Many of us LOVE Christmas time. I do!
- the songs about Jesus’ birth
- the festive decorations
- the fellowship at church
- family celebrations
- preparing gifts for those we love
- giving to those in need
- contemplating Jesus Christ – the greatest Gift of all
There are an infinite number of ways that people celebrate Christmas. Each culture has its own traditions. Each family has its own traditions. Trying to merge your preferences and your man’s preferences and make all the extended family happy can be a bit tricky sometimes.
I’d like us to keep a few things in the forefront of our hearts and minds as we celebrate this Christmas season:
- How can I most honor and glorify Christ?
- How can I honor my man (if I have one)?
- How can I bless others?
I pray that God might help us to see our hidden motives and to purify them so that these motives – honoring Christ and blessing others – are our primary motives.
I pray that we might:
- make Christmas about celebrating Him and all He has done for us
- not become greedy or selfish about getting gifts
- not become materialistic about how we celebrate
- not get stressed about material things
- focus on relationships
- be willing to give up worldly expectations and not put ourselves in a box thinking we HAVE to do what we have always done before
- focus on experiences together
- make yummy food, but not overextend ourselves trying to do so much so that we become resentful and grumpy
- not focus on commercialism and STUFF, but on God
- find ways to share with those in need
- find ways to make Christmas Christ-centered
SOME SUGGESTIONS OF WAYS TO HONOR OUR MEN
- do not ask him for things that would strain him financially
- do not ask him for an engagement ring!
- do not be selfish
- be flexible and willing to consider his feelings and treat his ideas and preferences like they are important to you
- be thankful for whatever you are able to do to celebrate
- share what you would like to do, your desires, your preferences, your feelings in a friendly, non-pressuring way ahead of time with him
- give him plenty of TIME to think about what he wants to do
- do not argue and fight about issues – talk about things calmly and briefly share your heart and then allow your man to lead if there is disagreement (unless he is asking you to clearly sin)
- if he wants to have a different schedule from yours or celebrate in a different way after he knows what you would like – honor his preferences if possible if you are in a committed relationship
- if there are specific things you would like for Christmas, you can casually mention a few suggestions that you would enjoy if you know he would appreciate that
- if there are particular things he does NOT like to do – please don’t force those things on him
- check with him before making plans with extended family
if you have an ex, especially if you share children together, Here are some things to consider:
- use a pleasant tone of voice with him
- have a friendly facial expression
- focus on a desire to be cooperative
- repay evil with good (Romans 12:9-21 may be a great chapter to read this month!)
- do not take revenge
- pray for him if he mistreats you
- bless him if he curses you
- do not respond sinfully to any sin he might commit against you – you are no longer a slave to sin! You have crucified your sinful nature and put on your new nature in Christ!
- realize that God may want to use your respect and godly behavior and attitude to draw your ex to Himself
- be flexible! If he wants the children Christmas morning – ok! You can celebrate with them Christmas Eve morning or Christmas evening or the next day and make it very special and memorable.
The greater gift for your children is to have PEACE and harmony between their parents – not which parent is with them for 30 minutes on a certain day when they open stockings. Of what benefit is it to have a huge fight and call each other dreadful things and yell and scream at each other to try to keep the other one from having the children Christmas morning? The greater gift is PEACE – not material things and not a certain time on a certain day on the calendar. Let’s keep our priorities on Christ!
- THANK HIM for being the father of your children and for being involved in their lives
- praise him for anything he does right
- as much as possible, present a united front with him in front of your children
- do not undermine his parenting in front of the children, if you have a concern, please mention it to him in private (maybe after discussing it with your current man)
- do not call him ugly names
- do not use a hateful tone of voice
- do not criticize him and cut him down
- encourage him, build him up and use your words to give life
HONORING FAMILY AND OTHERS
– be flexible
– respect others’ ideas and feelings, don’t insist on things being done a particular way
– state what your boundaries and limits are so that you don’t overcommit and feel resentful of having to do too much
– use a pleasant, calm tone of voice, no yelling, name-calling with anyone, even if they start something, you can respond graciously, with poise, dignity and self-respect.
– enjoy others.
– Savor the moments, even if they aren’t perfect.
– be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry
– avoid arguing and complaining
– express wonder, joy and gratitude
– be content with what you have