Train up a child in the way he should go. Even when he is old he will not depart from it. — PROVERBS 22:6
I HAVE A BOLD PROPOSAL: we should celebrate Christmas in November and Thanksgiving in December. It seems backwards that we spend a Thursday in November expressing gratitude for life’s blessings, and just hours later, we’re celebrating consumerism at Black Friday sales to kickoff the Christmas season. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
Of course, it’s tough to change traditions. And when those traditions don’t make sense, we just shrug our shoulders and accept them. Most of the time, that’s harmless. But for some families, what has become traditional is unhealthy and downright dangerous.
I think about that each time a child comes to live with us.
What have they seen at home and how are they processing it? What unhealthy attitudes about relationships have become normal? What patterns do they repeat because they’ve been modeled at home? I vividly remember one little boy looking at his mother and saying, “I’m going to hit you in the head and you will die.” He wasn’t being angry or malicious. He was simply repeating what he had heard the adults in his home say.
That’s why our work with children is so critical. If we can break that cycle of abuse and prevent little boys and girls from growing up in homes where domestic violence is a way of life, we’ll achieve a true victory.
This holiday season, I hope you’ll create wonderful memories (and maybe some new traditions) with your family. And I’ll spend my family’s traditional Thanksgiving thanking the Lord for you and our many other partners who bring hope, security and healing to the families who call Sheltering Wings home.