Tag Archives: holidays

The Greatest Earthly Gift

Most families think of gifts around Christmastime. It definitely is a subject of discussion in our home, with the children spending time and prayer trying to bless others in the family with meaningful gifts. Giving the right gift greatly depends on the receiving person’s heart and values.

Often, man has a different idea of a good gift than God does because we have a different frame of reference. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). With an earthly focus, man will want wealth and material possessions as good gifts, but if we have a heavenly focus we will want the good gifts God offers.

The greatest gift that God, the Giver of good gifts, offers us is salvation. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). It is amazing that everyone would not want to receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). If a person realized that eternity in hell is the only other option to eternal life with Christ, then more might choose life with Christ. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).

Sadly, man often wants his way, thereby rejecting the gift that was needed most. One area that highlights this difference of thought and value in relation to good gifts has to do with the Lord’s gifting of children to parents. The Lord says via the Psalmist: “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalms 127:3). We see in this verse that God is the One to give children. He actually calls them a heritage of the Lord and a reward. Today, however, man does not see children in this way.

Families will reject more children for a host of reasons. Why would man not want more children when God calls them a heritage and a reward? The answer is obvious since children represent hard work, time, money, and most likely, some degree of heartache. There are no guarantees with children. They could have health problems or be rebellious. Nonetheless, the Lord says children are His heritage and reward.

There is a vast difference between children and other aspects of the created world as seen in Genesis 1:26: “And God said, Let us make man in our image.” Nothing else has been made in God’s image. The simple fact that a child is made in God’s image makes him a treasure. Do we really value children as His heritage and reward?

Another reason we reject children is that they bring change into our lives. If we allow it, they cause us to grow in Christ and in dependency on Him. Teri and I often hear moms say they could never homeschool because they aren’t patient enough. What parent has the character needed to raise a child? That is one reason why God gives us children. God will use them to constantly shape us into the image of Christ. “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience” (Romans 5:3). Children can break our hearts. Brokenness is a good thing that the Lord uses in our lives. Once broken, we are prepared for the work of the Potter’s hands. Certainly, who in their right mind would welcome a source of tribulation? Yet, the Lord says children are His heritage and reward.

Many will reject God giving the family more children because of all the work and money they will require. That would be like someone offering to give a friend a Mercedes and having him turn it down because of the costly insurance, gas, and maintenance. Perhaps another reason for saying no would be that he doesn’t have room in his garage. I don’t think so. It is all a matter of our point of view—heavenly or earthly.

We have shared in the past about Teri’s depression, and how we cut off the possibility of more children after God gave us three. Then five years later, we came to realize how wrong that decision was and repented of it. By God’s grace, after we reversed a bad decision, He then gave us five more children. (It is amazing that the number five is also the number that represents grace in Scripture.)

Our children have been such a blessing to Teri and me. They are our best friends, and their hands are on the plow with us. There have been times of struggle, discouragement, and heartache. Growth is a result in our lives, though. Plus the Lord Jesus becomes all the more precious and real to us.

When some people hear we have eight children, they reply that we have enough children for our own sports team. What a waste that would be! It would be like taking a multimillion-dollar army tank squirrel hunting. Far better that we are a tactical swat team at the command of the Lord Jesus! Now that is what it is all about! We love serving the Lord Jesus together.

What if God said He would give believers as many millions of dollars as we asked for? I’m confident we would see countless Christian millionaires. Hmmm. Instead, He openly extends a clear and far, far greater offer for man to accept: children. They are His heritage and reward. Will we welcome them?

When it is all said and done, our saved children and the souls of others we have led to Christ are all we are taking with us when we leave this world. Will you be traveling alone or in good company?

Christmas Decorating

“If someone walked into your home this Christmas season, would they know by your decorations that you were celebrating the birth of your Savior, Jesus Christ?” Many years ago, this was a question asked of the congregation by our then pastor during his Sunday sermon. Upon hearing this statement, our whole perspective on Christmas decorating changed. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17).

Prior to this, our Christmas decorating reflected what we thought looked nice and Christmassy. No thought was given to the importance of visibly making Christ’s birth the central theme of our decorations. The nativity was a part of our Christmas decorating. However, it was also made up of a menagerie of items that had been given to us through the years. Santa Clauses, reindeer, and stockings were sometimes themes of these decorations. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). This verse was good encouragement for us in leaving behind the worldly trappings of Christmas decorating.

