Advent, kindness and raising kids

by | Parenting with Courage

Advent, a time of promise, a season of waiting and a journey of reflection.  We are called to rest and reflect even though the world says otherwise. Among all the parties, end of year get-togethers and holiday preparations, can you raise your children to think about the meaning of Christmas and enjoy this season? 

Calendar of kindnessWhen we disciple our children, we help them orientate their hearts towards following Jesus.  Advent is, therefore, the perfect season to do just that.

What is advent?

It simply means ‘Coming’ in Latin. This is the coming of Jesus into the world. The weeks are used to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas.  On the first four Sundays before Christmas, we remember Isaiah and prophets as they predict the first coming of Jesus, Mary, the mother of Jesus and the words of John the Baptist and Jesus.  You can help your children reflect on the meaning of ‘coming’ in a variety of ways.  Firstly, explain the prophecies about Jesus and how He came to earth.  Then, talk to them about Jesus now in our lives and what it means to follow Him.  Finally, speak of the second return of Jesus and what they can look forward to.

Advent is indeed an invitation to reflect, to hope and to retreat for a few moments during a hectic season.  It is also a season for building family memories.  Make them special by cooking a delicious meal, lighting a candle and talking through the various promises.  Or, be a part of an Advent service in a local church.  Finally, download this FREE ADVENT CALENDAR OF KINDNESS, print it out and challenge one another to enjoy it.

Advent

Don’t think that love, to be true, has to be extraordinary. What is necessary is to continue to love. How does a lamp burn, if it is not by the continuous feeding of little drops of oil? When there is no oil, there is no light and the bridegroom will say: “I do not know you”. Dear friends, what are our drops of oil in our lamps? They are the small things from every day life: the joy, the generosity, the little good things, the humility and the patience. A simple thought for someone else. Our way to be silent, to listen, to forgive, to speak and to act. That are the real drops of oil that make our lamps burn vividly our whole life. Don’t look for Jesus far away, He is not there. He is in you, take care of your lamp and you will see Him.”  Mother Teresa

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