When my children were about three and six we lived in a small townhouse. It was a cute little home that met our needs (it even had a fireplace!) but it did not have much of a yard. At some point during the two-and-a-half years we lived there, I decided that my children needed a bigger yard to play in and a bigger house to live in. I mentally came up with all the arguments that justified why we needed to move. Every time we would drive through a neighborhood I would look longingly at the beautiful homes with their big yards and I would voice my discontent with where we lived. One day we were driving along and I heard a little voice from the back seat say, “I wish we had a big yard! We need a big yard!” Instantly I felt conviction. My ungrateful heart had shouted loud and clear every time I voiced what I thought we needed. I had influenced my children. They didn’t even realize what they didn’t have until I started to complain. I had to take some time to get right with the Lord, thank Him for how He had provided for our family, and ask my husband and children to forgive me.
Thoughts for Mom:
- If we want our children to have grateful hearts it must first start with us. We must sincerely be grateful for how God has chosen to provide for us and for our family, and choose to make the most of it.
- We cannot teach our children something that is not a reality in our own heart.
- Thanking God for how He has provided for us and for how He is working in our lives is a choice we must make before we can expect to see any desired fruit in the lives of our children.
- Affirmation is important! Because you and I, as adults, are in a fight to be grateful and thankful, we must be sure to communicate to our children that we understand the battle and then offer much affirmation when they show gratefulness in any form. Any evidence that God is working in their heart is something to be acknowledged and celebrated!
How to Pray Through This:
Verse: “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Psalm 139:23-24
Prayer: Father, I confess my own lack of gratefulness. Please change my heart so that I will honor You and see all You have done for me and how You have provided for me.
Verse: “I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.” Psalm 9:1
Prayer: Father, help me to focus on all You have done in our lives and all the ways in which You have provided for me and my family.
Verse: “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentions 3:23-24
Prayer: Father, Thank you. Thank You for Your faithful love, for Your mercies that never cease and that are new every morning. Please help me to remember to tell my children of all of Your faithfulness to us! You are so good to us.