Holidays


25/04/2006
We don’t participate on Halloween. But we do give things out. Would you suggest to not even hand things out at your house?

I would suggest that if you’re going to hand something out, hand out some Bibles or hand out some things that are going to give those kids something to think about and their parents something to think about, that will bring them towards the Lord, along with something healthy or nutritious. But this whole candy thing and all that, that’s just not good for kids. I don’t want to sound legalistic at all about Halloween, but it really is a holiday that is not a Holy Day at all. It’s an unholy day that no Christian should participate in.

Holidays


14/04/2006
I’m going to a Christian church. My wife isn’t quite with me going and we are coming out of a particular denomination. I’m growing and moving forward and trying to get her to go with me but she’s kind of stuck with wanting to stay with the old ways and do things that we used to do, which was like celebrate Halloween and Santa Claus at Christmas and the Easter Bunny and stuff. How do I best proceed with moving forward when I’m kind of going this way and she’s going that way?

First of all, you’ve got to remember that the success of any relationship is built on trust. When she feels that you’re just pushing her, then you’re going to damage the trust. When she feels that you think you’re better than her, that’s going to damage the trust.

So you’ve got to sit down and you have to talk about, “Let’s agree, because a relationship is built on trust and it’s built on agreements that are made between a husband and a wife.” What you need to do is say, “alright, let’s remember that the most important thing that we do as a couple is that we be in agreement. Because Amos 3:3 says, “how can two walk together unless they’re in agreement?”

And what I do is I encourage people to break down their agreements or break down what they believe into two categories; the essentials and the non-essentials. So you need to make a list of what are the essential things that you really need to have in your life and in your marriage and in your belief system and what are the non-essentials? For example, an essential is in my house, one essential is we’re never going to cheat on each other. Another essential: we’re going to live for God, no matter what. Another essential: we’re going to tithe ten percent of everything that we ever have come to us; it is going to go to God. That’s an essential that my wife and I are in agreement about. So we have a list of essentials.

And then there are non-essentials like do we let our kids watch “Blues Clues?” Do we let our kids watch “That’s’ so Raven” or the Disney channel or something like that. Well, there are some non-essentials there. It is essential that they don’t watch sexual scenes in movies or TV or anything like that. Those are essentials. But then there are non-essentials like is it okay to watch this. Or it is okay for them to eat this kind of food or that kind of food, but it’s not okay for them to drink alcohol. It’s not okay for this; it’s not okay for that. There are essentials and non-essentials.

Sit down with your wife and establish what your essentials are and what her essentials are and then find agreement in the essentials and in the non-essentials, make sure you have liberty and grace towards one another. Talk to her about essentials. If one of your essentials is we don’t want to follow Halloween and celebrate that kind of evil night, then that’s what you have to work through with her. And if she’s not willing to do that, then you guys should sit and get some counseling.

The fact is that Halloween is a celebration of death, it’s a celebration of evil, plus it’s not that good for your kids’ teeth. So you guys should have a talk about that but in the context of the essentials and the non-essentials, not in the context of making that the central issue. The central issue is we need to be in agreement to have a successful marriage.

Holidays


14/04/2006
Jesus’ Last Supper was the Passover meal, yet Christians and Jews celebrate that event on separate days. Why do we have separate days?

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is our Passover. He is the Passover lamb. The reason why there is a difference in that holiday is Christians celebrate Easter as the resurrection of Jesus Christ while the Jewish faith celebrates Passover as the exodus from Egypt. They continue to celebrate the Passover because they continue to believe that the Messiah is yet to come.

We believe that He already came once and died for our sins. He was the Passover lamb, and now He will come again, not as a lamb but as a lion. He will execute judgment and justice on this earth. If you’re Jewish and look at the comparison between Jesus’ death and the death of the lambs of the Passover in Exodus, then you will see many similarities. It’s an opportunity to decide for yourself whether Jesus is the real Messiah.