Decorations that Focus on Jesus

That question challenged my family to reevaluate the Christmas decorations we put up. Was the birth of Jesus evident, even at a casual glance? Would someone else, who didn’t know us, be able to see that we worship Jesus Christ? Would they know He was preeminent in our hearts and home? We realized a guest would observe some evidence of Christ since we had a very nice nativity set. However, the whole feeling of our Christmas decorating was closer to what the world thinks of when they think of Christmas than it was a celebration of the birth of Christ. We began a purging of our decorations to eliminate the ones we did not feel fit with the emphasis we wanted to have—celebrating the birth of Jesus.

The weeding-out part was easy except when there was sentimental attachment to an item. At that point, I would think about what I wanted my children’s hearts endeared to through the years of putting up the Christmas decorations. Did I want them excited about pulling out the reindeer from the Christmas box or delighted about opening the little glass nativity that sits on a mirror? Where would their joy be—in the cute little Santa or the wall plaque that says, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”? The items that had heart attachment but no longer fit with our new decorating scheme were easier to let go of as I focused my mind on those thoughts.

I have to admit that, even with thinking right thoughts about eliminating decorations we no longer wanted to use, there were a few things that stayed in the boxes rather than coming out for the first couple of years. I simply couldn’t get rid of them. Finally a year came when I was ready. The heart attachments were truly broken. They were pitched in the trash. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2).

We also began to pray for the Lord to show us where to find decorations that would have Him be the focus. What exactly would those decorations look like? The acquiring of replacement decorations was hard since so many Christmas decorations have nothing to do with the story of the birth of Christ.

It was just a year or so later that I saw an ad in a Christian catalog for a fireplace mantle garland with a large ornament hanging from the middle of it that said, “Name Above All Names.” There were smaller, scroll-shaped ornaments hanging on the sides with words on them such as, “Truth,” “Bread of Life,” “Emmanuel.” It was perfect for our new Christmas decorating theme. This became the focal point of our Christmas decorating, with our nativity set sitting on the mantle right above the “Name Above All Names.” One “name” a year was added to the collection until the mantle displayed as many names as it could hold.

The girls and I try to go to a Christmas craft bazaar each November with Grandma. As that date approaches I begin asking the Lord to give me two or three new decorations to add to the collection. We visit booth after booth, searching for any decoration that refers to Christ or the Christmas story. Sometimes we find this very discouraging because so little of what we see glorifies Christ and much more of what is available is focused on the world’s idea of Christmas. However, every year the Lord has provided those two or three special decorations. I rejoice in God’s goodness to give us decorations that keep our mind on His birth during the Christmas season.

One year I found a large ceramic ornament with the nativity scene painted on it that can be hung on the wall. I also found a wooden plaque with an image of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus painted on it, and the words, “Remember the reason for the season.” The third item was another wooden plaque with an angel on one end and “Joy to the World” written on the other.

Each year I come home from the bazaar with our purchases, hang them in my bedroom until the time comes to decorate the house, and delight in looking at them. They truly put my focus on Jesus Christ during His special season.

Changed My Outlook on Decorating

This change in our Christmas decorating has filled my heart with joy. I love the excitement in our children’s eyes as they pull out their favorite decorations from the Christmas storage boxes. Each item puts our thoughts on Jesus Christ in some way. There are no more mixed messages being sent to our children. When a guest enters our home at Christmas, he will no longer wonder what Christmas means to the Maxwell family. He will see Jesus Christ everywhere he looks.

In the years since making our Christmas decorating change, we have been excited to see how God has answered the prayer of our hearts and provided decorations that glorify Christ. Because we have only added one to three new Christmas decorations per year, the expense has been minimal. If we hadn’t had the finances for this or simply wanted craft projects, we could have made our own decorations. With Christmas fast approaching, may Jesus be known to our children even by our decorations. May we use them to draw our children’s hearts into a deeper love for Jesus as they experience the excitement year after year of getting out those Christmas decorations that remind them of His birth. May our decorations also bring joy to our hearts because they encourage us and our families to reflect on the magnificent miracle of the birth of our Savior.

