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First Things First

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

This is written by a former pastor’s wife at Christ Church, now at Christ Reformed Church in Anderson, to the ladies of their congregation.

I trust you will find it helpful in your home with your family.

Dearest Ladies of Christ Reformed Church,

With Christmas coming, the enemy of our Lord will try to dull the joy of your season and celebration, perhaps trying to rob you of quiet contemplation, family dinners together, or whatever means might cause you regret and sorrow rather than comfort and joy.

I encourage you to focus on “first things first” – personal devotions with your Christ; attention to and encouragement of your husband; quiet and/or homey times with your children, reading rich literature or baking for family and friends; doubling up on meal preparation; eating simply whenever possible. . .

Very important – there will everywhere be the opportunity to argue with family about differences in practices of our faith: whether are not we “play the Santa game” (and all of the issues that involves), where and when we worship, how and if we decorate, and the like. This is the time to reread Romans 12 and remember that most of these issues are in the arena of minor doctrinal points, even if they are our favorites or have impacted our lives strongly. Prayerfully enter times of family togetherness. Practice self-control of countenance and voice when an issue of potential contention looms on the horizon. Use the time as an opportunity for graciousness and respectful questioning (instead of hauteur and a dissertation on your own views 🙂  ). Teach your children by word and example to hear these different, even wrong, viewpoints quietly, with prayer, and to make mental notes to discuss and pray over them later as a family or parent/child. Look like Jesus, Who was always gentle with the misinformed.

For the truly determined heretics you meet, pleasantly but firmly reply with truth. If not accepted, leave them to simmer or ponder or rage, if they will, and let the Holy Spirit deal with them.

I trust that the dear Lord of the season will give you grace as you seek to honor Him. Remember the crux of being the Proverbs 31 woman: Strength, Dignity, Joy.

Joyous Christmas to you all!

Nancy

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