Teach Them Diligently has been in existence now for eleven years. During that time, my children have grown from youngsters to young men and women.
Time has flown by, and I say this as someone who was fully aware that time was going to fly by when our children were young. Nothing will prepare you for the short-ness of time you have with your young children.
Time blows by and it’s impossible to slow it down. All you can do is maximize the time that you have.
As I was thinking about that recently, I was reminded of something we did in our home quite by accident, and I didn’t realize it until a few years ago when I started studying gratitude.
While the children were growing up, we would communicate often about situations in the context of blessings and praises. We would regularly gather with our children and talk through answered prayer; blessings from God; and even things that we wanted to praise God for.
Praising God is just thanksgiving out loud.
During this time I hadn’t gone through a deep study on gratitude in the Bible. It was just something that felt right…If we were going to talk about prayer requests, it made sense to also talk about praises.
Then during my studies in writing the Thanksgiving Journal I ran across these verses,
“Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Eph. 5:20).
“For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God” (2 Cor. 9: 11-12).
The Scriptures present gratitude as something that characterizes those that follow Christ. It is like the mist around a waterfall.
When we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and the Redemptive work of the Cross, we have at least two clear responses to that belief.
One is that we repent. Not that we suddenly become perfect and sin no longer. Rather that God presents us with something to turn away from. For me, it was alcohol. For some, it might be stubbornness or lying or a relationship.
The second is gratitude. We understand that Christ gave us a gift of redemption that we could not give to ourselves. We were unworthy and could not earn Salvation. It was a gift by unmerited favor or grace. When we realize that Salvation is a gift that we could do nothing to earn, we can have only one response which is thanksgiving. This gratitude results in the joy that we see so often in new Christians.
It is also this gratitude that people notice. This gratefulness extends to the “glory of God.” It is a witness—a testimony to what has occurred.
Don’t get me wrong…I am not saying that the gratitude and repentance “saved” you. What I am saying is that these are evidences of what has happened!
And, this gratitude that you have gained in response to what our Lord has done is hated by those that hate Christ. The world system works against it. Satan and all the principalities and powers of hell work against it. And, our flesh works against it. Gratitude is not natural.
We do not wake up one day and suddenly we are characterized by Thanksgiving. Not only is it a gift of God, but it is also something that must be worked at because our natural inclination is to not be thankful.
Even to those that come to know the Lord as Savior, their gratitude over time is pulled away unless they discipline their minds and work at it consciously—rehearsing the reasons they have to be thankful. Without effort, we will dwell on what we don’t have and our own desire.
Same with our homes,…
Without effort and consciously rehearsing the reasons we have to be thankful, we will slouch into envy and desire and jealousy. And, envy is a very sandy foundation to build a home on (Mt. 7:26). Think about the battles that result in a home just out of envy and jealousy. You can not build a home that honors Christ on that foundation.
I certainly understand, our lives move so fast…I know that many of you are just holding on. I know that we have felt that way.
But, without focus, gratitude will give way to our natural inclination and before long, our homes are filled with envy. It is worth the pause and focus.
The foundation of any home centered on Christ has a foundation of thanksgiving directed at our LORD.