Homeschool Mom Christmas Stress

With the Christmas season upon us, the “have-to’s” of traditions can become consuming. Then we find ourselves stressed out rather than enjoying the celebration of the birth of our Savior. Personally, we have several goals for our family through our Christmas activities. In an effort to keep the season pleasant and worshipful, we try to keep our traditions simple, fitted to our spiritual goals.


After Steve and I were saved, the Lord directed us to some changes in what we did at Christmas. We first eliminated Santa Claus from our home. For a while we continued hanging up stockings for the children and telling them that Dad and Mom filled them during the night. The children’s Christmas stockings were too cute to throw away and too much a part of our family tradition. After a few years, though, we felt that we were compromising as the Israelites sometimes did. We decided to stop any vestige of Santa Claus.

We no longer put up a Christmas tree. The first year without this traditional Christmas trimming was because we didn’t want the frustration of trying to keep a toddler safely away from the tree. However, before the next year rolled around, we read Jeremiah 10:3-5 and realized how much the cut tree in the passage sounded like a Christmas tree. Because we wanted to make sure there was no possibility of the tree taking an out-of-proportion role in our Christmas, we chose no longer to have a Christmas tree.

When we made that change, we also decided to make all of our Christmas decorating distinctively Christ focused. That meant quite a purging of the Christmas decorations.

Simple Yet Meaningful Christmas Traditions

Without purposing to do so, we have created some family Christmas traditions that have become very meaningful to us, kept us Christ focused, and built family memories. We have found that it is important to keep these traditions simple and easy to carry on each year. There have been years when we added Christmas traditions that were a burden rather than a joy. It doesn’t take very many of these “good” ideas to make Christmas a dreaded time rather than one to expect with excitement.

We want our children to learn the importance of giving to those who have need. We participate in Samaritan Purse’s Operation Christmas Child shoebox outreach. On an evening in November, we will take the children to Wal-Mart where they all excitedly give suggestions on what to purchase for the boxes. On another night the children open the items that are to go in the boxes and fill each box up.

This year, one item for the girl’s box was a cute little doll. Our six-year-old, Mary, carried that doll throughout Wal-Mart with her. When we came home, she stood by the kitchen counter, where the boxes were temporarily set, holding the doll. We were so pleased, though, that she never once asked to keep the doll. She understood its purpose.

One goal for our family’s Christmas is that our children learn, “. . . It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). The tradition in our home that reinforces this goal revolves around the children planning and buying gifts for family members. This has become very special to each of them. We will frequently hear them discussing how much they love to choose, buy, and give gifts to their parents, brothers, and sisters. Often they will make great financial sacrifices to do this.

We take the month of December to focus our family Bible time on Christ’s birth. We will spend some time in the Old Testament looking at the prophecies of Christ’s birth. Then we go to the New Testament and read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ birth. We learn about, discuss, and ponder the miracle of Jesus Christ and His birth.

Another desire of our hearts is that our children would learn to serve and minister with no expectations. On an evening near Christmas, we go caroling to the nursing home and also to our neighbors. Last year the highlight was a dear old man confined to his bed in the nursing home and appearing to be almost unconscious. His eyes were closed and his blanket pulled up under his chin. When we started singing “Silent Night,” he couldn’t open his eyes, but almost immediately he began an agitated moving of one of his hands. As we continued singing, he struggled with his arm and the blanket. Finally, he pulled his hand out, eyes still closed, and lifted his arm in praise to the Lord. I don’t think there was a dry adult eye as we left that room.

We want our children to be drawn into worshipful thoughts of Jesus Christ. On Christmas Eve, we look forward to a family ride in the van to look at Christmas lights. While we drive, we listen to the Twelve Voices of Christmas, a dramatic presentation of the key players in the Christmas story. It is moving and awe inspiring, raising all of our hearts in praise for the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us.

Christmas evening is set aside for reading Luke’s account of the birth of Christ. Many years ago, Grandma made up a program for this that we have used ever since. Each person who can read is given, on a slip of paper, a reference for a prophetic or Gospel verse relating to the birth of Christ. Grandad is the narrator, with people reading their particular verses at the designated time. We also have appropriate Christmas carols interspersed. This simple Christmas program is available for anyone whom it might bless.

