Are You Santa’s Helper?

Posted on December 16, 2007 · Posted in Parenting

 

Santas_helper_title_2

Listen, my son, to your father's
instruction
       and do not forsake your mother's teaching.

They
will be a garland to grace your head
       and a chain to adorn your neck.

Proverbs
1:8&9

Little
children are dependent upon their parents for everything. This includes more
than food, clothing and shelter. Children are dependent upon you, parent, for
how they view the world around them. The way you live in front of them is the
most powerful teaching tool that God gives you. This is teaching in the milieu.
God designed families to demonstrate what it means to have a relationship with
Him. If you love God, if you sincerely attempt to live your life by His Word,
if you recognize that every moment is given to you
so that you will glorify and
honor God, then you will teach your children these same truths without even
thinking about it. Your children observe you, everything about you. They see
when you are sleeping, they know when you have been good or bad, they know when
you pout and when you shout. In the midst of the turmoil of life your children
know whom you delight in. Your kids know this without your ever having to say a
word. When you stumble and ask God for help — they learn. When you stumble and
snap or make excuses — they learn from that, too. If you value your
relationship with God above all else, your children will know this, even when
you fall short of your calling as a Christian parent.

Santa_parentWhat does this have to do with
being Santa's helper? Just this: in Psalm 72:18 we read that "God alone does
marvelous things." However, at Christmas time, for little children someone
else is
portrayed as doing the most marvelous things. Santa brings the toys!
Not just any toys, but toys that come in brightly wrapped boxes under a
colorful, sparkling tree. These toys have been longed for, prayed for, craved
for, hoped for and wished for. This longing has gone on for months if not
years. The goodness of Santa is confirmed by the tag on the present: From
Santa. Amid the pile of wrappings, bows and empty boxes, happy children know
they have been adorned.
When I was a child we always left milk and
cookies for Santa each Christmas Eve before we went to bed. And sure enough,
when my brothers and I bolted out of bed to head for the tree, the milk and
cookies were gone. But in their place were presents and full stockings. Santa
was for real!

So
there is no question that children who experience this visit from Santa feel
adorned. Yet this adornment is clearly of the material sort. The children don’t
really know “Santa.” But they may actually know his helpers, as I did as a
child. His helpers? Why Mom and Dad of course! When Mom and Dad help Santa,
good things happen. Toys pour down from the chimney and appear under the tree.

However,
if Mom and Dad are Christians, they often may say they are somebody else’s
helper. That’s right, parents are also God’s helpers. This brings a
question: whom would your children rather you help? Do your children feel the
same sense of adornment when you are God’s helper as they do when you are
Santa’s helper? Proverbs 1:8-9 implies that children should be
adorned (and feel adorned) everyday. Even discipline and correction should
feel like adornment to your children. Sadly, most children are anything but
adorned by their parents' discipline and instruction. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I
TOLD YOU NOT TO MAKE A MESS!!!! STOP YELLING AT YOUR SISTER!!! I HAVE TOLD YOU
AND TOLD YOU TO STOP THAT. NOW I AM GOING TO HAVE TO SPANK YOU BECAUSE YOU HAVE
DISOBEYED GOD!

Proverbs
teaches that these opportunities for discipline and teaching are to be times of
"adorning your children" as with the finest jewelry, just like
Christmas time. God is often appealed to as the reason for the spanking or
scolding. So, being God's helper can mean spanking, harsh words, cold, silent
treatment, banishment to rooms, broken relationships. On the other hand,
Santa's helper brings longed for treasures. The contrast is not lost on a young
child. Don't misunderstand; I am not saying, "Don't discipline." But
the Bible teaches that you can discipline in such a way as to adorn your
children. Try the special combination of Proverbs – the rod and pleasant words
mixed together (Pro. 16:20-24).
This is a
powerful combination. Verse 24 says
pleasant
words promote instruction.
This is not easy,
but with Christ's Word and the power of the Holy Spirit you can be a different
parent — one who adorns at times other than Christmas.

Teach
your children that One more wonderful than Santa loves them and has given them
parents to teach them about Christ and true riches. Don't confuse your children
by helping a mythical visitor. Tell them that you love them because Christ has
loved you. Tell them that your God has given you a rich blessing – your
children. Let them know that the gifts they receive are expressions of your
love to them. Adorn your children at Christmas. Adorn your children on August
3rd as well, and every other day. Let them know that you are God's helper to
bring them into relationship with Him. Let your children know that you are
Christ's helper. Tell your children what true riches are. In addition to
the gifts that you wrap, adorn your children with gifts that are more valuable
than silver and gold. Show them the excellence of being Christ's helper.

This Christmas, whose helper will you be — Santa's or Christ's? Blessings
to you this Christmas Season!

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