I was only a college student, but the words said in passing have stuck with me all these (many) years later: “Gratitude must be cultivated.” You see, I was at the home of one of the leaders of my campus ministry, joining the family for a home-cooked dinner (every college student’s dream!). I left with much more than a satisfied stomach, however. I left with an invaluable lesson etched upon my heart on the importance of intentional gratitude. This family’s tradition was to go around the table each night, year-round, before eating, and to thank God for three things. The children were young, but they complied. It was clear this was very much their nightly routine. That’s when the parents explained to me that gratitude does not come naturally to their children (or to anyone!) and that they needed to be quite purposeful in the shaping of their children’s young hearts in this area.
It does not take long to discover the wisdom of these young parents and to see the need for us all to be quite purposeful in the area of giving thanks, for it does not come naturally nor does it grow on its own. What does seem to come naturally are attitudes of grumbling, complaining, and that of never having enough.
This is why I have pulled some Scriptures together, centered around a weekly theme of gratitude, for each week of November, in hopes of aiding our planting of the seed of the Word of God. Each week day (or whenever works best for your family) is accompanied by a portion of Scripture with some follow up questions to help launch a discussion or at the very least, lead into a purposeful (even if brief) time of thanksgiving.
My prayer is that the Lord would continue to water and grow these seeds that are planted, transforming our homes and our hearts!
Week 1: Thanking God for who He is
Week 2: Thanking God: Following the Example of Jesus
Week 3: Thanking God for the blessings He has given us (including one another)
Week 4: Thanking God in all circumstances