Easter has come and gone for another year. Along with it, an opportunity to create healthy, memorable experiences came and went for another year. Which opportunity was that you ask? The opportunity to create a trusting, healthy relationship with your children that will aid you in raising them up to be responsible, productive, trustworthy members of society. How can Easter contribute to or detract from your efforts in this regard? I’m glad you asked! My answer however, may have you yelling at me through your screen.
I will begin with a story my daughter brought home from elementary school one year. Grade two we believe. Her classmate had arrived, proudly talking about having lost a tooth, but disappointed the tooth fairy hadn’t arrived the night before. My daughter turned to her and said there was no such thing as the tooth fairy, that it was probably her Mom or Dad. Her classmate had apparently gotten rather emotional about that and realized she couldn’t trust her parents to be truthful with her.
You see, many at Easter talk about the Easter Bunny bringing eggs and chocolate for the Easter celebration. For starters as Christians, we shouldn’t be celebrating a pagan holiday to a fertility goddess whose depictions include rabbits. We have something far greater to be celebrating at the exact same weekend, and that is Christ’s death and Resurrection, the payment for offering us eternal Salvation. This is the part where you yell at me through your screen accusing me of killing all the fun. Instead, I challenge you to consider the Passover celebration, and look up their use of the egg at the Passover Seder, and what it means. Christ is called the Passover Lamb who came to take away the sins of the world.
[bctt tweet=”John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” username=”songdovemd”]
The egg is often used as an illustration of the Triune God: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. One God, yet three. An egg has three distinct parts: the shell, the white, and the yolk. Three parts but one egg. So do the egg hunts, colour and paint them around the dining room table, but talk about the meanings of the egg. Talk about the life Christ gives us, about His place in the God-head, about how God’s Word nourishes and protects us, etc.
As women who are not merely single mom’s, but also Christian single moms, it behooves us in particular, to always be truthful with our children so that we can build a foundation of openness that our children will draw on when they get older. Do you want to do the “swap a tooth for a coin” routine with your child? Maintain the mystery by having them guess at what they might find in the morning, but be truthful that it is you doing the swap. Don’t lie to your child about a fictitious creature being real when they aren’t.
As I wrote in a blog article on my author blog back in 2016: As Christians, we all agree that lying is in the list of 10 Commandments that we should not do. But it’s amazing how many Christians are unaware of the fact that God’s view of lying is first seen in the story of Abraham before the Law was given and that His strongest dislike for it is actually seen after the Age of Grace begins in the book of Acts. But once a year, and more often for others such as at Christmas and Easter or when a child loses a tooth, many Christians think it’s OK to lie. They justify it a wide number of ways and accuse people like me of being a kill-joy for pointing out that even positive or benevolent reasons do not justify sin.
Scripture tells us to let our yes be yes and our no be no.
James 5:12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
We are told not to lead others astray and to be our brother’s keeper.
Matthew 18:6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a large millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned at the bottom of the sea.
We are told not to make promises we won’t or can’t keep to God or to each other.
As parents, we need to heed Christ’s words in
Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
We are teaching our children how to live Godly lives by our examples in everyday life, most notably in the memories we build for them. At Christmas, Easter, and tooth-losing times, we have the opportunity to build trust in our children that what we say is truthful, or to build distrust that we can’t always be trusted to be truthful and what else might we be hiding from them? Now you may say you have good reason to keep certain things from your children, but this isn’t license to lie to them. Instead, this is license for creativity on your part to only share what is needful for them at the time, age and stage they are in just then. Even God answers our prayers on a need-to-know basis and if we don’t need to know an answer to our question, He simply won’t give it. He doesn’t come up with deceptive scenarios designed to make us think we received an answer, He simply doesn’t answer. This is a far better way to handle questions your children don’t need answers to than the world’s idea of spinning something to say.
Young children grow up to become tweenagers and from there to teenagers and then to young adults. Many parents feel disconnected from their older children and often don’t understand why. Many children feel distrustful of their parents and that they can’t talk to them, often not really sure why. That why began when they were very young. That why began when they were toddlers, kindergartners, in grade 2 and on. Their ability to trust you in mundane times will be tied to being able to trust you in celebratory times. There is no need to build a foundation of distrust, because it will come back to bite you later when you can’t connect with your child.
Build a trustworthy foundation now. Here at The Solo-Mom Agape Resource Tactician blog, I want to encourage you to always be truthful with your children at every age and stage they are at. Build that foundation of trust. Include them in your daily planning, your grocery spending, your celebratory spending, etc. Teach them by your example that they are worth your time and effort and that they can trust your word. When they see you following through on your promises to others that you’ll be a certain place on time and you actually show up on time, they will trust you to keep your word with them too. When your children see you follow through on your promises to teachers or pastors or bankers, they will rest knowing they can trust you too. When the stories they hear from you about a given situation equal the stories they hear from other classmates’ parents about that same situation match, they can rest knowing you are telling the truth.
Lying actually causes stress to build in a home. If it used too often for any positive or negative reason, distrust develops and along with that distrust, relationships begin to break down. Cooperation becomes strained. Conversations involving promises risk turning into accusatory arguments. Family members begin to stomp out of dialogues yelling that they can’t trust you. This kind of stress tears families apart. If it is allowed to go unchecked, the mental and emotional stress will translate into house and home deteriorating and physical health taking a hit as well.
When I talk about injecting peace into your daily routines, communication is part of that. Lying is a sin and listed in the 10 Commandments. [bctt tweet=”Hiding the truth in ways that make others believe something that is not true, is a lie, no matter what form that takes.” username=”songdovemd”]Making others believe what is wrong is sin in God’s eyes, regardless of our reasons for contributing to the wrong belief. As Christian single moms, we can’t afford to have our homes fractured any more than they already are. Let us be truthful in ALL our dealings with our children, and with those we make agreements with so that by our example, our children know they can come to us and trust our word every single time.