WHAT ARE WE MODELING FOR OUR CHILDREN?

I know “Attitude of Gratitude” is a cliché that is used frequently in the Christian circles as well as the worldly circles. Unfortunately, this cliché has lost its punch. My desire is to stir ones heart again about this old cliché and really seek to understand the consequences when we aren’t nurturing a thankful heart daily. I have recently come out of a slump because I had lost my perspective of the importance of having a daily, purposeful, intentional thankful heart.

A couple of weeks ago I was laying in bed ready to go to sleep, I began asking the Lord, “What is wrong with me? Why can’t I get out of this slump?” Quickly and clearly He spoke. He said that I had gotten away from having a daily attitude of gratitude. He was right! I had allowed people and circumstances to rob me of my faith in God. I’m not saying I didn’t believe in Him anymore. Instead of having faith in God to change people and circumstances I slipped into disappointment, which then led to faithlessness. For the next couple of days I repented for falling into this habit of thanklessness, which bred faithlessness. I began to be purposeful and intentional about being thankful.

The truth is, God doesn’t need our praise or approval. We don’t have to thank Him in order to make Him happy, to satisfy some spiritual requirement, or to try to get Him to do something else for us.  Giving thanks throughout the day is simply a way to show God how grateful we are for who He is. Regularly giving thanks to God not only helps us fully realize how He’s working in our lives, it gives us a new perspective. Our mind is renewed, our attitude is improved, and we are filled with joy.

Three points to think about as you build a lifestyle and leave a legacy of thankfulness in your children:

  1. Consider the alternative… A grateful mindset won’t help you do all things in life, but it will absolutely help you do everything in life far better than a critical, judgmental, negative attitude. Don’t underestimate the negative impact that a poor attitude will have on your happiness, productivity, success and ability to enjoy God and people. 2 Corinthians 10:5 “Take every thought captive to obey Christ.” Why? Because if you don’t, thoughts will take residence in your mind and heart that will undermine God’s best for you.
  2. Be Tenacious and Be Intentional…An attitude of gratitude does not come automatically. If being thankful were automatic, we wouldn’t be commanded to be thankful. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ.” Without intentionality something else will takes its place. If that happens the next stage is a bad attitude that begins to wrap its tentacles around everything in our lives, choking off happiness, peace and so much more.
  3. Steer your Ship and Trust God with the Rest…We have more control over our lives than we realize. You can’t always change your circumstances, but you can almost always change your attitude amidst your circumstance. When you trust God with the things you can’t change and focus on what you can change-your attitude-your downward spiral stops. You have God’s word on that and when God gives His word one must pay close attention and apply.

I leave you with a few quotes to help remind us why we need to foster daily thankfulness in our children and ourselves.

“Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” – Doris Day

“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies, but the thankful heart will find in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” – Henry Ward Beecher

“It’s a sign of mediocrity when you demonstrate gratitude with moderation.” – Robert Benigni

Karen Haler
Children’s Ministry Director
NCWC

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