To increase the excitement and interest level for the children, Grandma has an empty Nativity sitting out on a shelf. All the figures that go into the Nativity have been wrapped in tissue paper and are waiting in a bag by her side. Throughout our Christmas program, one by one, the children will come and take a figure from the bag and set it in the Nativity scene.

Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ is high on our list of priorities. Christmas affords us an excellent witnessing outreach time for Jesus. Each year, Steve, Nathan, and Christopher choose Christmas cards that are overtly Christian and glorify Jesus Christ to send to their clients. We have the opportunity of giving homemade goodies, which include notes with truths from God’s Word, to our neighbors.

We want what we do on Christmas and the days before it to have purpose and meaning. It is a special day and season—one of joy for the Maxwell house. We pray that as your family evaluates its Christmas traditions and activities, you, too, will make it as free of stress as possible with a continual focus on Jesus Christ.

Worthwhile Toys or Should it Be Tools?

Regularly I receive e-mails requesting that I write a Mom’s Corner on a specific topic. Here is part of one such note:

There were a couple of areas I would really appreciate Teri tackling in future Corners. One area has to do with toys and suggestions for timeless, durable, worthwhile toys.

With Christmas quickly approaching, I thought this might be an appropriate subject for the December Mom’s Corner. Considering we have eight children in one family, we have had plenty of experience with toys!

Let me begin by sharing some of our goals for our children’s playtime that in turn translate into goals for toys. As we began our parenting adventure, Steve and I did not realize that the toys our children played with had an influence on their character development and even their future appetites. If we allowed the children to have a toy with an evil face, they played with it as an evil individual and their play took on an evil bent. If we gave our children an electronic game, they spent hours sitting and playing with it. They lost interest in any type of active or creative play. Your goals, even for how your child spends his playtime, are important.

We choose to shield our children from as much worldliness as possible. 1 John 2:15 tells us: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Therefore, we desire that our children be involved in pure, wholesome types of play. For example, we give the girls baby dolls rather than Barbie dolls. We would like for our daughters to desire to be nurturing mommies rather than possibly giving them a hunger for dating relationships.

We want the children to develop skills while they are playing. That means we will invest in puzzles, games, quality reading books, and even tools. Creativity is on our list of goals for playtime. Therefore, we avoid electronic toys with lots of “bells and whistles”—the kind with a never-ending thirst for batteries. In addition, we choose to avoid toys that are faddish. We didn’t have to decide if some of the Star Wars toys were okay or not. They fit into the category of faddish and therefore weren’t even considered.

We desire for the children to be developing hearts toward families and service even while they are playing. This, then, needs to be taken into consideration when we are picking out toys. Will this toy help my child toward the goal or hinder him?


Tricycles. We would much rather our children ride trikes for outside playtime than to ride around in a battery-operated sidewalk vehicle. Outside play is the time for exercise to build strong bodies and release energy!

Educational Games

Playing educational games is an activity I enjoy doing with my children. I feel like my time spent with them is not only quality time, but also time invested in their future. I schedule a half hour each afternoon to spend with just one child. We almost always use this time to play games together. Here are our favorites.

Takeoff. Takeoff is a game that teaches the names of countries, their major cities, and flags. Even my six-year-old can play it with a little bit of help. There is some strategy, but not much. My children will often beat me!

Muggins Math games. We have Knockout and Muggins. It is a two-sided wooden game board using marbles, numbered dice, and numbered game-board holes. Any child who is able to add and subtract can play these games. All of my children regularly request this game, even the one who can’t add or subtract. “You tell me where to put my marbles, Mommy,” she says.

Sum Swamp. Sum Swamp is a board game for children learning to add and subtract. It has cute little plastic swamp characters such as a frog and snail for game pieces. We have played this game so much that the numbers have worn off the dice.

Name That State. Name That State is a board game to teach the names of states and capitals. The younger children simply have to name the state. Older children and Mom have to give the state and its capital. They love it when Mom can’t remember the capital of Vermont or South Dakota!


Each year when I order school curriculum, I also order two to four new puzzles for the preschoolers. I have a wonderful collection of puzzles that my children love to work. Most are floor puzzles. We have puzzles of varying levels of difficulty. Some of the puzzles make for playtime after they are put together. One is a city just the right size for Matchbox cars. Several become props for other play. One is a rainforest. As we put it together, John will say, “Mom, what is this animal?”

