Let me start by making one thing clear. Thanksgiving for the Christian man is much more than just another holiday! This is an awesome time to teach our families (and remind ourselves) that we should be grateful towards God during this special season (and always). There are many ways that we can celebrate the goodness of God and his many blessings in our lives. Let’s outline one today and see how many we can cover before Thanksgiving.
A great place to start is to set aside time to describe the importance of Thanksgiving as laid out in scripture to our families. Do the research and teach your children what God’s word has to say about being thankful. Let’s look at a few scriptures and comments. There are so many Bible verses about gratefulness that it would behoove you to do your own research.
In first Thessalonians God tells us “in everything give thanks” – in everything! God requires of us as Christians to be thankful for everything. This is not only a privilege but a requirement because it shifts our focus from our problems to God’s great grace and power. We must teach our children to give thanks to God not just for the good things that they have, but also for those things that are challenging and difficult. In doing so, we’re teaching them to rely on God to help them get through those difficult times.
The book of Philippians chapter 4 verse six tells us to present all of our requests to God with a heart of Thanksgiving. When we finally understand that being thankful to God and knowing He is good and that He loves us, we will be free of anxiety.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Philippians 4:6 NIV
There is a certain discipline that is involved in being thankful. We must understand that and then teach that to our children. However, we won’t understand that unless we first understand that God is good and that he loves us. And that every good thing that we have comes from God.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
Psalm 107:1 NIV
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
James 1:17 NIV
Listen to me men, I have said this before and I will say it again, it is our responsibility to set the spiritual tone in our house. Therefore, I encourage you to meditate on these verses and to embrace them and make them your own. Then, bring this to your family starting today. There are 23 days and counting down left before Thanksgiving day. Start being thankful in everything today and make it a habit that will last a lifetime. Dads, you should be praying with your children and your wife every day. Incorporate this into your prayer time and teach your children and your wife. Then, no matter what is happening in your life, one thing you will know for sure, that God is good and that he loves you, therefore you can be thankful in everything. Have the same expectation that was found in Joseph, that even though he was sold as a slave by his own brothers. That despite the fact that he ended up in an Egyptian prison falsely accused of raping his boss’s wife. He maintained a thankful relationship with his creator and God restored him and his life. The Lord made him the second most powerful man in Egypt. And in doing so saved the lives of his brothers (who betrayed him) and his father. Then the Lord prepared the way for great men to descend from his lineage including King David, Solomon and ultimately our Lord Jesus Christ. All of this as a result of a thankful heart!
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