Monday, December 14, 2009

Marriage Monday: He Speaks (a little bit late!)

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis
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I missed this month's "Marriage Monday" with a theme of "He Speaks." We were asked to talk to our husbands about Christmas and let him share his thoughts. I tried to type as my hubby talked the last Monday he was off as we were driving to pick up a Christmas gift. I really appreciated his thoughts and wanted to post them now, even though I'm late! I typed what he said and then he edited and added to it. Please read it! He has a wonderful message, and I'm so glad he shared.

Here it is:

With the commercialization of Christmas it's too easy to get caught in a trap. The retailers play the Christmas music throughout the stores, the newspaper swells even thicker on Sundays to hold the larger than usual ads and even the day after Thanksgiving becomes "Black Friday." STOP and think for a moment: what are we celebrating for? Are we truly doing these things because we are trying to celebrate the birth of Christ our Lord and Savior, or have we fallen into a trap with all these "tricks" from marketers. Not to say that marketing is bad, but as soon as the calendar turned from October 31 to November 1, Christmas trees popped up in many stores and gone were the ghosts and goblins. From the beginning of November it builds from there. It's easy to let ourselves be caught into what the retailers think Christmas is all about--to them it's the time of year that they catch up on their sales. Many retailers operate in the red all year and then Christmas comes to fill in the gap. What is the meaning of Christmas, or what has the meaning of Christmas really turned into?

To give an example I'm going to switch holidays from Christmas to Easter. I grew up in a Christian home, but the meaning of Easter was never fully explained to me. In fact it wasn't until I was in college that I fully understood what Easter was about, that is, the resurrection of Christ. How or why I grew up not connecting the dots on Easter is still a mystery to me. I thought it was a day when we dressed up for church, had a surprise visit from some strange creature the Easter Bunny, and hunted eggs with my cousins on Sunday afternoon. Why? This Christmas would you ask yourself what am I doing this for? Do my kids know why we are celebrating Christmas?

My wife grew up in a home that didn't participate in the santa claus thing. She still had gifts on Christmas morning, but they were from Mom and Dad. I thought this was strange the first time I heard it, but then I heard the why and it made sense to me. We have so many made up characters we are taught about as children such as the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny and santa claus. My mother-in-law said that she never told her daughter to believe in santa claus because he isn't real and someday what if her daughter grew up, finds out that santa isn't real, and begins to question whether God existed. It was too hard for her to bear the thought of her daughter losing her faith in God because of a silly game we as Americans play at Christmas.

We have our traditions, and while family traditions are nice many times we don't know why we do them. For instance, every year we put a dead evergreen tree in our house( and I'm allergic to trees). Why? Even the Israelites were given traditions because of what they'd been through coming out of Egypt. The tradition of the Passover was instituted so that they wouldn't forget how God delivered them from such a terrible time in their history. In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses writes that they needed to tell their children why they are doing these things so that the traditions will be kept alive and reverent. The oral history of events was necessary to preserve the tradition. This Christmas my family is trying hard to make it a day of celebration and family. I challenge you to talk to your family about the traditions and why you celebrate Christmas. Make sure everyone understands because if we don't take the time to explain the season then we just have another meaningless holiday.

When God created the world He knew that man would be free to make choices, and I believe he designed a way out for man that involved sending His Son. God gave man a place on a beautiful earth and said enjoy. Man and woman sinned and well the rest is history. But He didn't leave them there. He provided a way out. He gave humanity His one and only Son as Savior to the world. What's amazing to me is that God walked with man, man sinned and was separated from God. Then God sent his son Jesus not only to bridge the gap but to walk with man again. He was born of a virgin in a manger because there was no place else to stay. The King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Son of God began His brief walk on this earth in a manger. That isn't exactly how Hollywood would write the story is it? But that's what God did. The point of the story is that God gave. As Dave Ramsey says "He's a Giver," and being His children we should follow his lead. I encourage you this Christmas to stop and focus on the true meaning behind the Christmas story and to give in a way that shows God's love to the world.

jp

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Well there isn't anything more I can say (except maybe you need to write more often honey! You should have your own blog!.....Actually I'm considering an idea to do with him next year...) Have a day of blessings!

8 comments:

Denise said...

Awesome, your husband is very wise.

Amanda said...

This is really, really special... I am choked up just thinking about it.

You got a great man there girl... praise God for you and yours!

Amanda

e-Mom said...

Not only should he have a blog, he should preach! (Kidding.) Thanks for posting your DH's thoughts. Glad to read your Marriage Monday post any day of the month.

Have a blessed Christmas, both of you. :~D

Hugs, e-Mom

e-Mom said...

P.S. I added your link to Mister Linky. :~D

sister sheri said...

How cool is that! What a great idea to have your hubby contribute, too. Sounds like a well-thought out guy.

We felt the same way about Santa. That's what we did with Christopher. Actually, it has helped the most with Christopher's appreciation of receiving gifts.

Cherie said...

I love that your hubby is willing to jump in and add to your blog. That is awesome! Just last week we told our 8 year the reality about Santa. I was sure she already knew, but I think I was wrong! Anyway, we followed that up with a devotion about the originals of St. Nicholas and how that was all commercialized to eventually becoming Santa. It was very interesting and was a nice way to learn about some of the traditions we participate in--like that tree you are allergic to! Now it will be easier to set Santa aside and focus on the TRUE celebration of JESUS!

Clif said...

I agree that your husband should have his own blog. Perhaps you two are going to do something together next year. Sounds good. I have heard about homes like the ones you both came from. I certainly know about the Church of Christ and Easter. I have strong opinions about what to teach about Easter and also about telling children about Santa Claus. I am conservative!! But I have more liberal views on these two subjects than were expressed here. Tell your husband that I appreciate his post.

eph2810 said...

Marvelous post!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing your husband thoughts, Bethany. You are right - he should have his own blog :)

By the way - I think the whole santa claus thing comes from a soft-drink company (1930's)...We don't have santa claus in Germany (at least to), but St. Nicholas - nothing to do with Christmas though...you can read more about St. Nicholas here:
http://www.stnicholascenter.org/Brix?pageID=38