Family Traditions

SDA JournalDevotional


Scripture: Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you.  1 Corinthians 11:2 (NKJV)

Observation:  ordinances—Greek, “traditions,” that is, apostolic directions given by word of mouth or in writing (1Co 11:23; 15:3; 2Th 2:15). The reference here is mainly to ceremonies: for in 1Co 11:23, as to the Lord’s Supper, which is not a mere ceremony, he says, not merely, “I delivered unto you,” but also, “I received of the Lord”; here he says only, “I delivered to you.” Romanists argue hence for oral traditions. But the difficulty is to know what is a genuine apostolic tradition intended for all ages. Any that can be proved to be such ought to be observed; any that cannot, ought to be rejected (Rev 22:18). Those preserved in the written word alone can be proved to be such. [Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (1 Co 11:2). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.]

Application: Every family has its own traditions, things that they have been doing for a long time, not even remembering how they began.  In some families dad has his place at the table, or his favorite chair.  During special occasions they do things the same way.  In my family, for instance, my daughters make me wear a red stocking hat as I pass the presents to everyone.  There are certain things we like to eat for Thanksgiving, or for Christmas, or for other holidays.
For many years, as our daughters were growing up, we had a traditional meal on Friday evening, and they each have a particular flavor of cake they like to have for their birthdays.  Some families like to spend their vacation time in the same place every year, while others decorate their house for the holidays the way they always have.
One the challenges takes place when two people get married and they each want to continue with the traditions from their family.  In my home, in Colombia, South America, for Christmas the centerpiece of our home was the manger scene or creche.  At my wife’s home, here in the United States, the centerpiece was the Christmas tree.  We didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving because it is a holiday particular to the United States and Canada.  Obviously we have different patriotic holidays.  But we learned to adapt to each other’s culture and traditions adopting some from each.
The key is to begin to cultivate your own traditions, not necessarily by planning to do it, but simply by letting them happen.  It is when you look back that you realize you have been doing the same thing, in the same way, for several years.  If you stopped doing it, you’ ve probably feel a sense of loss of sorts.  What’s important to remember is that those traditions, some past down from generation to generation, are what glues our families together both to those close to us and to the extended family.  And some of the most special traditions also involve our faith in God. Don’t reject family traditions; treasure them.

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, thank you for all those traditions which keep us together as a family.  Help us to treasure them as we treasure each other.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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