Mother's column – A Christian life consists of more than prayer only
Every year, columnist Edit celebrates her three daughters' birthdays. When the kids were younger, she had to organise the parties. But how do you find the right balance between a lovely party and Christian modesty?
Birthday parties are a great experience for the clash between our Christian principles and the pressure of consumer society. The first thing to figure out is the number of invitees: with how many guests shall we party? Do we want to organise a big luxurious party, as many seem to do nowadays? No, instead we usually invited as many guests as the age of the child: 5-year-olds would have 5, 6-year-olds 6, and so on. The younger they are, the less they can handle conversations with their friends.
And where would we organise the parties? We could have chosen the expensive and cramped confines of fast-food restaurants. However, we didn't. Instead, the parties took place at home. We put away the fragile memorabilia, rolled up the carpets and sacrificed our comfort. Perhaps that's what made them realise that they were the centre of attention, which, let's face it, can be important in a family with several children.
Besides, it was a big dilemma for my motherly feelings about which cake I should choose. Should I let the children blow out the candles on the beautiful Disney princess cakes from the cake shop, or should I bake an unprofessional-looking but fresh and delicious cake? I opted for the latter consistently; I always launched all birthdays with a home-baked cake every year. No matter how they looked, they always tasted delicious...
But what about the items that enter our household from the outside world? On one occasion, my five-year-old received zombie dolls as a gift – because that was the fashion at the time. However, I couldn't bear to have the dolls in the children's room. I told her that we had to throw out these ugly things, which were neither good for her aesthetic senses nor for her soul. We didn't give the dolls to poor children because they were not good for their spiritual development either.
Just because we hang a cross in our living room and sit around in the living room every evening praying and talking, the world doesn't stop turning. In our everyday choices, it is difficult to find the balance between following Christ and following consumerism, but that only makes our Christian life more exciting, doesn't it? And our children grow up in search of the right balance, hopefully with little spiritual damage.
Mother’s column - Oh, those Monday mornings!
Mother's column – Kids, the phones will sleep in the living room!