“Well, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like that. Let’s look inside the box where it shows all the animals with their names on them.”

Our puzzles are kept in a closet, and they are only allowed out by permission. That helps to preserve them and to keep interest in them high each time they come out. I expect to have my puzzles be regularly asked for by my grandchildren in future years when they are at my house!

Legos and Playmobils

Legos are the timeworn standard in the Maxwell house. Sons and daughters, older and younger play with them day after day after day. We purchase the city, police, fire, rescue, and arctic sets. There are many sets that aren’t acceptable to our family’s standards. Usually this is because of an evil theme, or because they encourage play that we wouldn’t allow in real life. We were even able to purchase a large wooden display table from a store going out of business so the children can keep permanent Lego set-ups.

The children have spent hours and hours of playtime during cold winter and hot summer days with their Legos. They build and build; then they enjoy what they have made. The buildings and vehicles are redesigned and rearranged. A new play theme is begun. While many toys the children have had stay stuffed on a shelf, Legos are forever used in our home.

Playmobils are the second long-standing favorite of our children. While the sets are expensive, they are played with for years and years. We often rotate having Playmobils out or Legos. Every few months when the changeover occurs, the children will have an added excitement in their play.

As our boys enter their middle elementary grades, we begin looking for tools we can give them as gifts. Because we are training our children for their lives as adults, we want them to begin to see value in work and find it rewarding, even as a child. Our boys are given age-appropriate work tools such as hammers, screwdrivers, and even cordless drills. Of course, it is important to use discretion as to when a child is mature enough to safely handle the tool he would be given. Also, rules as to the tool’s usage and adult supervision while the child is handling it are musts!

One year when John was seven and Joseph was nine, they were each given a cordless drill for Christmas. They were thrilled. Steve had a project planned for after Christmas that he knew they could help him with, using their new drills. Over the past three years they have used them often in other work projects with their dad. They have even been able to loan them to their big brother for work on his house.

By giving your son tools, he will learn valuable home-maintenance skills, develop a willingness to work, build his personal tool supply, and have as much fun as playing. Collecting tools will provide a young man with the supplies he needs to help him maintain his home, yard, and vehicle when he is married with a home of his own.

Set Your Goals and Make Your Choices

Our children have grown up without television. They have enjoyed parental sheltering even in the toys they are allowed to play with. While some would mock such choices, we are watching pure, wholesome, delightful children grow into the same kinds of adults. Appetites are developed in childhood. Consider well what appetites the toys you are giving to your children fuel within them. May I encourage you to pray and seek the Lord for the biblical goals He would give you for your children’s playtimes. Then translate those goals into the toys you allow your children to have.

In His Image

Special Note – Before you read any Dad’s Corner, may I share a caution? Dad’s Corners are from a father’s heart to another father’s heart. It is our desire that these Corners would build the family up and never create a controversy between a husband and wife. It is possible to undermine our goal if a mom read and agreed with a Dad’s Corner and the husband didn’t. Never would we want to undermine respect for Dad in the direction he has chosen for the family. Therefore, we would encourage moms not to read Dad’s Corners first, unless as a couple, you have discussed and agreed who should read the Dad’s Corner.

Teri and I take great delight in observing families. Most often we see physical characteristics that are common between the children and their parents. It may be hair color or facial features. Usually there is something that causes us to say, “I can tell they came from the same ingredients.” It becomes especially obvious the more children there are to compare.

Isn’t it a wonderful thing what God did when He designed the procreation process? The image of the parents is impressed on the children. Many of our physical and even behavioral characteristics become a part of our offspring. There is one family in our church where the father is six foot seven. You ought to see his two sons. One of them has just now surpassed his father. I remember when my sons became taller than me several years ago. It felt very strange and was no small event for them.

I wonder how much each of us resembles our Father in heaven. I’m not referring to mankind in general, even though we were made in His image. I mean those who have been born again by the blood of the Lord Jesus. That transaction made God truly our Father, and we became His offspring. I wonder how much we resemble our Father

Jesus evaluated men’s conduct and associated their conduct with their father in John 8:44. “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” Because the Pharisees would not welcome truth, Jesus stung them with sharp words by calling them the children of Satan. Here were the religious leaders of Israel being called sons of Satan, and Satan was called the father of lies.

