If asked whether or not my kids have a grateful heart, I would have responded with yes. They are thankful for what they have. They offer up a thank you when served a meal, assisted with a task, offered a compliment or given an item. You know...basic good manners. I felt like my husband and I were well on our way to developing grateful children.
Then the toy catalogs from all the major stores started arriving at our house (just in time for all the holiday shopping, of course). Already, at age 2 and 3, they are masters at materialism. As they perused catalogs or walked through shops, I heard their chorus of "I want that!" and "I can get this!" I realized as the world unfolds before them and they begin to look beyond our little family, the task of fostering a thankful heart has only just begun. We have a laid a good foundation, but we must continue to help grow thankfulness through modeling, discussions, expectations and opportunity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
November is a natural time to focus on thankfulness with greater intensity, but it can't stop once the Thanksgiving holiday passes. We all must learn to meet each day with gratitude that extends beyond the materialistic. We have just begun the journey of embracing the life God has given us with gratitude. I can't share every conversation, prayer and object lesson we have with our children, but I will share some of the ways we are building thankful hearts this month.
How do you foster thankfulness with your family?