Happy Spiritual Birthday!

Great ways to celebrate your child's growing faith

Like most parents, my husband and I put a lot of thought and effort into planning birthday parties for our children. But in our house, celebrating "spiritual birthdays" has become as important as commemorating the days each of us was born.

For every Christian mom and dad, seeing a child develop a relationship with God is the high point of parenting. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. ? You should not be surprised at my saying, ?You must be born again' " (John 3:5,7). Once your children make that life-changing decision, why not celebrate?

We wanted to come up with a way to make our children's spiritual birthdays something special and exciting, yet we didn't want to trivialize them or turn them into repeats of regular birthday parties. So we came up with the idea of a holy birthday party.

While some elements of a holy birthday party echo regular birthday parties, we've tweaked them to create parties that are both kid-friendly and Christ-centered. To keep the day from becoming too hectic, we don't invite friends, just siblings and other close family members. Here are a few ideas to help you plan your own holy birthday party.

The Date

Sometimes, a child asks specific questions about becoming a Christian and a parent is able to lead the child to Christ right then. But more often the process is slower, and this makes pinpointing a specific date difficult.

That's how it was with our son. We weren't exactly sure when he first trusted Jesus, but after talking and praying with him, we were sure he had. So we chose to celebrate his spiritual birthday on a date we could easily remember, his half birthday. Not only was it easy to remember, it was far enough away from his birthday to give it significance. You might choose a date that means something to your family?the anniversary of your child's dedication or baptism for example. Whatever you decide, be certain to stick with the same date year after year.

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May 25

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