Leading in Thanksgiving

We’re at the beginning of Thanksgiving week, and we’re all ready for the turkey, pie, and celebration. 

As I was thinking about the holiday, I started wondering how well I’m doing on raising my kids and leading my family to be grateful. We all know kids are not born oozing thankfulness. None of us are. It’s actually, I believe, something we can get better at as we age (although not all of us do). 

According to dictionary.com, thankfulness is “feeling or expressing gratitude; appreciative.” (Not very profound, I know)

I’ve said before that many of the most important behaviors and attitudes have to be modeled before they are passed on to the next generation. I believe that to be true for gratefulness. My kids have to see me model a thankful attitude and hear me express it before they will fully understand what it is. 

1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” It’s not easy, especially when circumstances include a global pandemic, economic instability, and so much uncertainty. But it is a command.

I know if I want to train my kids in gratitude they must see me as a grateful, thankful person. They have to see my contentment with what I have. They need to observe my joy in the Lord and trust that He is in control and He is good. 

Those who are around you (your family or friends) need to see you model this as well. It’s the only way we will see Thanksgiving be more than just one more day on the calendar. 

How are you modeling gratitude on a regular basis to those around you? I hope you’ll spend some time this week pondering that question and acting on it.