A Note from Chris Adams: Moms have to make multiple decisions everyday about how they think God wants them to raise their children. Often if one mom chooses one way of handling an issue and someone else chooses the opposite one, moms can become critical of each other. We often think our way is best. And perhaps it is for our children, but we cannot choose how to raise someone else’s child for her. Dr. Deb Douglas, Minister to Women, First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA writes a great post to help us navigate the moms we minister to through the issue of the Easter Bunny in a way that unifies rather than divides.
By Deb Douglas
Walking through the mall, my granddaughter jumped, skipped, and leaped as we passed the Easter Bunny. “Caroline, why are you so scrummy?” She replied, “I’m just so happy about Easter! It’s my favorite!” Then she asked to get her picture with the bunny, triggering a little flashback to the past for this grandmother.
I grew up with no Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. My mom chose to keep her four girls focused on the biblical truths of the holidays rather than cultural fantasy. My husband and I followed the same way of teaching our children. I cherish the sweet memories of Easters during my childhood.
Easter morning, we’d go to church with our extended family. It was a sacred and holy worship experience in a white wooden church building built in the late 1800s. The cross was our focus; the weight of the day heavier than the heavy arched beams holding up the church. Our pastor would remind us of the cost of our salvation, a cost that was freely paid. His words made the day tender and sweet, like the new spring grass struggling to grow.
After church, we’d head deep into the woods for a picnic—ham, potato salad, green beans, homemade bread, and chocolate cake with pink divinity icing. Yum! Easter meant everything was new, a rare and wonderful celebration of new life! The dogwoods were blooming, honeysuckle smelled good enough to eat, and a fresh greenness exploded throughout the woods around us.
My children are adults now and make decisions for their families independent of me. I love their independence and deliberation. I support them and celebrate that decisions are theirs and not mine. Santa and the Easter Bunny are very much a part of my little granddaughter’s life in the same way that Disney princesses are. So is Jesus!
How do we, as women’s ministers, help moms determine how they will teach their children about our special, holy days?
1. Know what you believe.
Be willing to talk with moms to help them discover how they feel and believe.
2. Accept that your beliefs, memories, and parenting choices are yours.
By offering acceptance, we give moms room to question and discover on their own.
3. Share Truth.
At every opportunity, point women to the Scriptures (newsletters, social media, Bible studies, notes, etc.).
4. Cherish the journey.
As moms go through the journey of discovering how they want to teach their children, it is a learning experience.
Whether it’s Easter with or without the Easter Bunny, moms can use this precious holiday to point their children to Christ. As women’s ministers, we can be a part of helping moms discover how to guide their children through the holidays. And we might learn something new along the way! This grandmother has discovered Easter bunnies can be fun!
Dr. Deb Douglas is the minister to women at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, La., and a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier, launched her first women’s Bible study at the age of 20. Her passion is encouraging and equipping women to serve. She is also a freelance writer and contributed to Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level, Revised & Expanded. Deb graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Arts of Christian Education/Women’s Ministry and a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree. She is the wife of Paul, mom of Jared and Katie, mother-in-law to Emily and Jacob, and grandmother to Caroline.