A world-famous father that everyone seemed to love and respect was a violent, mean, raging man who often mistreated his son, especially during Christmas, but that almost unbelievable truth would not be revealed for decades after it could have made a difference.
Christmas is celebrated worldwide, and for that, I am pleased even if the boozing, wild spending, partying, and general excesses usually accompany the season. It should also be an opportunity for parents to teach their children basic principles they need for adulthood. How to live does not come automatically, and it must be taught.
What a story to tell everyone: Christ was born to a virgin as angels celebrated His lowly birth. Wise men traveled hundreds of miles to worship him with many expensive gifts. King Herod the Great killed all males under two years old in Bethlehem and its coasts. There is a hurried trip by the young family to Egypt to escape a bloody king’s paranoia.
Who needs toys, trees, and tinsel with a story like that?
Santa is a fun thing to children; however, most parents make a tragic mistake by letting them think he is real. Maybe they don’t lie, but they go along with that untruth. That is a lie (even if you insist it is a white lie—no such thing), and no child should be told a lie. No parent should undercut their rightful authority by confusing children for “a little harmless fun.” The gifts came from parents and others, not from Santa.
It is not harmless.
Have your trees, toys, and tinsel but inform children that they are honoring the most incredible event in world history: God became man to provide personal salvation to anyone who merely trusts Him in simple faith. Additionally: children should be taught the qualities needed for a successful life.
I am saying Christmas should promote character. One should learn early to be a giver; to stand against tyrants; to serve others; to be humble. All of that is not natural and must be taught.
We know Christ came to provide life, but He also promised abundant life. Children need to be taught that Christ is the pattern for them. Children don’t absorb truth as a sponge absorbs water, instead, they must be taught. Even church people make the mistake of thinking it is enough to tell children the truth and expect that to settle the fact for all time. It doesn’t happen that way. Most parents major in talking, failing to follow up with teaching and training. That seldom happens and our schools and streets are overrun with thugs, made that way by uninformed, or unconcerned, or unmotivated parents.
No child has to be taught to lie, be selfish, or be unkind. With time, usually, very early, each child will prove that truth since they are born with a sinful nature, a reality that makes humanists go ballistic. “How dare you suggest my innocent little children have a sinful nature.” Well, they do. That’s why Christ told Nicodemus he needed to be born again: that his first birth was not enough, and he must have a new nature through the new birth.
That’s why we have Christmas.
Since the last few generations have failed in rearing principled children, we have people in positions of power without principle. Political lying is not only accepted, it is expected. University professors, with missionary zeal, peddle ridiculous lies to our youth.
Attractive women, who are blessed with beauty and unblessed with brains, deem it appropriate to expose their bodies for the whole world to ogle. They usually decorate their body with a silver cross, whatever that means. Young adults think someone or some group or the government owes them whatever they want. They think they deserve it since they are poor, oppressed, hated, and ridiculed, doing outrageous things without accountability.
It is too late absent a radical born-again experience for those pathetic people who were failed by their parents. They were not taught biblical characteristics of always being honest, punctual, kind, generous, obedient, honorable, charitable, hard-working, dependable, respectable, and forgiving.
I saw many children in Christian homes without character during my early years because their parents had failed to teach and practice principled living. They taught the Bible but did not apply it to their lives. I determined that I would not be so dedicated to the ministry that I failed my own children. When my wife was pregnant with our son, to be followed by three beautiful blonds, I wrote the principles we would follow in making them normal, gracious, adult Christians. She was faithful in implementing those rules to her credit while I spent much of my time traveling as an evangelist and Christian apologist.
I don’t need to admit that my brood is not perfect, far from it. After all, half their genes are mine.
I am delighted with how our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren have developed. Of course, everyone reading this is saying, “Yes, but wait until they are grown.” Well, my children had enough commitment to training their children, and I think those children are training their children to be an honor to our family, Christianity, and America.
Sending children to a Christian school is not enough since teachers must be concerned with academics: science, history, geography, English, spelling, math, biology, etc. The successful school will implement Christian character into each subject, but that is not enough. Parents must talk, teach, and train their children, which requires work—consistent, persistent work. Most parents are too lazy or selfish, resulting in today’s America—bedlam, which means “a scene of uproar and confusion.”
Using the Bible, parents should train their children in biblical truth. Additional character-building materials are also available. The best help I have seen is a series written by Dr. Ed Dunlop. I was surprised to discover I deeply enjoyed reading the series a few years ago and have since recommended that series to thousands of people, schools, and home schools. It is called The Terrestria Chronicles, a medieval allegory series available at talesofcastles.net . The students don’t notice the abundance of character-building taking place because they are so engrossed in the story.
Be proactive now if your children are disobedient, slothful, angry, unmotivated, or even harm other children or pets. Almost all mass killers have had a history of mistreatment of animals and children. Children should be taught to not even break or destroy a toy.
The above books would be a very beneficial Christmas gift to a child. It could pay big time.
Lindsay was a handsome boy who was given whatever he wanted except love, acceptance, and training. His world-famous father often screamed obscenities at him and beat him at times. He was especially brutal during the Christmas season. He was given extra chores to do during that time, but it never seemed to satisfy his stern father. The whippings often drew blood.
He had three older brothers, but Lindsay incurred most of his father’s rage.
The public would have been shocked if the famous father’s actions had become public. That didn’t happen until many years later, and even today, few know the details.
A friend of Lindsay’s said, “Lindsay was never able to find happiness. He became a hard-drinking rounder who went from woman to woman and couldn’t find peace or success.” Because of his famous father, Lindsay was cast in a few movies that failed, as did his other endeavors, including his three marriages.
Having a famous father, Lindsay and his three older brothers formed a singing quartet and experienced a short period of success on major television shows, but he was always compared to his father. When Lindsay had a nervous breakdown, the quartet broke up.
After a lifetime of failure and being forced to live in the shadow of his famous and brutal father, Lindsay made a tragic decision. It was just before Christmas on December 11, that he watched Bing Crosby’s White Christmas movie in his apartment one last time. He then put a gun to his head and put a bullet in his brain.
Tragically, Lindsay’s brother Dennis killed himself with a shotgun two years later. Shockingly, their dad was Bing Crosby, the world-famous singer and movie star. However, some family members disagree with that extreme characterization of Bing.
Lindsay wrote, “I hated Christmas because of Pop, and I always will,” and continued, “It brings back the pain and fear I suffered as a child. And if I ever do myself in, it will be at Christmastime. That will show the world what I think of Bing Crosby’s White Christmas.”
Christ’s birth is the most extraordinary story ever told, but apparently, Lindsay never knew the true story of Christmas. The death of Lindsay Crosby is one of the most tragic stories ever told.
And it didn’t have to be.
Christ’s birth, death, and physical resurrection were Lindsay’s answers he and his family needed. That is because Jesus Christ makes a difference when accepted, and biblical principles are instilled in children.
The best Christmas gift you can give to your family is recognizing your sin, repenting of that sin, and receiving Christ as Savior.
Merry Christmas and a very successful New Year, the best of your life!
(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives who ran a large Christian school in Indianapolis and wrote columns for USA Today for 8 years. Boys authored 20 books, the most recent, Reflections of a Lifetime Fundamentalist: No Reserves, No Retreats, No Regrets! The eBook is available at Amazon.com for $4.99. Other titles at www.cstnews.com. Follow him on Facebook at Don Boys, Ph.D., and visit his blog. Send a request to DBoysphd@aol.com for a free subscription to his articles and click here to support his work with a donation.)