How to Have A Thankful Family
You Can Have a Thankful Family
A thankful family--what does that look like? Close your eyes for a moment, and imagine with me that we have a thankful family and a home filled with gratitude. What does that look and feel like? How sweetly does each one treat the other! Isn’t it a bit of heaven on earth?
Write Down What Thankful Looks Like
When you did this activity, I'm sure that you, like me, saw a picture in your mind! Close your eyes again and notice the details. Write them down. What were the expressions on your children's and husband's faces? What condition was your home in? Were there noises, or was it quiet, or what was the environment like? Whatever details you can identify, write them down. This is what you think a thankful home and family would look like.
Now evaluate: Is this a true and accurate vision of what it looks like to be thankful, or an unrealistic fantasy, made up in your own mind? Let's pray for God's view of being thankful, a Biblical one, to be in each and every one of our hearts.
Thankfulness doesn't just happen. You have to promote and encourage it. "A Thankful Thoughts Journal" is a tool to use in your family! Print one for your tween and teen to use. Use it as a couple for special bonding time! Have your preschooler dictate their thanks and color a picture--bind it together as a keepsake you'll keep forever! Use it in your morning time or at mealtime as a family! 31 days of journal prompts, inspirational and motivational quotes and Bible verses beautiful enough to print out and frame. Get "A Thankful Thoughts Journal" today!
Why don’t we live in families and homes like that? As Christians, we have the power of the Holy Spirit producing the fruit of the Spirit in us. That fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Galatians 5:22 Well, of course, there's sin. I want us to recognize that the opposite of thankfulness in our homes is a sinful attitude. Now, it suddenly gets serious! I don't think we quite take our ingratitude seriously enough.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Series on How To Have A Thankful Family
This is a Series on “How to Have a Thankful Family,” and there’s not one person or family that couldn’t improve in this area, but, me especially! I know the Lord has me write on topics that I need the most!
One of the very first things we teach our children is to say please and thank you, isn't it. That's because it's so much nicer to live together as parents, siblings, friends, and neighbors when we practice common courtesy, and good manners. But courtesy is not so common anymore. Just go to any public place, and listen to adults and children both, for awhile, and you will be aware that speaking with kindness and courtesy is not very common. The sad thing is when that creeps into our own homes and families!
I think Satan knows that the thankful heart doesn’t have much room for sin. Satan wants to plant seeds of resentment, discontentment, comparison, envy, jealousy, covetousness, (especially as we approach Christmas and have a "picture-perfect" image in our heads! Read my post!) and lack of appreciation. God wants to plant seeds of gratitude, praise and thanksgiving. A sense of awe at all He is and does.
A Thankful Heart Is Grown From Seeds Planted
Sow seeds of thanksgiving. The months leading up to the holiday of Thanksgiving are a great time to work on this character trait in our families. School is starting, and you can incorporate simple activities very easily into your school day to encourage thankful hearts. The youngest ones are the easiest to catch on to this.
Sow seeds of thankful thoughts and reap a harvest of gratitude in your heart!
Though we are no longer Homeschooling, we can do simple activities to promote thankfulness, too, and it is just as much needed in our home as yours! Whether you are married or single, have no children, or have a house full of kids, are empty-nesters or young teenagers, we can all use practice and need prompting to be more thankful.
I need this as much as anyone. When we don’t practice giving thanks in all things, soon our hearts become grumbly and complaining. We may tolerate this sin and think it is trifling, but God does not. Remember that He kept the Israelite people out of the Promised Land because of their grumbling and complaining.
Need Help Thinking of Things to Be Thankful For?
To help us to be more thankful, I have made a Pretty Printable, "31 Days of Thankfulness to God," with 31 prompts to help you think of things you can give thanks to God, the Father, for--one for every day of the month! It's available to you, free, when you subscribe below.
You will also get my list of the Best Bible Verses on Thankfulness (Giving Thanks) Free! Both are pretty enough to print out, frame and put up in your home, to remind you and your family to be thankful! It's these little actions that completely transform our families and homes!
For one who has made thanksgiving the habit of his life,
the morning prayer will be,
'Lord, what will you give me today to offer back to you?'
Your assignment for this week: Think of 3 things to be thankful for every morning before you step out of bed. At the end of the day, ask your Heavenly Father for forgiveness for your sins, and then thank Him for three more things that you are grateful for from your day.
A meaningful tradition: Ask your children each to say one thing they’re grateful for at your family mealtime. You could write them down on slips of paper and collect them in a decorative jar, and read them at Thanksgiving!
Here is What I Am Thankful For:
"Thou that hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more--a grateful heart.
Till I a thankful heart obtain
Not thankful when it pleaseth me--
As if Thy blessings had spare days--
But such a heart, whose pulse may be
A portion of the poem, "Gratefulness," by George Herbert (1593-1633)
I’ll be sharing activities that you can do as a family to promote thankfulness in the upcoming blog posts. I'd love to include your ideas. How do you keep a thankful heart and encourage thankfulness in your home? Let me know in the comments!
Have a Great Week Making Your Home For God!
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About the Author
Wendy Gunn helps young Christian moms have clarity and consistency prioritizing God's Unique Goals for their home, family, and life through courses and coaching.