, is for all my children AND family to receive SALVATION through JESUS CHRIST! To come to know the one who is, who was and is to come!
Just as Mary and Joseph received Jesus into their home and gave birth to salvation, I want them to receive the one who was BORN TO DIE for them and give them a chance at salvation. Salvation from the wrath of God that is coming to fulfill His justice against those who oppose Him and do what is evil.
By the way, Mary and Joseph still had the responsibility to train Jesus in the ways of the Lord even though he was born into a “Christ-ian” home!
We as Christian parents should also take Mary and Joseph as our role models. If Jesus still had to be trained in the ways of His Father, then we should be doing the same. So they too can have the opportunity to bring light, peace and justice to a world that desperately needs it!
How do we do that?
Well, I suggest that we spend time with them in the Word of God, doing chores, laughing together, helping others that are less fortunate than us (even if we are not as well to do as our neighbors) and telling our children how God saved us through His son; Give them our testimony, when they are old enough to handle it.
Pray for wisdom on how else you can do that and the Lord WILL give it to you, but don’t doubt! Most of all we should LOVE THEM WHEN THEIR NOT BEING LOVABLE, like Jesus died for us while we were still sinners! That’s how they will come to know the one who loves us more than we could ever imagine; By dying to our selfish desires, as Jesus did, so they may see God’s mercy and grace in our lives and finally live for the one who died for them.
What do you want for Christmas?
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!
Lord willing, next year I will give an update on our family happenings from the last couple of months.