Is Your Holiday Hurting Your Relationship?

fighting knights“If you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others?” — Jesus (Matthew 5:47)

Every holiday season, people ask me to pray for broken relationships caused by conflicting holiday observances. So much hurt in the name of “defending the faith”! Consider this: Is having or not having a Christmas tree in your living room worth more than your marriage? Is candlelight more important than compassion? Do you really, truly believe that God wants you to divide over a ham? During the holidays especially, people get so hung up on their traditions and their beliefs that they forget we share a common ground, and that common ground is supposed to be love.

Corrie ten Boom–a Dutch Christian and Holocaust survivortells of meeting with other believers to share a smuggled Bible while imprisoned in Ravensbrüch concentration camp. In that place of true evil, where the superficiality of “church” was stripped away, all that was left was pure worship.

In her book, The Hiding Place, she wrote:

They were services like no others, these times in Barracks 28. A single meeting might include a recital of the Magnificat in Latin by a group of Roman Catholics, a whispered hymn by some Lutherans, and a sotto-voce chant by Eastern Orthodox women. With each moment, the crowd around us would swell, packing the nearby platforms, hanging over the edges, until the high structures groaned and swayed.

At last, either Betsy or I would open the Bible. Because only the Hollanders could understand the Dutch text, we would translate aloud in German. And then we would hear the life-giving words passed back along the aisles in French, Polish, Russian, Czech, back into Dutch. They were little previews of heaven, these evenings beneath the lightbulb. I would think of Haarlem, each substantial church set behind its wrought-iron fence and its barrier of doctrine. And I would know again that in darkness God’s truth shines most clear.

This holiday season, let’s remember to love sacrificially, to yield our rights to others even as our Savior did. “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25, NIV)

See also: Let’s Keep the Big Picture in Mind for Christmas

The Ultimate Irony of Christmas Paganism

2 Comments on “Is Your Holiday Hurting Your Relationship?

  1. Kathryn, I read your post “Is Your Holiday Hurting Your Relationship. It’s true that sometimes little things get in the way of our love which is indicative of our relationship with Christ.If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind;… it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; they’ll know we are Christians by our love.
    Another big dilema amongst Christian gatherings today (as opposed to the 50’s and 60’s is the freedoms that Christ-followers are experiencing in using alcoholic beverages. Years ago few people in our Christian circles believed alcohol was acceptable for a believer. Today it is very acceptable to the younger generation (in some Christian circles). I realize that Biblically it is debatable but in this country with the alcoholism problems we have, I fear for the next generation. Food and drink over the holidays can definitely bring controversy to the table. Wonder what your other readers think. I’d love to hear a good debate on the subject of the use of alcohol among Christ followers.

    • Really? Haven’t you heard enough debating to make up your mind about whether or not to take a drink by now? I know I have. Whether or not someone else drinks, that’s their business. Of course we all have reasons. No need to argue about it.

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