By Contributing Writer, Kim Doebler
It was a nice Christmas gathering, until…..a young mom shared that her family celebrates Christmas with Santa.
The opinions started flying. Some showed concern and offered solutions. Others were just interested in presenting how evil Santa is.
Later, an older woman that had been in attendance called me. She was concerned this young mom may want to avoid these Christian “radicals.” The young mom that was bombarded did seem to appreciate some of the words shared, although it was perhaps too much. This older woman was going to call this young mom just to make sure she was OK.
I encouraged her to remind the young mom that how the family celebrates is up to her husband. As a wife, we can bring up new ideas and challenge old ways, but in the end our husband gets to make the call.
That was easy for me to say and to see, until I hit my own bump in the road.
It was a beautiful blog entry that first sent me whirling. The family I read about did devotions every night, read the prophecies of Jesus’ coming and sang songs together. Instead of presents for Christmas, they gave to the needy. They bought chickens and goats.
It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20: 35 )
Another family told us of how they spend Christmas Eve in their barn as a reminder of Jesus’s humble beginning.
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2: 6-7)
That was all it took to stir discontent and perhaps even a little disrespect for my husband. Amidst feeling extremely unspiritual, I also started to dislike “our” way of doing Christmas. We sat down as a family to watch a silly Christmas movie, and I couldn’t even giggle, it felt so wrong.
After the evening was over I laid in bed crying out to the Lord to help me find joy and balance.
To obey is better than sacrifice. (I Samuel 15:22b)
Being a grumpy, stuffy, sacrificing martyr was not what God called me to be.
…a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping. (Proverbs 19: 13)
To obey my husband and promote joy and unity in our house was definitely part of my role in life.
A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones. (Proverbs 12: 4)
I needed to stop comparing and embrace the traditions my husband enjoys. It would require thinking on that which is good, right and pleasing in every situation.
Our Christmas was great! There were still a couple of times I had to remind myself to promote joy and unity when I would have preferred to be doing something differently. There is no doubt that Momma can dampen the mood with just a little bit of discontent, so I chose to jump in with both feet, a smile on my face, and love in my heart.
Obeying my husband by making Christmas what he wanted created warm memories for the whole family and extended family too.
The only real sacrifice that was needed was to lay down the inferiority I was feeling from comparing our family to others. Then I was free to obey my husband in his desires for “our” Christmas!