Eric Schumacher

Gospel Thinking: How Do We Decide Our Family Traditions?

Gospel Thinking: How Do We Decide Our Family Traditions?

Maybe it's crafting cute Thanksgiving turkeys with your kids, opening envelopes on your Advent calendar, or making pancakes for birthday mornings—all families have traditions. They range from the simple to the elaborate, the every-so-often to the every-year, the super meaningful to the silly.

Sometimes traditions bring us joy. They help us reorient our hearts toward what we value most, offer us pause in the midst of life's hustle and bustle, and provide consistent signposts to think of God's faithfulness. And sometimes, they're just plain fun.

Other times, traditions cause pressure and guilt. We’re upset when we abandon the Advent calendar, annoyed we forgot to pull out books on time, or frustrated there are now turkeys glued to our tables.

Thankfully, traditions don't earn our good standing before God, measure how well we "did" the holiday season, or guarantee our kids will love Jesus. Instead, traditions are another area the gospel gives us freedom to decide what's best (and most fruitful) for our families. We can light the weekly candle for Advent, or not. We can have an Easter party, or not. We can start a tradition, or stop one.

As long as we’re living by faith in the completed work of Christ, and striving to love others well, we each have freedom for how traditions play out in our own homes.

At R|M, we want to equip you to apply the gospel to every aspect of life by being “gospel thinkers.” Because the gospel changes everything—even our traditions.

So to help you kick off this holiday season with biblical understanding, @emschumacher is explaining how to take what scripture teaches about traditions and apply it to our lives. Think of it as a tool for filtering what traditions you might want to start (or stop) in your own home. Wondering what to do with Santa? How you should engage in Halloween? If the “tooth fairy” should visit? We hope this resource helps you consider how to engage in these (and many other) traditions.

We even added discussion questions so you can talk with your spouse, podcast club, or friends at the playground. (And it has a handy printable!)

Dads Hurt Too: A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage

Dads Hurt Too: A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.” “But even the hairs of your head are all numbered,” Jesus assures us. “Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” The argument here is not: people matter, therefore sparrows are insignificant. Rather: sparrows are significant, so how much more valuable are those created in God’s image?

God’s voice—not the voices in my head or those of my neighbor—is the final word on the matter: If he values the hairs of my head more than sparrows, how much more must he care for my child—his own image bearer?

And when that child falls to sleep, hidden in my wife’s womb, will the Father in heaven not notice the father on earth? God cares for these little ones. God cares about mothers. God cares about fathers. Both moms and dads have every right to mourn.