Marriage, Ephesians 5:22-6

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Why Not Santa?

The next time you are outside at night look up at the stars in the sky and look at the moon, feel the night air, hear the wind blow and the leaves rustle; know this, A Father and a Son together created all that you see. They created the heavens and the stars, they created food and water, they created people and plants and animals.

2000 years ago, The Father gave the greatest gift in existence, His Son, the one who with Him created the world. The one who created all that you see was born as a baby to a virgin girl of about 14 years named Mary. The boy’s name was Jesus bar Joseph of Nazereth. When he was born, wise men, shepherds, and even angels came to herald their maker, their God. God, as Jesus Christ, sucked on his mother’s breast, and had his “diapers” changed. God learned to walk like a clumsy toddler; he entered into human experience in the most staggering story ever told; the story whose greatest attribute is Truth.

He, as we would expect God to do, grew up into the most amazing man the world has ever imagined. He healed the sick, he forgave sinners, he cleansed lepers, he strengthened the weak, etc… He was amazing! At the end of his life, Jesus went to God to take the punishment that we deserve on himself and suffer so that we might be made right with God.

My role as a parent: My primary responsibility with Hayden and Piper is to teach them about Jesus, to teach them who he is, and what he has done for us. This is the most important task I have concerning my children; to lead them to God, and to do all that I can to teach them, and stir their affections for Jesus the Messiah of Israel. Everything else that we do in life, is secondary to this one great end. My ultimate responsibility is not to make sure Hayden gets a good education, or that he is a pretty good fellow, or that he goes to church, or that he knows who Jesus is, or that he reads his Bible; my responsibility is to do all that I can to teach him as much as I possibly can about Jesus, and to try to raise his affections for Him as high as I possibly can. My responsibility is not to make sure that he turns out ok, but to strive for him to have the deepest possible relationship with God. My responsibility starts with making much of Jesus, as much of him as I can; and pleading, striving, and praying incessantly to God for my Son to join me in my worship of Jesus Christ.

Why don’t we do Santa Claus: Assuming the above paragraph, I want my life and my family to always be about Jesus; everyday. However, there are two days in the year that we want to celebrate Jesus in a special way: 1. Christmas, 2. Easter. On those days, our goal is to mesmerize our children with the wonder and the majesty of Jesus. For Christmas, We want to celebrate the greatest gift ever given; namely Jesus Christ, by giving gifts and celebrating the generosity of God.

Think on this parents: If there is anything good, or admirable, or joy-giving, or beautiful, or pleasurable, or magical, or valuable in this entire world; it is summed up in two words: JESUS CHRIST. Jesus minus Santa, is plenty! Santa minus Jesus is idolatry and a catastrophe.

Can we do this and still do Santa Claus? Yes, and we are not telling anyone else not to do Santa Claus. We feel that we want to take the opportunity of Christmas as an opportunity to mesmerize our kids with Jesus, and on a day as special as Christmas, we want to create fond memories of Joy and happiness mainly centered around Jesus and not Santa Claus. We feel the responsibility of needing to guard our child’s affections; the last thing we want is to have our children more excited about Santa Claus on the day that is actually about the Gift of the Son of God. If our children are more excited about Santa than they are about Jesus, on Christmas especially, we feel that we would be missing our ultimate purpose as parents.

The Second reason: As Parents, we want to teach our kids to trust us. We have a lot that we have to tell them, and much of it they won’t understand, at least not until they are older. When we tell them that God became a man, and he absorbed God’s wrath for our sins when he died on the cross, and that he was raised on the third day triumphant over death and the grave; how can we lead them to believe this and to stake their lives on it? Truly stake their lives on it; as in surrendering their lives to Christ. Faith in Christ that is mere belief is not deep faith but shallow, spurious, and ultimately dead faith.

So, how can we make this the most important thing in their life? How can we teach them that living for Jesus, and studying his Word, and being faithful to him in your life, is the most important priority there is and that everything should come under it; it is the priority that rules all others.

It starts with establishing their trust. When we tell them that life is all about Jesus, and that he is worth surrendering your life to, will they trust us? Many children I hate to say simply will not trust their parents. My hope and prayer is that my children will trust Shelby and I.

How do we do that? 1. We do our best to tell them the truth the best that we can, and we strive to teach them the nature and character of God as soon as they are able to understand, and even before. 2. We do not tell them to believe in things that we know are not real. This will consolidate that trust. 3. When we celebrate Jesus and teach them about him; we want our family-life to express what our teaching does. We want our kids to believe that we actually believe what we are telling them.

There is going to come a time when our kids have doubts about all sorts of things. They will have doubts about Jesus (Even a disciple did–Thomas); and some of their peers will have doubts, and even circumstances will seem to pile up evidence that supports these doubts (evolution). In the face of that, we want to instill a deep trust in our kids, not just in us as their parents, but in what we taught them concerning Jesus Christ and the gospel.

Christmas provides us with an opportunity to make much of Jesus, and since this is our ultimate goal in life, and in parenting, we want to fade Santa out as much as we can. If this offends people or creates issues, then so be it. There is always the easy route, and it is rarely the right one.

Noel Piper also has a informative article on Santa here:
http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/thinking-about-santa