What if We Only Had the Things We Thanked God for?

We had a Wii, have a Wii U, and “gotta have” a Xbox 360.  I have an iPhone 5 but wonder when the 6 will be out.  This post is not about the desire for more.  It is about practicing gratefulness with your kids.  And it’s more than once a year at Thanksgiving.  We all want our kids to be grateful.  So how do you start practicing this?  Here are a few ways.

  • One time: At dinner one evening provide your kids with pen and paper.  Ask them to write down their five favorite things.  Could be 3 or 6.  Now everyone thank God for the things listed.
  • Weekly: Pick one time per week to tell God thank you.  Don’t ask God for anything.  Around the dinner table or at bedtime have each child thank God.  You do the same.  Make it the same day/time every week.  Ask your kids to come up with a name for this time.  Here are some verses that you can use to kickstart your weekly discussion on gratitude; Psalm 100:4-5, Daniel 6:10, Matthew 15:36, Matthew 26:27 (Jesus giving thanks), Acts 27:35 (Paul giving thanks), 1 Corinthians 15:57, 2 Corinthians 9:15, Ephesians 1:16, Ephesians 5:20, Philippians 1:3, Colossians 3:17, 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
  • Build over time: What are you grateful for over the course of your life?  Some suggestions include when you became a Christian, when you married, when you had your son or daughter, a career change, moving to a new city, or when you started attending a certain church/Bible study/school.  Write down the highlights.  The nation of Israel gave thanks for their story (1 Chronicles 16:7-36, Nehemiah 12:24,31,43).  Make one for your family and hang it on the refrigerator or wall.  When you think of something else you are thankful for add it to the list.  Your kids can also add to the list.

What ways have you found helpful to do this?  Please share.

2 thoughts on “What if We Only Had the Things We Thanked God for?

  1. Will – good topic. I’m grateful for God’s sovereignty. If I had half of what I asked for & none of what He gave that I didn’t ask for, I can’t even imagine what my life would be like.

    Good exercise on thanksgiving.

    • No doubt Greg. Practicing gratitude has been contagious in my house. It’s cool to see, but definitely took God changing my heart on His provision!

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