Friday, August 24, 2012

Family Traditions

“If that happened, we would turn into ash and crumble away!”

When you hear a statement like that come out of a nine year-old mouth, you take notice.

In our family we have had a tradition for several years where we give each of our children, on their birthday and for Christmas, the next volume in a long-running series of faith-based radio dramas. As a family we must have around 30 volumes covering nearly twenty years of the show. The kids love listening to and talking about the show, they learn nice life lessons and Biblical truths, but the secret ingredient that makes the collection great is tradition. As we approach Caedon’s birthday tomorrow, Cheryl asked him what they would do if we forgot or stopped that tradition. That was when he made this latest in a long series of funny declarations.

Building and maintaining family traditions is an important task of parenting. We all desire and even require traditions. Being intentional about creating them fills a need in a child’s life, but if done right, it also teaches them important things for life.

Traditions should have good reasons to exist. They should serve a purpose and they should at times be allowed to die if they no longer serve that purpose. When we do it right our kids can learn to enjoy tradition thoughtfully. They can learn the way traditions teach us and remind us of truths we need to keep in the forefront of our minds.

Perhaps best of all, they provide us with ways to maintain family connections. They help us build and strengthen our relationships.

And, they keep us from turning into ash and crumbling away.

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