We read in Deuteronomy 32:4 about God, “He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.” Our Father is a God of truth, and Satan is the father of lies. That puts falsehood and truth in a very black and white light. If Jesus made this distinction and likened those who embraced lies to being in the lineage of Satan, it would seem that born-again believers must endeavor to always speak and live truth.

Recently, Teri and I were watching some videotapes by a well-respected Christian teacher. He referred to a statement he spoke to his child. Then he told the audience with a bit of a wink, “I was lying to him.” One other time, he acknowledged in a lighthearted fashion lying to someone. I must admit my respect for this person took a hit just then. Here he was expecting us to believe he was telling us truth, and at the same time admitting there were circumstances where he chose to lie.

I have no doubt this man endeavors to live by and preach truth; however, we must shun anything false. I believe it damages the reputation of Christ when we don’t. “Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me” (Proverbs 30:8). If we want to walk in righteousness we must not lie, as “A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame” (Proverbs 13:5).

I believe that one of the most pungent Bible verses is, “A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin” (Proverbs 26:28). Here we see that from God’s perspective, we hate the one we lie to. If we loved him, we would speak truth to him just like our heavenly Father speaks truth always to us.

One of the greatest struggles I have is my desire to be funny. Sometimes the easiest way to get a chuckle is to say something that isn’t true. I know it is wrong, and yet it can create this battle in me as to whether I will say it. Usually, I just “swallow the words,” but there are times, especially if I’m tired, that they will come out. Then after we have all laughed, my spirit convicts me.

The conviction to speak truth is what initially led us to quit Santa Claus at Christmas. We realized that, according to Scripture, we could not love our children and lie to them. Yes, that also meant that the “tooth fairy” and “Easter bunny” were eradicated – never to darken our door again.

It is so easy to get caught up in all of our warm, fuzzy memories of being a child and in not wanting our children to miss out on anything. However, it is my greatest desire that my children would not miss out on having a God-fearing father who loves the Lord Jesus with all his heart. If God says I must shun falsehood, then I am not going to justify lying to my children for any reason.

I think what happens is that often we dads can be short-sighted and not patriarchal minded. It is so easy to live for all the fun this world has to offer and lose sight of eternal things. This year I will turn fifty and that seems old, but even if I lived to be as old as Silas (a delightful young man of 97 years old), what is that in comparison with eternity? Nothing!

I want my children to think of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead when they think of Easter. Yes, the Bible doesn’t tell us to celebrate “Easter,” but we are told to remember. We choose to “remember” in a more focused way on the day that even unbelievers expect Christians to celebrate. In my opinion, it would be far better to not celebrate Easter at all than to have any part of the “Easter bunny.” It is not truth, and to let something else detract from the most glorious event ever – the celebration of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ – is unthinkable. We do celebrate and remember Christ’s resurrection weekly when we worship, but we choose to make Easter a special remembrance.

If we were somehow to find a way to celebrate Easter and spiritualize the Easter bunny in some fashion, I believe we would have a situation analogous to Exodus 32. Aaron had just made the golden calf while Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving God’s law. After Aaron finished crafting the calf and building an altar for it, he proclaimed, “Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD” (Exodus 32:5). Aaron announced it was to be a feast to Jehovah, the true God of Israel. Only God knows exactly what was going on in Aaron’s mind, but from the outside it appeared to be incredible double-mindedness. Let’s look at what happened in verse 6 when the things of the world were mixed with the worship of the true God: “And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink.”

That does not sound too bad. They had a very spiritual time with their offerings and then a meal. Then we read on that they “rose up to play.” This was not righteous play. We learn later that they were naked. Whatever Aaron intended led to something very unholy.

Please understand, I’m not saying that families who choose to celebrate Easter and include the Easter bunny are guilty of the idolatry we read about. I am not making that judgment in any way. What I am saying is: we can see from Scripture that if we mix truth with something false, the result is negative. Nothing holy will be inspired in the minds of those we are called to bring up in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

Dads, please understand, I’m not condemning you if you do make a choice different from mine, that isn’t my place. However, it is my prayer that I will challenge you to consider things in a new light and encourage you to love the Lord Jesus more and walk according to His Word. May God be merciful and gracious to you and may you be the head of many godly generations

“And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth” (Exodus 34:6).