From the time our children were toddlers and still today, I intentionally thank God out loud for ways I recognize Him moving.
…Like when they were little and it had rained for 4 straight days and I was going crazy… and then it rained and I squealed, “Thank you God for giving us a sunny day today!”
…Or when we’re lost, and I’m stressing out and somehow we arrive at our destination… and I loudly sighed, “Thank you God for getting us here!”
…Or like the other day, after our sons patiently moved the furniture that I wanted to rearrange… and I hugged them joyfully with, “Thank you God for having them both be in town today.”
No coincidences. God is with us and moving.
Our children, at all ages, are observing and listening to us. This is good. The important question is what do they see and hear?
They will copy more of what they see and hear us do than what we say they should do.
Jesus knew this. He lived what He wants us to imitate.
“Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people.” (John 6.11a)
Through His actions Jesus taught us to thank God. That day God displayed evidence of Himself, and Jesus wanted the thousands gathered to know. First, Jesus’ prayer of thanks was personal. Humbly, He thanked the Father as the Source of provision. Second, His prayer was discipleship. He recognized the opportunity to glorify God while demonstrating how—with humble, intentional love for us.
He could have prayed silently.
We have countless opportunities with our children, especially while they live with us. As they move away, opportunities still abound through text, email, and phone conversations and times we’re together.
God uses our efforts with our children to stretch our faith as He works in their hearts. Living a life of intentional thanks TO God is a testimony of our focus of faith. When we thank God, we glorify Him. Our words point to Who we believe is the reason for many things…
Often our “public God sentences” are reserved for conversation on church property, mealtime, funerals, crises and tragedy. Why do we hold back?
Thank you, God…. Simple words. Important words. Amazing opportunity.
The more our children recognize the evidence of an active God, the more their hearts open to engaging in relationship with Him. He becomes real and present to them.
GIVING THANKS, WE SHOW OUR CHILDREN EVIDENCE OF OUR AWESOME GOD.
Please help us humbly live a life of gratitude—OUT LOUD—that we are so full of thanks that we simply CAN’T KEEP IT IN. Amen.