This article was written by State Missionary, Rob Jackson.
Christmas involves giving. After all, “for God so loved this world that He gave His only begotten Son…” (John 3:16). Our children and grandchildren receive our love and gifts during Christmas. However, I encourage us to think about life-changing gifts. These are some of the “gifts” that Tonya (my wife) and I gave to our daughter (Abigail).
1. Daily discipleship with your children.
Give your child undivided attention each day to do fun things, read together, and always point them to the Messiah.
2. Regular “dates” with your children.
I would take Abigail to get snow cones, get ice cream, and at times dress up for “daddy/daughter” time. Tonya would also plan tea parties and other fun things for the girls.
3. Family mission trips.
Taking Abigail with us on mission trips impacted her for life. Yes, this means you sacrifice by saving money. We didn’t go to Disney World but one time. We didn’t take elaborate vacations. Instead, we saved our money so she could go on mission with us.
4. Required family meals at the table.
In our daily lives, the temptation is to grab a bite in front of the television. Instead, at least one meal a day, we would sit down and eat (and talk) completely unplugged!
5. A family graduation trip.
We loved Abigail’s family graduation trip. Please note it doesn’t have to be an expensive trip; it can be a time outdoors camping (or whatever your budget permits). The important thing is going somewhere together and building lifelong memories.
6. Give your children one of your (or your parents’ or relatives’) well-used Bibles marked with notes.
I treasure Dad’s Bible and still use it to preach from time to time. I love looking over his notes penned in his handwriting. I miss him. But I still have his Bible reminding me to run the race before me.
7. Pray together as a family.
The gift of teaching your child to pray is invaluable. Abigail is now an adult, but we still take time to pray together.
8. Sit together at church.
Not all will agree with this “gift.” However, I loved my sweet wife and daughter sitting in the second row with me at church. We would worship in song together, and then I would walk up and preach.
9. Let them see you spending time daily with God through Bible study and prayer.
Your children will often model what they see you doing.
10. Share the Gospel with them.
As a parent (or grandparent) make this your number one priority. Introducing your child to the splendor of knowing Christ is the greatest of all gifts.
What life-changing gifts did your parents or grandparents give you? What ideas would you add to this list?