Encourage Children to Help around the House
Doing chores gives children a sense of accomplishment, prepares them for the future, and helps them appreciate the work that goes into family life. That appreciation, in turn, promotes gratitude. By teaching them responsibility, we cultivate gratitude in our home, which is their primary place of teaching.
Do Community Service as a Family
Service outside of the home is another important lesson that can help children grow a grateful heart. With household chores, their service is within the home; with community outreach, their service is outside of it. Opening their eyes to those in need and enriching their perspective of the world can allow them to appreciate all that they have and meaningfully contribute to the lives of others.
James 2:17 says faith without works is dead; serving others is one important way that children can live their faith and experience its joyful reward.
Create a Habit of Giving Thanks
Giving thanks to God isn’t an afterthought in the Christian life—it’s one of our most important responsibilities. The Bible promotes a habit of thanksgiving. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 reads, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
The pattern of giving thanks can be integrated into the day at any time, like at mealtime or bedtime as well. Regularity allows children to anticipate it and become mindful of their lists on their own.
Model a Thankful Heart
What we model is our children’s best teacher. When we acknowledge a gift from God’s hand in our life and give thanks for it in front of our children, it encourages them to do the same. Colossians 3:17 reads, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Everything we do—our words and deeds—should spring from a thankful heart as we seek to model Christ.
Teach Children about the Many Attributes of God
Exploring the many praise-worthy attributes of God with children is the capstone of our effort. This important work can fuel all the other lessons. Learning about God’s unconditional love and activity will allow children to draw closer in relationship to the One whose blessing can best inspire their gratitude.
Philippians 4:6-7 reads, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends your understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
This passage acknowledges that we’ll always have petitions, but don’t miss its encouragement to be thankful. Gratitude is part of the gateway to God’s blessing. You can be a conduit of that blessing for your family with these lessons. Your children will live happier and healthier, while magnifying God’s presence in their lives.
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