This week my wife and I took our two-year-old son to a drive through Christmas lights show close to our home. He was mesmerized by the lights and the music as we drove past dancing reindeer, singing Christmas trees and synchronized “towmen” (still working on that ‘sn’ sound). It was such a joy watching him really experience the fun of the Christmas season for the first time. I hope he always looks forward to this time of year for the music and lights and presents.
But infinitely more than all of those things, I want Ford to understand the significance of God humbling himself by coming to Earth as a baby to save us from our sins. I know you feel the same way about your children and that is why Christmas is the perfect time for discipleship in your home!
Think about it how the deck is already stacked in your favor to have good conversations with your kids. They are already excited about Christmas so they’re willing to talk about it. Plus, they already know you’re going to be more focused on church this time of year so they are more likely to be engaged. It’s up to you as a parent to take advantage of this time to impress upon them how magnificent this holiday truly is. Here are a few ways to make sure your kids do not miss the reason for the season.
Disclaimer: This list does not include any elves on shelves.
Advent calendars may seem cliché, but they may be more helpful now than ever before. Find one that includes a Scripture reading each day or use a devotional that helps you count down to December 25th. Take the time to come up with a simple question or two to go along with the reading. Instill in them, no matter what age they are, that this is important for your household. In a world moving at the speed of light and drowning in screens, slow down with your family, even just for a few minutes, and discuss the Word of God.
Jesus performed the greatest act of service in history when he came down to save us. Plus, Christmas is the easiest time of year to find a service opportunity. Put those two things together and you’ve got yourself a can’t-miss teaching moment with your family! Once again, prioritize time in your schedule to pause everything else and meet a need for someone in your area. If you genuinely do not know of a place to serve, ask your church to help you find something and I’m sure they will be eager to do so. What a simple way to teach your children the story of Christmas and then live out the principles learned!
If you really want to jump on this Slow Down Bandwagon here is your chance. Memorize part of Scripture as a family! Make it a challenge to see who can memorize it first or come up with some other way to put the fun in it and I bet your kids will hop on board too. Luke 2:7 is a good suggestion if you think your family should start simple. Or John 1:1-5 could be the next level you go to in your home! There are plenty of individual verses and passages that would be great to have constantly at the forefront of your kids’ minds this time of year.
These suggestions all require you teaching your family to slow down while the rest of the world is speeding up. Mom and dad, lead your family. Take control of the chaos in your home. The Christmas season does not dictate what you do with your time, you do. Maybe one day your kids will think back about Christmas and remember their parents loving them so much that they would not let them be amazed by anything more than the Light of the World.
Parents, if you want to take discipleship to people outside your home, check out the D-Group Starter Guide and find a few others to start meeting with in 2021!
Pastors, help your people disciple their families and develop every other aspect of your discipleship ministry by checking out the Replicate Network.