What do a T-Rex, uneatable cereal and Teddy Ruxpin have in common? They are all on the Top 10 Hottest Toys list for 2018 according to Good Housekeeping. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with these toys. But this top 10 list represents what is competing with Jesus for our children’s hearts. With all these fantastic toy options, how do we help guide the souls of our kids to choose Christ first during Christmas?
Deuteronomy 6:7 provides a framework for parents throughout the year and especially during the Christmas season. For parents, it reminds us of how we are to lead our children:
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
When You Sit At Home
Have you considered what is on your Christmas tree? A million twinkling lights on a tree full of gifts underneath is no match for the story behind the lights – the true light of the world indwelling flesh and coming to live among us. Consider adorning your tree with the gospel narrative, serving as a reminder to your family and as a clear message to your neighbors and friends.
One fantastic resource is Loyola Press’ Jesse Tree. This Advent tool begins in the Old Testament and traces the biblicallineage and prophecy of Jesus leading up to his birth. The Wonder of the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp is a Jesse Tree family devotional resource that comes with its own mini-tree to decorate each day. If you love the Jesus Storybook Bible as much as we do, Sally Lloyd Jones has released a free advent devotional with an ornament picture to download and add to your own tree each day. It’s a beautiful way to incorporate the gospel and to celebrate Jesus together as a family.
When You Walk Along the Road
Consider how you can sprinkle Jesus into your family Christmas shopping. Perhaps you could sponsor a family in need during the holidays by buying Christmas gifts or items to make a Christmas meal. Or, you could go Christmas caroling throughout your neighborhood with a group of friends from church and invite your neighbors to your Christmas church services. Be on the look out for ways your family can share the gospel in your community this Christmas.
When You Lie Down
Bed time is the perfect opportunity to talk about our coming Christmas King! Instead of closing their eyes to visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, imagine your children drifting off to sleep to the most epic story ever told. A kinsman redeemer has come to rescue us all! A few great books to keep on your shelf or virtual library are The Christmas Promise by Alison Mitchell & Catalina Echeverri, The Littlest Watchman by Scott James and A Very Noisy Christmas by Tim Thornborough.
When You Get Up
What better way to help focus our families on Christ during the holidays than to wake up to the truths of the scriptures. For the month of December, set your alarm to a Christian radio station or have Christian Christmas music playing during breakfast. Seeds Family Worship has an excellent Christmas Family Worship resource with word-for-word scriptures to remind us of the incarnation.
Noel Piper reminds us, “We are a people of Promise. For centuries, God prepared people for the coming of his son, our only hope for life. At Christmas we celebrate the fulfillment of the promises God made — that he would give a way todraw near to him.” In the sprint to win a kid’s affections, the first one there gets the prize; may Jesus be the treasure that captures your child’s heart foremost this Christmas.