If you have young children, you probably have said this statement before to them, “What do you say….?” Then after a brief moment your child says in a muttered voice, “Thank You.” This is almost a weekly interaction I have with my at least one of boys. I thought that after eight years, at least one of my children would know when to say “Thank You,” without being reminded. Sometimes, they say the words, and out of habit I say “What do you say…?” Which then I get a response of “I did” with a little chuckle that say’s “D’uh.”
This is probably an exchange of words that happens more often than you expected in your home as it does mine, because one of the disciplines we teach our children is that of thankfulness. I know for me, I strive to teach my children this discipline because I don’t want them to grow up in this world with a privileged mindset. They don’t know the world outside of the U.S.; they don’t know the poverty and despair that is around them. They only know, what’s in their school where young children are well-fed and they have numerous luxuries. Even the children that are considered “poor” in their schools have more than the normal children in this world. I want them to know, that because they were lucky enough to be born in the U.S., they need to be thankful for everything that is given, because they could easily have less.
Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
It is God’s will for us to be thankful. Not just in the good days, but in every day. Why should we be thankful? Because of Gods indescribable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15) of Jesus Christ.
Creating Thankfulness In Your Home
As a Christian Parent, I not only have to teach my children thankfulness, I also need to show it. When I am with my children, there should be more positiveness coming from my mouth than negatives. When I am in a restaurant, I need to be more thankful that I am able to spend the money on luxury foods instead of moaning that my steak isn’t properly cooked. Our child will become the type of person that our mouths profess. And if they hear me complain all the time, then I will be raising some complaining adults. Be the example of thankfulness.
A great place to practice thankfulness as a family is at the dinner table. The dinner table is a great time because food is something that we all can be thankful for. It is something they have numerous times each day and it can be easily taken for granted. So instead of ignoring the blessings of the food, why not give a blessing every time you eat. Maybe even talk about something good that happened that day or share some insights on how you could have made things better. Take that 15 – 30 minutes with your family and spend the time with positive, thankful attitudes.
To create thankfulness, you need to be the example of thankfulness and find the best opportunities to talk about thankfulness.