Image Reflecting: Gratitude
Saying the memory verse together at suppertime will imprint it on the hearts of your children forever.
Give thanks in all circumstances.
A television commercial shows Dad coming home with bags of fast food-something different for each child. But when he distributes them, each child has a complaint about what they've received. We and our children are immersed in a culture of consumerism and entitlement. We want what we want when we want it, and what's more, we deserve it. Gratitude is not a part of the equation. But are we happy?
But we want more for them than just have a grateful attitude. We want them to know to whom to we say, "Thank you?" Without God, we say " thank you" to a vague persona with whom we have no personal relationship.
Someone once observed that he never met a grateful person who was unhappy. Teaching our children to be grateful is an important component for a happy life. (Be sure to read this week's devotion on Gratitude.)
JUST THE FACTS
How well did you listen to the story?
Q. What does Mr. Hyde give to Lucille?
A. A thank you note from one of her readers.
Q. What happens to Morrie and his mom on their way to the science fair?
A. Their car breaks down.
Q. Who does Grandpa introduce to the Lucille?
A. Tommy, his great nephew.
Q. What is Tommy's attitude to being in a wheelchair?
A. He always tries to think about the good things in his life and to be thankful.
Q. What does Lucille decide to write about in her article?
This question is meant to help the children develop a biblical understanding of God, who He is and what He does. The "answer" is not meant for parents to read to their children. Rather its purpose is to assist parents in guiding the conversation to this biblical understanding. We encourage you to use an open Bible in this conversation, building biblical literacy and well as a biblical theology.
Why do you think it is important to be thankful? Why does God think it is important?
Gratitude is not only important for a happy life, it is important for a godly life. Gratitude opens our hearts to God and to others (Psalm 50:23). The Israelites did not display an attitude of gratitude—instead their most consistent behavior was grumbling. And their grumbling set themselves against God and ultimately brought them to ruin in the desert (Exodus 15:24, 16:2, 17:3, Numbers 14, Psalm 106:25). Gratitude is an antidote to discontent. How can we be discontent as we are being thankful? Gratitude is a humble heart acknowledging that all that we have comes as a gift from God (Philippians 4:7, I Timothy 6:6, Hebrews 12:28).
One important word in our memory verse is the word "in." We are told to be thankful "in" all circumstances. This does not mean we necessarily have to be thankful for all circumstances. If we are in the middle of a hurricane, we don't have to thank God for the hurricane itself, but we can thank God for His presence with us as we go through it.