Fall Tradition

Every year we do something out of the ordinary in the world of Halloween and fall. If you celebrate Halloween by dressing up your children and moving them around the neighbor to collect candy, blessings to you.

We don’t.

I don’t want to go into a long debate about why we do not do this or why you do. We don’t. My boys dress up every other day but not this one. We are all okay with that so please no “hate mail” about being a Halloween Scrooge. ūüôā Thanks!

Instead, we use the day to think about a wonderful event that happened this day to draw the world once again closer to God’s truth. We celebrate Reformation Day on Oct 31. We have been doing this for several years and really enjoy this focused time as a family. We celebrate the coming back to the Truth of God’s word through the man of Martin Luther. While we don’t agree with all his published works, we do appreciate the doctrinal principals that came from his work. The 5 Solas or the five “onlys” of the Reformers’ writings and speeches point us back to the truth in God’s word.

On Oct 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 theses or corrections to the local Catholic church in Wittenburg, Germany. He did this the day before All Saints Day, November 1,¬† when he knew many would attend mass at the church. He did not plan to split the church, but he wanted the church to take a good look at where it was and change its actions to get back in line with God’s word.

At our home we spend the evening talking about the truths we find in the Reformation writings. They wrote that we live and learn by “Scripture Alone” apart from traditions of men, personal preferences, or anything else. We are saved by “Faith Alone” apart from works and ourselves. Salvation is by “Grace Alone,” not receiving what we deserve through no work of our own. We have eternal life through Christ’s blood on the cross and not our works which leads to salvation is by “Christ Alone.”¬† (If I may just interject: If God’s blood was not enough to pay for my sins, how could I EVER believe that anything I, a sinner, do possibly be enough? How could I add to the perfect sacrifice or be better than it?) There is no one else we should pray to or through except Christ. Christ is our mediator (I Tim 2:5), our Saviour, our Lord. He is the only way into Heaven. Finally, “Glory to God Alone” is the last Sola. Salvation is from Jesus Christ alone and He alone deserves the glory, no man. We review these ideas, looking into the Bible at scriptures that show these points clearly.

As you can see in the pictures, I set the table with the 5 Solas attached to construction paper and a blank sheet for the person who will pray for us. We take turns going around to read the portion of truth and the scriptures that go with it. We have a fun meal and enjoy our time.

If you are looking for a resource about Reformation Day or where I found the Solas to print, you can find that free resource here.

I encourage you to take a look at what you believe this time of year and why. Teach your children to love God’s word, know His word, love other people and share God’s word with them. It is not love to hold back truth from others. Love your boys. Teach them well.

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Sharing Traditions with our Boys

IMG_4633 roseThe Farmer and I had our first Valentine’s Day just five months before we were married.  The Farmer gave me a glass vase and a single silk, red rose.  He told me that he would continue to do this each year and fill that vase.  Each Valentine’s Day, I receive a card and a single, red rose from my Farmer.  I have one for each year of our marriage, plus that first Valentine’s Day.

It is a tradition.

The boys get to see the vase filling and their Daddy bringing me the roses each year to do it.  They are a part of that tradition because they observe how a man loves his wife, how he gives to her, how he creates a way that all will remember years past.

Traditions: traditions bind us together, make us feel connected and loved. They give us stories to pass along to others and to share with our own children.   I wanted to have traditions that we pass along to our boys, as well.  We started with watches.

When our boys can tell time, on a real clock with hands and not a digital, I give them a watch.  It is a nice watch and it tells the time with numbers and hands.  It is a symbol of their learning and their responsibility to take care of their new gift.  Two of our four boys now have their watches and the third works on telling time on a regular basis, so that he can get his watch as well.

Next come the wallets.¬† Our boys receive wallets when they begin working and making money.¬† The three oldest boys received wallets this past Christmas as they had all begun to work and had money.¬† The Farmer decided we would start Dave Ramsey‚Äôs Money Jr.¬† This is a program where children have chores for which they earn payment.¬† Our payment is .25 per chore.¬† They have other chores they do for simply living in our home, but for the named chores, they will be paid.¬† This system then has the child split the money into SAVE, GIVE, and finally SPEND envelopes.¬† The boys work for items that they ‚Äúsaving‚ÄĚ for with that envelope.¬† They give the GIVE envelope‚Äôs contents to church or a need that they see. They can spend the money in the SPEND envelope or use it toward their item for which they are saving.¬† This is a simple, though complex, system which teaches the boys to how to manage money.¬† Since they are making, spending, and saving money, they earned their wallets.

The boys receive Bibles, good and sturdy King James Versions, when they are ready to take God’s Word into their minds on a regular basis.  This year we are doing more study time, so the boys also received new Bibles with their names inscribed on the covers.  God’s Word has to be in their hands before it can be put into their hearts regularly.

Finally, we will give the boys knives.¬† A pocket knife is very useful for many things and will be given to each son when he shows himself responsible and useful to others outside our home.¬† This could be when he gives time, shares his talents, or does some other good, without parental ‚Äúprompting‚ÄĚ in the future.¬† None of our boys have knives of their own yet.

Each item is given with a little bit of pomp and praise to show the boys that they are growing up.  They are changing and becoming men.  They are being trusted with possessions, some of them more costly than others.  They are learning to care for what they have.  We are creating traditions and markers of their development.  When they look back in future years, we hope they see that they have matured, changed, developed, and grown into fine and responsible men.

These traditions will be markers of those moments of growth.

What traditions are you creating with your boys? Do you have coming of age moments?  Do you have coming into responsibility markers?

Enjoy your boys!