As we look forward to Thanksgiving this week, we are all more aware of the need to be thankful. As parents we desire for our children to say thank you and to be grateful for the many blessings they have such as nice homes, more than enough clothes to wear, food on the table, and so on. In our give me, give me world, helping our children (and ourselves for that matter) have an attitude of gratitude can be a challenge.
So what does the Bible say about being thankful?
1 Thessalonians 5:18- “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Having an attitude of gratitude is God’s will for us.
Ephesians 5:20- “ giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” We are to give thanks always and for everything.
Colossians 3:15- “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” We are to let peace rule in our hearts and be thankful.
What does a thankful heart look like? It is a heart that counts blessings, is happy with simple pleasures of life, and expresses gratitude for everything given, both to God and to man.
A scientific experiment done at the University of California showed that those who spent ten weeks journaling things they were grateful for had higher levels of well-being, had more optimistic expectations, felt they had more connectedness to others, and were more willing to help others compared to the other groups who either journaled about things that annoyed or irritated them or journaled about things that had a major impact on them.
How can you practice thankful more in your home?
It is God’s will for us to be thankful in all things, all the time. When we teach and model an attitude of gratitude to our children, it helps strengthen our families as well as our relationship with God.
Emmons, R. A. & McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 377-389