Are you on a search for how to bring significance to the holidays your family celebrates? Do you spend time thinking about how to share your most important beliefs and values with your children in a rich and meaningful way? Do the adjectives “Christ-centered,” “Gospel-centered,” or “Cross-centered” stir up desires in your heart to center all special events and holidays in life around what really matters?
These are questions that matter to us at Heart Felt Truths, and our ideas stem from the desire to make “everyday” days and “especially” days meaningful and centered on the Gospel for ourselves and our children. It seems fitting to me to share briefly about a very important resource that has shaped many of my thoughts on family traditions, holiday celebrations, and everyday teaching moments with my children. I think you will find this book a terrific help in your journey in raising up your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord! [And best of all, you can download it for free! from http://www.desiringgod.org]
“Treasuring God in Our Traditions” is an excellent book written by pastor John Piper’s wife Noel Piper. Not only does it provide an intimate glimpse into this family’s life, but it provides exceptional thoughts on an often overlooked part of Christian parenting: establishing meaningful traditions that teach our children about the Lord.
Piper begins by setting up for us what traditions are, what makes them important, and how they work. From some passages in Deuteronomy she defines tradition, in essence, as a “planned habit with significance” that hands down information, beliefs, and worldview. More importantly, tradition for the Christian family involves “laying up God’s words in our own hearts and passing his words to the next generation.”
I’ll admit I’ve been overwhelmed at times trying to think through all the ways to bring significance to holidays and other family events, but Piper’s underlying philosophy and her practical overflow, made me feel so equipped to supply meaningful traditions to my family. In fact, I found it encouraging to see that some of the “little” things we had been doing as a family are valuable and meaningful as well. Here are three key questions she asks that are the overflow of her book:
- What is my greatest treasure? What is most precious to me?
- How do I reflect and express that treasure in my life?
- How can I pass that treasure on to my children and others within my circle?
The first set of questions has to do with our heart. Do we love and treasure Christ the most? Is He are supreme treasure and joy? If so, then we have something of infinite value to pass on to others. If not, our traditions will reflect whatever it is our hearts cling to.
It is the final question that we are striving to answer in our new Easter Banner. The Easter Banner is our family’s attempt to pass on the treasure of Christ’s death burial and resurrection to our children.