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What The Scriptures Say About Birthdays, Holidays And Your Unbelieving Spouse

 

Dear S____,

 

Mike has asked me to answer this question you have as I can appreciate where you are right now. It was only a few years ago that I can remember myself wearing the very same sneakers you're wearing today.  Christ had shown me that I needed to give up the traditions of Christmas and birthdays, and I was struggling with doing it for fear of the backlash that I might get from either my wife and/or my kids. 

 

First of all, know that the feelings that you have are all the work of the Lord, and it is only through Him that you will be given the strength to overcome this trial.  

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.  (Php 4:13) 
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.  (1 Pet 4:12-13)

Ultimately your decision and fortitude will be based on the strength that can only come from Christ being in you…being that strength for you. 

 

The parable of the talents tells us that we are accountable for that which we have been given.  Christ must first show you that you are not to exchange gifts and take part in such holidays before He will give you the strength to be strong in his word. 

 

I'm going to share with you what scriptures led me to see what my role is with regard to these holidays when I was in the same position, struggling in the same way that you are.  But beforehand, I want to caution you on allowing others, such as your family, to dictate whether or not you remain true to what you have been shown. 

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  (1 John 4:18)
And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.  (2 John 1:6)
The fear that you are experiencing is the absence of love within yourself.  Fear is the absence of love…the absence of keeping God's word…the absence of Christ and the Father within. 
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.  (Joh 14:23)

Comfort your fear of reprisals in knowing that God works all things, including the responses of your family, after the counsel of His will.  

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:  (Eph 1:11)
The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. (Pro 16:1)
When Christ and His Father live within you, you will know that you will be hated by all men for His name's sake and that you must endure such hatred for your salvation.   
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.  (Matt 10:22)

You will know that they will put you out of the synagogues and that they that kill you think they doeth God service. 

They shall put you out of the synagogues yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.  (John 16:2)

You will know that you will be betrayed by everyone, including your own family. 

And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.  (Luke 21:16-17)

Christ knows this and knows that it is a very difficult trial for each of us to have to endure.  But He is very clear in his guidance to us. 

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  (Matt 10:37) 
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.  (Matt 19:29)

So know that this will be a continual struggle.  But you can find peace in knowing that if the world hates you, it hated Christ first and foremost.   

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  (John 15:18)

Knowing this will allow you to find comfort in truly loving your wife and your children…by loving them, I mean keeping true to the word of God in all that you do.   

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.  (Matt 4:4) 
Blessed is he that readeth and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.  (Rev 1:3)
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.  (Col 3:17)
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.  (1Co 10:31)

Likewise, it will be your strength through life that will allow you to love the Lord will all your heart, soul, strength and mind rather than to go through life looking for ways to 'cushion the blow'.   

And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.  (Luk 10:27)

When coming to understand the truths regarding such holidays, it is imperative that Christ first give you the eyes to see who you are.

 For the LORD'S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.  (Deu 32:9)
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.  (Rev 21:1-3)
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.  (Eph 2:18-22)
But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the
confidenceand the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.  (Heb 3:6)
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in
you?  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple
of God is holy, which temple ye are.  (1 Cor 3:16-17)
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.  (1 Cor 6:19-20)
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.  (2 Cor 6:16-18)
Being the temple of the living God is no small order.  Notice up above in Hebrews 3:6, we are Christ's house, 'if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.'  This is speaking directly to you and to me. In the Old Testament, this temple 'which ye are' is symbolized by the 'land'. 
Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the LORD dwell among the children of Israel.  (Num 35:34)

Look again at 1 Cor 3:17. 

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.  (1Co 3:17)

Christmas, Easter and the like are all celebrations rooted in pagan tradition that have nothing at all to do with Christ.  They are all celebrations to other false gods whose traditions have been modified so that the celebrations can be applicable to Christianity.  But Christ wants no part in the celebration of things like Christmas.  The Christmas celebration began as a festival to the god Saturn and was called the Festival of Saturnalia.  Not much other than the name of the god has changed.  Modifying rituals to other gods in order to apply them to Christ are an abomination in the eyes of the Lord.

Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.  When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;  Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.  Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.  What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.  (Deu 12:28-32) 
Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.  For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.  (Jer 10:2-3)

These celebrations are all idols of the heart, and when we go against God's word by participating in them, by exchanging gifts and such, we are setting them up in our hearts. We are putting the stumblingblock of iniquity before our face, and Christ will answer us according to the multitude of our idols.

Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?  Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;  That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.  (Eze 14:3-5)

Notice He will answer us according to our idols, not according to the word of God.  And why is that?  Because it is through such idols that we remain estranged from Christ. 

 

Every time we take part in any false doctrine or man-made tradition such as these based on pagan rituals, we are defiling the land…we are defiling ourselves.  

Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you  And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.  Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:  (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;)  That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.  For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their peopleTherefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God.  (Lev 18:24-30)

And Christ tells us how we are to deal with the nations that we conquer in the land…how we are to deal with the carnality and false doctrines within us. 

But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:  (Deu 20:16)

We are to violently rid ourselves of any and all such heresy and false doctrines.  

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.  (Mat 11:12)

And it is a struggle, just like the one you are experiencing right now.  It is a struggle that will continue until the day that you physically die. 

 

But if Christ gives you the ability to see this, I pray that He will also give you the ability to 'not turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements… 

But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.  (Gal 4:9-10) 

…not to reject the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. 

And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. (Mar 7:9)

Only He can keep you from worshipping Him in vain, from teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 

But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Mat 15:9) 

I have come to see birthdays in much the same light.  Although I know of no scripture that comes right out and forbids birthdays, birthday celebrations are rooted in pagan customs, and Christ's word says that we are not to take part in such vain customs.   

Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.  For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.  (Jer 10:2-3)
After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.  (Lev 18:3) 

There are only four references to birthday celebrations in the entire Bible.  One has to do with Job's children, one with Pharaoh's birthday in Egypt and the other two with Herod's birthday during which John the Baptist was beheaded.   

And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants.  (Gen 40:20) 
And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.  And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.  (Job 1:4-5)
But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.  (Mat 14:6) 
And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee;  (Mar 6:21) 

To take part in birthday celebrations is to do 'after the doings of the land of Egypt'.  Birthdays are celebrations where we elevate ourselves, something that scripturally we are to move away from.   

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  (1Jn 2:16) 
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.  (1Co 10:12) 
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  (Matt 18:4) 
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.  (Matt 23:12) 
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.  (Isa 57:15) 
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.  (Jas 4:6) 
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:  (1 Pet 5:6)

Physically or spiritually, I see no indication in scripture that birthday celebrations are something that we should take part in.  Even Christ never told us His birthday and we are given no scriptural record of Him celebrating it at all.  What we are told is how Christ feels about 'the day of one's birth'.   

A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.  (Ecc 7:1) 

In conclusion, it is very important that as Christ gives you the strength to do this, that you do so with the mind of Christ, not the mind to go out and dominate the faith of your wife and children.   

Not for that we have dominion over your faith but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.  (2Co 1:24) 
Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.  For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbsLet not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.  Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.  One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.  He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.  (Rom 14:1-6)
But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;  And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?  But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.  Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.  (1Co 8:9-13)

But just like Christ often went to the synagogues, yet refused to eat their herbs, you too can and should go to such functions and be with your family…just don't 'eat their herbs', that is take part in the pagan rituals.  Christ molds each of us into His image according to His appointed time.   

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;  A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;  A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.  (Ecc 3:1-8)

This means that where you are, where your wife is, and where each of your children are, are all right where Christ wants each of you to be at this appointed time.  Learn to patient and content with where Christ has you, where He has your wife, and where He has your children, especially when He has you all at different levels of spiritual maturity because we all have our own 'time appointed of the father.'           

Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;  But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.  (Gal 4:1-2)

Take the time to be with your family during these times should they not yet see the same need to 'come out of her' and not partake of her sins.   

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.  (Rev 18:4)

Like Christ, you should love your family by walking in the commandments of Christ with them…in the presence of them.  You can be true to the word of God and be with your family while not taking part in the festivities.    

 

It is my prayer that Christ will show you, like He did with Peter and the other apostles, that above all, 'we ought to obey God rather than men.' 

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.  (Act 5:29)

Sincerely,

Rob Jones