“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness… He will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him… But the father said to his servants, `Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” Luke 15:20, 22-24
“…as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” Isaiah 62:5
“In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10
He was a young, 20 something college student, and he had come over for the evening to enjoy a meal and spend the evening relaxing with my family. We sat around the table laughing and chattering away as we ate a simple meal and sipped hot coffee. Finally, as we finished eating, our friend looked at me and said, “Whenever I come to your house, I feel like it’s my birthday!” I was so grateful that he felt that way. My goal has always been to celebrate the people that God brings into our home.
Celebrating the people who enter our front door isn’t limited to only those who would be considered guest in our home. I also love to celebrate my very own children. They are just as important as anyone else that God gifts me with. Infact, they are my most important calling. Celebrating them on a daily basis is just another way that I can l show them the kind of love and grace that God shows me.
We see in Zephaniah 3:17, that God celebrates His children! “Rejoice over you” literally means “dance, skip, leap, and spin around in joy.” God dances with shouts of joy over us. The Hebrew word means to “spin around under violent emotion,” or basically to dance. So, Zep 3:17 is translated as, “Yahuwah your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness…” We also see in Isaiah 62:5 that He rejoices over us “… as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.”
In the same way God rejoices over and celebrates us, we can do the same thing for our children. And, in doing so we show them a picture of the Father!
God offered Christ as our substitutionary sacrifice, and when we trust him, God welcomes us and celebrates! (As read in the parable in Luke 15) As one author put it, “He puts a ring on our finger, kills the fatted calf, throws a party, shouts a shout that shakes the ends of creation, and leads in the festal dance!”
In the New Testament we see that “there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10). That means that there is rejoicing and celebrating when those who are lost repent and are made right with God (Ephesians 2:8–9; John 3:16). We can celebrate our children the way that our Father celebrates us. Not in an indulgent way, as the world would define celebration, but in a way that relates to them the value and love that we as parents – and God the Father – has for them.
Your parenting perspective can change from standards for you to try and measure up to or just another “to do” list for you to follow. My goal in sharing the things that God so graciously is teaching me and my husband is to encourage you away from rules and lists— and the striving and fear that go with them— and instead free you up to be encouraged to relax, to enjoy your children, and to learn how to see them as the amazing individuals God made them to be. To encourage you to parent your children with grace. No matter your child’s age, I believe there is something that you can do today to draw closer to your kids and to help draw your kids closer to God.
REFLECT AND APPLY:
Does this concept of celebrating your children make sense to you? Can you see how it can be used to show our children a picture of our Heavenly Father? As we continue “25 Day of Grace”, lets pray that God will open our eyes to how we can celebrate our children in the same way that God celebrates us!
**This 25 Day journey is based on my book “Grace Gifts: Celebrating Your Children Every Day“. You do not need the book to go through “25 Days of Grace“, but if you are interested, you can purchase a copy HERE!