Family Traditions

Traditions Make Memories

Webster’s definition of tradition is as follows: “The body of customs, thoughts, practices, etc., belonging to a particular family, and handed down from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth, over a relatively long period.” Traditions have a way of binding a family together. They do not have to be elaborate, just something simple to build closeness with each other.

A tradition could be a holiday ritual, a commemorative rite of passage, or weekend sleepovers with grandparents. They bring stability, adventure, comfort, and a sense of belonging.

Most happy families have specific, maybe quirky rituals that the family counts on for emotional comfort. These rituals or traditions may be adapted as time passes to meet the needs of a changing culture and family dynamic.

If used correctly, technology can bring people together in new traditions. Utilize video to capture each family member in an interview. Ask about their life plans and ambitions. You might be surprised at what they will reveal about their life and what they care about most. This is a meaningful way to integrate a new tradition.

Traditions are pivotal in the memory making for families. Should God be a part of our traditions? The main idea is do not just have traditions that involve God; involve God in everything you do. Let God fill a space in your everyday life.

Memory Making with a Purpose

Why do we want to make memories or keep traditions? As a parent, we all desire our children to grow up in a loving environment and for them to have wonderful memories of their childhood. But are we willing to make God and family a priority? You can tell your children God is important yet never attend church—do they believe you? You can say family is important but never spend time with them—what does that tell them?

One of the ways we show our love to children is to be excellent role models for them. If your goal is to help your children build a relationship with Jesus Christ or to grow in their faith, you need to be in a dynamic and vibrant relationship with Jesus. If you want your kids to obey God, then let them observe your obedient lifestyle.

One of my favorite Bible verses is, Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). Demonstrate the way to your children and God gives you a promise. That is a good deal! Claim your children, make memories, and God will come through for your family.

Memories Influence Others

Have you ever seen an object, heard a tune, or experienced a smell that brings a memory back? Some memories are good and some are not so good. Treasured memories of learning about Jesus would be a special gift to give a child. If we can create those memories for our children, they are more likely to know Him as their personal Lord and Savior. Like this good memory…

  • Many years before a popular pancake house introduced M&M pancakes, they had already made their debut! In our children’s ministry, we had tried them at church, so my own children got started eating M&M pancakes.
  • We told the kids that M&M’s represented each of us. Although we all look different on the outside, we are all alike on the inside. God loves us all the same.
  • Overall, the M&M pancake breakfast was a huge success.
  • Now, fast-forward with me 20 years…

A young mother is ministering to an unchurched family with small children. She has invited them to dinner, so she asks her young daughter, “What should I fix for you and the other kids to eat for dinner?” What was her answer? M&M pancakes! This is an example of memory makers—tried and true.

This true story comes from my daughter and granddaughter. In fact, M&M pancakes are served so regularly in our family that one of the first things my son wanted when he married was a griddle so he could begin the tradition. Recently, my daughter assembled a wedding shower gift for one of her friends with the ingredients for…you guessed it. M&M pancakes. The girls grew up together and one of their fondest memories is the M&M pancake breakfasts. Memory Makers—I BELIEVE IT!