Inside: Thankfulness in our kids will take practice as they mature in faith, however, gratitude will lead to a happiness that won’t be swayed by circumstances. This is why I want my kids to be grateful.
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Have you noticed lately that our world seems to be changing rapidly? I heard that transformation has been more significant in the last few decades in technology than ever before in history. With the rise of technology though, the people within our culture appear to be getting meaner, less compassionate and more “me-centered.”
Sitting behind our smartphones and laptops spewing off whatever we like from the safety of our homes might be one reason. The more significant reason, I believe, is faith in God has departed from the majority of people’s lives.
A few months ago, I helped out with VBS, and I was amazed at the lack of thankfulness in our youth. Even saying basic “please and thank yous” were missing from the mouth of babes. Honestly, it made me question what I was doing. I got grumpy because when people don’t appreciate what you are doing for them, it cheapens the reason behind your behavior.
Doesn’t it seem like most people aren’t happy these days? I mean happy as in making-the-world-a-better-place-rubbing-off-on-others-kind-of-happy. Grumbling, anger and complaining are the normal human behavior currently.
It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness. ~Charles Spurgeon
To be Grateful is a Character Trait We Need to Become
Let me make it clear that selfishness is part of our human condition; therefore appreciation is not something that comes to us naturally. But when we come to faith, we understand God’s graciousness to us, and His Spirit within us starts working and leading us to practice gratefulness.
As Christians, we know everything comes from God and those things we receive are gifts. But how do we instill in our children thankfulness when the culture we live in seems to be stuck on “it’s my right, or I’m owed it” mindset?
Why Should we be Grateful?When Christ has saved us, we realize all the blessings He’s given us are those which we don't deserve. #thankfulness #gratitude Click To Tweet
A saved heart is a thankful heart.
Happy people are thankful people. Who likes to be around grumpy people who complain about everything?
No matter what, we can always find a blessing. In the midst of any life storm, the happy person can find a silver lining.
We are lights shining in this dark world when the Spirit is working within us. When we live with this attitude, it brings people to God. Our thankfulness can lead other Christians to find strength in their faith.
Thankfulness is addicting.
With our ability to open hands to others, we can share God more readily. The Good News is for everyone and blessings abound when we have a Heavenly mindset.
Other Benefits of Gratitude
Being grateful increases our faith and our wellbeing here on Earth. The health ramifications are astounding on gratitude; it helps physiological and emotional health, sleeping better and gives higher self-esteem.
Being happy is a sign of emotional strength because you will be able to weather storms with a thankful heart.
The thankful person has many relationships because people want to be in connection with people who are happy and enjoy life.
It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich! –Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The Enemy who Steals your Happy
Here’s the thing, we have an enemy that wants us to think that we are lacking. Life is unfair, blessings are few and far between, and we need more, all ploys of Satan to keep us bound up in selfishness. If we choose to remain here, life will seem unfair, and we will never get our fill.
Remember Eve in the garden; she was happy and fulfilled until Satan pointed out what was missing from her life. Eve decided she needed the fruit because it was unfair God was keeping it from her. She didn’t feel blessed with what she had; she needed more.
(Genesis 3:1, NLT).
The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?
Turning from our self-centered human nature to a God-centered attitude doesn’t happen right away, but instead, it is a life-long process. As we teach and practice thankfulness, we deepen and mature in faith. This gratitude will lead us to a lasting happiness that won’t be swayed by events and circumstances.
How do we Teach our Children Thankfulness?
- Model for them this behavior
- Explain to them how Satan works
- Teach them about privileges and rights
- Practicing serving others with them
- Explain to them about money and saving
- Prepare them to say “thank you” by saying it to your child when they do something
- Send thank you notes
- Teach the art of appreciating the people who influence and help them
- Encourage them to seek God in all circumstances and ask Him to show them thankfulness in everything
- Help them observe others less fortunate
Gratitude produces deep, abiding joy because we know that God is working in us, even through difficulties. –Charles Stanley
If you’re like me, I want my children to experience the best of life. When my kids come to faith and grow in that faith, they will become thankful. I can model and give them examples of how to be more grateful, but a personal relationship with God will keep them grateful.
Our kids can indeed change the culture when they display thankfulness in their daily lives.