Everything we do as a family is an opportunity to teach our children what we believe. Important topics within that education are how and why we celebrate holidays. But, we find people in our ministry who disagree with our conclusions. This makes us wonder if we should continue family cultural traditions that have no Christian roots. As Easter approaches, here are some of my thoughts.
Teach your children well. We can teach our children about the Christian faith every day of the year. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7) The Bible shows this instruction to be a natural part of daily routines, such as getting up in the morning and sitting in our houses. Things like family devotions and prayer at bedtime are obvious efforts, but marveling at God's creation while riding in the van or discussing a YouTube video from a Christian perspective teach our kids to love God, too.
Christian holidays are special. Days like Easter and Christmas are good reminders to all of us of what Jesus has done for His people. (Philippians 2:5-11) Jesus emptied Himself, was born in the likeness of man and was obedient to the point of death on a cross for sinners like us. This is cause for celebration! When telling our children about the true meaning of Easter and Christmas, we can confess Jesus as Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Families can have fun with traditions. The family unit was God's idea. So, enjoying time with our children can honor Him. This family togetherness helps cement our bond and give kids a feeling of security and love. For example, coloring hard-boiled eggs with your children is a harmless, fun tradition. If children have the truth of the Bible as a backdrop, they will not interpret such a family activity as a reason to believe in the Easter bunny.
Keep it low key. There may be people in our ministries who won't allow their children to dress up for Halloween or hunt for hidden Easter candy in the backyard. (Romans 14:19) We should love fellow believers and be sensitive to their convictions. Don't flaunt your practices or pressure them to adopt your point of view. Our example can show our children how to treat others who do not necessarily agree with the way we do things.
We need to be diligent in everything we teach our children but not be paralyzed by fear. Looking at my Easter basket from childhood reminds me of family holiday traditions and a Christian upbringing that taught me truth. There never was a contradiction in my mind.