“The truth is, I love you so much that I died for you. There is nothing you can do that I won’t forgive.”
– Jesus Calling for Kids, May 15
On Easter morning as a young girl, I remember posing in the front yard wearing a floral dress with lace-trimmed socks and white patent-leather shoes. My hair had been curled with sponge rollers the night before, I had big bangs my kids giggle at today, and there was a not-so-pleasant smile on my face. It was all for that once-a-year photo opportunity my parents used to get a snapshot of me all dressed up in front of the pink azaleas.
After a few photos, we’d leave for church, where I’d pay attention to small details the preacher mentioned rather than the message he was teaching. When we came back home, it was finally time for my favorite part of the Easter: looking in my basket to see what the Easter Bunny had left me. He was very generous—I’d get everything from candy to makeup, CDs, swimsuits, shoes, and clothes.
Parenting At Easter
Fast forward thirty years. Although we’ve changed the way we shop, right after Valentine’s day, I find myself worrying about what I need to order from Amazon to stuff into Easter baskets for my four beautiful children. I think about the awesome crafts we could make from Pinterest, or which cute snacks we could recreate from a recipe found on Facebook.
What Is Easter?
Recently, it dawned on me that holidays are simply what we as parents make of them, and I decided to ask each of my children what Easter means to them. I started with my oldest and asked her “What is Easter?”
She replied, “Well, it’s the day Jesus returned after dying for our sins.”
I continued asking each of my children until I got to the youngest, who said, “Mommy, it’s when the bunny comes!”
Remembering What Is Important
Hearing her answer made me wonder just how many children think of Easter the way she does, not exactly thinking of Jesus first—I know He wasn’t always my first inclination, either. I realized that no matter what age they are, it’s our job as parents to help our kids think about the ways we’re celebrating the Easter holiday and help them remember the most important messages of the day. Our world is going through troubled times. What better time to incorporate the messages of hope, grace, and love than at Easter?
Lead By Example
Show kids what true love and grace really is. Show them what it means to be servants. Demonstrate forgiveness. I truly believe if we help our children remember the true meaning of Easter and remind them that Someone who loves them gave up His life so they could have hope, they would be more inclined to show love and kindness towards each other. And the true meaning of the holiday can live in their hearts not only in the Easter season, but all year long.
About the Author
Courtney Bradford was a first grade teacher that now homeschools her four children with the strong support of her husband. Spending time with her family is her greatest joy. Having their own individual needs, she strives for each of her children to know how important and unique they are in their own ways. Courtney’s first book, Let Your Light Shine Brightly, won an international award for new author in 2021.
She is excited to be pursuing her dream of writing Christian children’s books and can’t wait to see what God has in store for her. Find her work at: amazon.com/author/cbradford including her new children’s book, Easter in the Country.