Grateful Children… “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4
Thankfulness is a vaccine against selfishness and discontentment. Children and teenagers who understand and apply appreciation are quick to serve others and not demand their needs or wants be met. They take to heart what God expects of His sons and daughters, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4). Gratitude leads to a Christ-like attitude.
So, how can you help your child learn to live a life of thanksgiving and gratitude? What does it take for a teenager to meet the needs of others before addressing their own needs? One thought is to begin early, teaching your child the value of hard work. Assign them chores and then pay them when the job is completed with excellence. Then train them to divide their money into the categories of save, give and spend. When they invest time and energy into a meaningful outcome they are much more appreciative of the money.
Perhaps you accompany them to feed the homeless, care for a family in financial distress or visit those confined to jail. You may decide on a family mission trip overseas. It may be a construction project, evangelism outreach or loving on orphans. Contentment and gratitude will erupt from the heart of your child when they engage people who smile in the face of ugly circumstances. They see first hand that joy comes from Jesus, not stuff.
Therefore, be intentional about modeling appreciation in front of your offspring. Be quick to thank God and others, while slow to complain. Grateful children are attractive and pleasant to be around. Their appreciative attitude will serve them well the rest of their lives.
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8)
How can I model an attitude of gratitude in front of my children? What can we do as a family to learn appreciation and experience contentment?
What did I learn from the Lord in today’s Bible reading?
How will I respond?
September 29, 2023
“Children are a humble reminder of a heart yet to be tinged by an adult life of pretense and pride.” Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 29, 2023 But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, [...]
September 28, 2023
“Receive each day as a gift from God, with gratitude in your heart for the opportunity to live another day.” Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 28, 2023 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV Earlier this week, [...]
September 27, 2023
“Christ acquires our spiritually bankrupted life, pays our sin debts, and sets us free to live an abundant life abiding in His love.” Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 27, 2023 What can one give in exchange for one’s life? Matthew 16:26 After becoming a Christian in college, I remember having a [...]