Family traditions can be fun for the whole group, and make for some wonderful memories. But they serve an even larger purpose. In their book, Family Traditions, Ledbetter and Smith suggest, “Traditions affirm worth, give identity, and communicate values.” Worth, identity, values…they can’t be taught. They can only be understood. And family traditions are one avenue to do just that.
When we keep a tradition, even a simple one, it tells each family member he has worth. My schedule is not too busy for you and for this time together. This tradition belongs to our family, and our identity is wrapped up in you, and you in us. The activity conveys a family value – this is what we esteem. No wonder God directed the children of Israel to keep traditions – He wanted them to understand their worth, identity, and value in Him!
We all know that the holidays are wonderful times for family traditions. Use this time before the mad rush of activities to decide on the traditions for your family, so that they will indeed convey the values of your family and the Christian faith you hold so dear.
Your faith family at Mt. Olive is here to support you as you help your children to understand their identity in Christ as His son/daughter. We will be sending home some Advent devotions with the Sunday School children, and additional copies will be available outside the Children’s Ministry office.
Check out other options in our church library as well, or let us know if you’d like other suggestions.
The best family traditions are that of worship together with the whole family of God. Of course you’ll want to worship together each weekend, and you will no doubt also find the special Wednesday Advent worship times helpful in keeping the focus on Christ throughout this season. There were times as our children were growing up that it was a mad rush to get everyone out the door to attend Advent worship. But when we got there,and were forced to slow down and refocus – it was all worth it! How good it is to have these traditions with our faith family!
Quiet time around a simple Advent wreath with the Advent devotions in the evening after supper or just before bed adds importance to this season, and may set the stage for simple family devotions you’ve been wanting to start, but just haven’t.
God bless you as you plan your family traditions!
– Jeannie Newton, Children’s Ministry Coordinator