Holidays


14/04/2006
I have a 2 ½ year old. I became a Christian as an adult and was taught to believe in Santa Claus and the whole thing growing up. I need to know as a Mom, how do I instill into my 2 ½ year old the true meaning behind Christmas?

The way to instill anything, whether it be the meaning behind Christmas or the meaning behind Easter or the meaning behind church or anything is by demonstration, number one.

What is Christmas? Christmas is God sending His Son to the earth for us, God giving us the gift of Jesus Christ. Demonstrate to your 2 ½ year old the love that you have towards him. Demonstrate love. The key to all instruction with our children is the demonstration of love and affection, the demonstration of kissing and hugging and warmth and verbal affirmation and verbal communication of the love that we have for our children. That is the most important thing that we could ever give to our children.

You can read to your 2 ½ year old from a kid’s Bible. You can read him the story out of Luke chapter 1 and chapter 2 about Christmas. That’s the way you can explain it to them. But explain it to them clearly through demonstration: give them a gift, let them unwrap something. Babies that age are very cognizant, they’re very clearly aware of the present; they know what’s going on around them. Read them the story from the Living Bible or from a kid’s Bible where it has pictures you can show them. And also, demonstrate it. Show them love and affection, give them gifts so that you can explain to them, “the reason we give gifts is because of God’s love for us. God so loved the world that He gave. And so when we really love somebody, we’re going to give to them. God so loved the world that He gave. Our way of demonstrating our love is to give and to show love and affection we give gifts.” And so, not only when he’s 2 ½, but also when he is 3 ½, 4 ½, and 5 ½, you keep demonstrating love in your household, love in your family, love that you have towards him. And read him the story from a kid’s Bible.

What children need more than anything, more than reindeers and Christmas movies and all of that, they need warmth and affection. They need love from you as their mother or their father whether you’re divorced or whether you’re married or whether you’re a single parent. I’m telling you to give your children affection and love, the greatest thing you can give them. And make them feel that Christmas truly is a demonstration, a manifestation of God’s love, a manifestation of God’s affection for us, a manifestation of God’s desire to know us and to be our friend. Give your kids warmth, give them affection, and give them love. You cannot hug your kids enough. You cannot kiss your kids enough. You cannot look your kids in the eye enough.

Now, if you don’t discipline them on the other side of things, then obviously it’s not going to work. But, you can’t hug them enough. You can’t kiss them enough. You can’t tell them enough verbally how much you love them and how much God loves them. Because how you treat them is how they’re eventually think God treats them. And so, show them affection and love and you’ll never regret it. And that’s what they’ll remember about Christmas anyway. Or that’s what they’ll remember they didn’t have when they grow up. So give it to them as best you can.


Holidays


14/04/2006
My question is on teaching children, especially young children. I’m not teaching on Santa Claus because I think that Santa detracts from the whole holiday.

I think you nailed it when you said that Santa Claus takes the emphasis off of the real meaning of Christmas which is the birth of Jesus Christ. Yet, if taught and explained properly, Saint Nicholas was a real person who gave gifts and he represented the love and the generosity of Jesus Christ and the love of God. I think if you explain it in that way that Santa Claus is not bad, the problem is what people have made him out to be. Originally, Saint Nicholas was honoring Jesus Christ and demonstrating generosity and giving gifts to poor people. That’s true. That’s really what happened. And of course, the focus of Christmas needs to be that we give gifts to one another because we are demonstrating and illustrating the fact that God gave us the greatest gift of all when He gave us Jesus Christ.

I think a lot of Christian parents and Christian children don’t even acknowledge that. They don’t even realize that giving gifts is to represent and to illustrate God’s gift to us which is Jesus Christ. And we need to utilize taking advantage of what the world understands, like Santa Claus and things like that and use them to point to Jesus. So, I think you can take a positive, healthy approach without getting caught up in the fantasy of Santa Claus. You can focus on how it points to Jesus Christ.

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