Faith is a big part of my life. It defines me and impacts almost every decision I make. Over the next few months I and a few other bloggers will be discussing how our faith impacts our children. This month we are discussing using traditions to build the faith of our children.
Since we are talking about faith I better be honest, I stink at faith based traditions. I really do! In my mind I have grand plans about creating an advent calendar from felt, or taking food to the homeless on Thanksgiving, or creating special gifts on birthdays or special occasions that emphasize our faith. But I don’t, life usually gets in the way and we are opening six of the Playmobil Advent Calendar boxes on Christmas Eve!
When I realized that our first post was about traditions and after wracking my brain for several days and not coming up with ANYTHING I started to panic. In fact I put off writing the post because I couldn’t think of anything to say. But as I sat down, last minute to write, something popped into my head.
Just because I’m not great at faith based traditions doesn’t mean our family traditions don’t build our children’s faith. When I read the topic for this post I kept thinking that the traditions needed to be about our faith, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that traditions in general are good for families and can be used to build faith, even if they have nothing to do with religion.
My faith is built on a relationship with Jesus, so building a relationship with my children teaches them about relationships. Even though I fail my children repeatedly, unlike Jesus, it is my hope that through my relationship with them, they get a glimpse of what a relationship with Jesus is all about.
So, where do traditions fit in to all of this? Our family uses traditions to build relationships and experiences with our kids. For years we stayed at the same hotel on the drive home from Florida. We cut down a Christmas tree every year on Thanksgiving weekend. We eat pizza on Fridays and we open a gift on Christmas Eve. If you are sick and go to the doctor you get an ice cream on the way home. My children look forward to these traditions and are disappointed when we have to skip one.
These traditions help strengthen the bond between my husband and I and our children. It is one more thing in common we have with each other, one more story we have to share, one more memory to cherish. And it is through my relationship with my children that I have the opportunity to share my faith with them. If I had no foundation my words would fall on deaf ears.
I am thankful and blessed that I have two teenagers who still want to sit on my bed and talk at 11:30 pm. I’m thankful I have little children who ask questions about our faith on a daily basis. These things wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t make relationships with our children a priority. Creating traditions with your children is just one way to strengthen family bonds. They don’t have to be faith based to build faith. If your faith is central to your family then traditions that might seem unrelated to your faith actually build it by drawing your family closer together.
Read what these awesome moms have to say about using traditions to build the faith of their children.