SYLVIA MCCRORY December 2020
As we all prepare for the Christmas season, I encourage you and myself to teach our children, it is not the material possessions under the tree that matter. And although it is great and admirable to give, Christmas is about so much more.
We need to be teaching our children to love others more!
God sent us His son, Jesus, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, because He loved us. Jesus was sent to be the ultimate sacrifice for us, FOR OUR SINS, on a cross at Calvary.
Let that sink in for a minute. As parents, do we love deep enough to give up our children, as a sacrifice for someone? This kind of love is so much deeper than our minds are able to comprehend.
If we begin each day, with hope and prayer, that we be an example to our children, and to others of the love God has for us, we will be changing the world. Teaching our children is so much more than books, and lectures. It requires us to set the example we want them to live. And, this is the most difficult part.
We need to SHOW love for others!
Before we can expect our children to have a heart of love and care for others, we must first examine our own hearts, and grow our hearts to love others.
It is so easy to turn our backs, and ignore those who are suffering. And today there are so many suffering.
It is so easy to judge others, saying to ourselves, “it’s their fault they’re suffering”.
We do not know their story, we do not know their heart. We have been warned in the Bible not to judge others.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5 (NIV)
This is our stern warning. We must take a HARD LOOK at ourselves and our own lives. We have flaws, we are not perfect.
Let your gifts to your children be gifts of love, not material possessions.
Children, especially in the United States are very materialistic. Unfortunately, for many, feel love comes through possessions.
Before people, take offense, let me say, I am guilty, just as many are, of wanting to please my children so much, that I sometimes lose sight of what that teaches.
So what is the game plan? How do we instill these values and love in our children?
Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Matthew 20:28 (NIV)
This can mean many things and are different for each one. However, it is imperative for children to see, with their own eyes, others in need. Pray God will show where the need is, in your area, and lead you and your family to that place.
When we see others in need, whether they are homeless, or addicted to drugs, or even another harmful path, we do not know their history. We have no knowledge of what led them to this outcome. For most people, it is some kind of desperation that has caused the wrong decisions.
KEEP IN MIND, I AM NOT WANTING ANYONE TO PUT THEMSELVES OR THEIR FAMILY IN DANGER. THERE ARE MANY DANGEROUS SITUATIONS, I AM NOT ENCOURAGING ANYONE TO GO INTO AN UNSAFE PLACE.
There are homeless shelters, addiction centers, nursing homes, and even schools where people can be found, who are in need.
Put Love Under the Tree
For gifts, make it about love, family, and above all about our Savior. Books (real books, not apps), art supplies, family games, and new family traditions, all make love shine.
One more Bible verse from the book of Matthew.
Jesus was asked which of the ten commandments was the most important.
Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)
I pray each of you will find happiness and love under your tree this year.
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