There is nothing like having a child to send a surge of questions to ones heart and mind about the habits and traditions of a home. What does our family look like? What do we want our family to look like? Who do we want these children to become? And how do we help them get there? Noel Piper has written a beautiful book called Treasuring God in Our Traditions that hones in on the beauty and necessity of traditions bathed in the Word of God and person of Jesus. It is woven with poetry and writings from her gifted (and well-known!!) husband and the two set a really wonderful standard for any family.
Noel says “All of us are training our children both intentionally and unintentionally. We need to make sure we aren’t leaving the important things to happenstance. We know it’s crucial that they become familiar with God, our Heirloom and our only hope for real life. We yearn for them to love and trust and follow Christ. It would be foolish just to wait for them to learn that by chance. We must plan to reflect God and teach about Christ in the repeated events of our lives.” Noel shares how normal church life, family celebrations and Holidays bring about those “repeated” events where the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ can be emphasized in our homes.
I love that she talks about the “how” for us. In Deuteronomy 11: 19 and Psalm 71 we see great example of how to live our tradition in our home. The Psalmist writes of God, praises God all day long, acknowledges God’s protection, prays for strength in the unknown future while knowing God’s pattern of faithfulness from his past, he hopes continually, talks about what God has done with awe, reminds others of God’s righteousness & what God has done in others lives, he trusts, he prays for the presence and power to be real. Isn’t this list so convicting?! I know we need a whole lot more of this in our home, those little minds soak up everything. The opportunity is now for us and it will quickly pass.
She has some wonderful ideas tucked in the latter half of her book that you will find as treasures to add to your family life. I specifically adore her ideas about Christmas Symbols, Lenten Candles, and the Resurrection tree. These are great tools for the little ones and I have already started gathering things for our Christmas basket. She truly seeks for life and home to be “from him, because of him, pointing toward him, honoring him, and thanking him.” I pray this book will lead you into the Christmas season with fresh eyes and a fresh heart to teach your children of the greatest treasure of all.
“For he loves Thee too little who loves anything together with Thee, which he loves not for Thy sake.” Saint Augustine