Consider This: Colossians 2:16-23

Posted by  | Tuesday, August 12, 2008  at 11:28 PM  
I have spoken with many Christian moms who struggle with how to approach various holidays in the home. There are many godly women all along the spectrum of opinion, making it that much harder to choose where to take a stand. There are those who say Christian families should reject the traditions of our culture because they detract from Christ. There are those who say we should embrace the traditions of our culture because our children should enjoy the festivity of holidays and there is no harm in celebrating with tradition. There are those who say we should bring the focus onto the Christian meaning/story behind the evermore commercialized holidays. What's a mom to think? I would like to direct our attention to the Word of God for some perspective in the debate:

Colossians 2:16 states "Therefore, no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day - ". Paul says that we should not be defrauded of our prize because of rules and laws made by man. He asks why we submit ourselves to decrees such as "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!" even though we have died with Christ to the way of living on this earth. These rules are made in accordance with the commandments and teaching of men, not Christ. The key to the entire passage can be found in verse 23. He strikes to the pride of man by saying "these are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence." Here's the point, ladies. We can make rules and lists of right and wrong with regard to how to celebrate holidays, but they are man-made and can only serve to puff us up in our own wisdom and self-righteousness. If our rules fail to teach our flesh how to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, then they fail to be of worth to us and cannot be our judge. We must be careful to say that all Christian families must forsake celebrating holidays. Likewise, we must be careful to say that all Christian families should embrace the traditions. And most importantly, we must be careful to say that the way we've decided to do things is the most godly way to approach the subject.

Now, the person who needs to hear this message the most? Me. My biggest sin is pride and the easiest way to exercise pride in my life is to write a blog to other Christian moms and claim to have a handle on how to be a good mom and a good housewife and a catch my drift. This post isn't meant to sting anyone but myself. Back to what I was saying...

I think the more important question in the "how do I celebrate the holiday of Christmas as a Christian?" is not "do I tell my kid about Santa?" but "how do I celebrate March 20th (or some other random, non-holiday date) as a Christian?" How I live and interact with my children on a day-in, day-out basis will speak volumes more to them than how I celebrate the handful of holidays throughout the year. If my life is about loving and serving God and others, then that will shine through on December 25th and March 20th alike. It will shine through as we decorate a Christmas tree or as we don't decorate a Christmas tree. But if my life isn't about loving and serving God and others, then my children will learn that one honors Christ by talking about him at Christmas time or one honors Christ by not having anything to do with Christmas. Do you get what I'm saying? No matter how I choose to celebrate/not celebrate, the most important thing is that I don't teach my children a legalistic, formulaic way to please God, but that I teach them that every day and in every way, we love God and others.

All this to say, in a very long-winded fashion I realize, is take a deep breath, ladies, and exhale. Don't stress out about how you are going to deal with Christmas and Easter and Halloween. As much as we'd all love a "right answer", there isn't one. After your deep breath, read through what the different authors and readers do in their own homes and decide what you'd like to do with your family. Then focus back on Colossians 2:23 - making sure that you aren't pursuing things that "have the appearance of wisdom", but that you are seeking those things that are of value against fleshly indulgence (fighting sin).


ChezDeshotels said...



Thanks so much for your very convicting post. It couldn't have been said better and I really feel exactly the same way and my husband and I have talked about lacking in judgement when it comes to each families decisions. Once again thank you so much


Shannon Bradley said...

I am humbled by your words and encouragement!! Holidays have been such a topic of discussion for me and Ross. We both really struggle with legalism sometimes. I LOVE the verse that you used to share your heart on this issue and God's heart. It is a sweet reminder that God's word has "granted us EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness"...even down to Santa or no Santa!!! :)

Abigail said...

i'm a new reader, i'm really enjoying POH. This was beautifully written and really helpful in the fact that it doesn't give a specific answer, but goes straight to the heart of the gospel. Thank you.

Christina said...

Awesome! Thanks Leah for sharing this scripture with us.

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