Whether we intend to or not, our family lives are creating memories that will live long in the hearts of each member. I remember the cool model car my father gave me for Christmas that we never built. I also remember the first computer he gave me (a Radio Shack TRS-80), that we spent hours on together.
My father and I had an interesting conversation a couple of years ago about raising children. I don’t recall what I said to him, but his response surprised me. He said he didn’t think much of what he did in raising my sister and me was done with intentionality.
Don’t get me wrong. My father is and was a thoughtful man. However, he just didn’t put much thinking into raising us.
I believe our heavenly Father would have us be as intentional as we can in raising our kids, which includes making memories.
Noel Piper wrote, “Traditions (memories) are a lot like heirlooms. Both probably have come to us through our families. Some you love; you can’t imagine life without them. Some you’re stuck with; you don’t know what to do with them.”
This comes from a book I highly recommend you read if you want to think more deeply (and better yet, more scripturally) about making memories with your family: Treasuring God in our Traditions.
Mrs. Piper suggests there are two kinds of memories or traditions that we give our families: The “Everyday” ones and the “Especially” ones.
The “Everyday” ones “give shape and order to our everyday lives,” she says. These range from the predictable devotions or prayer times, to the things we say in certain situations. One instance of the latter in our family is that we often say, “Love you more,” whenever we are leaving one another.
The “Especially” traditions or memory makers are just what it sounds like: special occasions that occur less regularly, like Christmas, Easter, or even birthdays (or adoption days).
Both kinds of traditions should be shaped by parents to provide meaning and stability. If we don’t intentionally infuse our daily family interactions with the Gospel, we will miss out on precious opportunities to model the Christian walk for our children. If we do Christmas without much regard to the Gospel story it represents, then our children will have a large hole in their minds about the true specialness of Christmas. Making memories with the goal of bringing glory to God and displaying His goodness to our children will provide you with joy in honoring our Lord and demonstrate the centrality of Christ in your life to your children.