1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
‘Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’
Prayer can easily become a list of requests. We don’t necessarily go out of our way to make prayer this way, but in the same way our children come to us as parents, we naturally as God’s children have a tendency to only ask for what we want or need in prayer. It seems that even our prayers can unknowingly be filled with selfish desires.
The more that I ask Jesus to guide me through His spirit to teach and discipline my children, the more I see the parallel between my relationship with Jesus, and my childrens’ relationship with me. When our eyes are opened to the understanding that we too can behave in this way towards our Heavenly Father, we are able to give more grace during the times when our children push us to our limits!
We would all like our children to appreciate everything that is given to them and be thankful for all that they have, in the same way our Father wants us to be thankful in all circumstances. As parents, the very people our children model themselves on, we should ask ourselves, are we thankful in all circumstances and do our children see our thankfulness shining through in our home, during times we are surrounded by friends and family, and perhaps more challenging, in difficult situations. Can they see thankfulness in action? How are we demonstrating our appreciation for answer to prayer, for others and for our children?
If we can make every effort to display thankfulness, I believe that our children will respond. Giving a thank you card to a friend, thanking your child for doing something immediately after being asked, or for offering to help with a job, and going a step further to tell them why your are thankful and how it impacted you. Thanking God in our prayers and involving the children in this, making a thank you basket and during family time, asking each member to write down something they are thankful for and take it to the Lord together. There are many ways that we can implement thankfulness into our family life.
Until we start making changes in our own personal prayer time, in family prayer time, in our home and asking for the Lord to lead us by His Spirit into wisdom and guidance in the way we train and discipline our children, we will continue to struggle through in our own strength to maintain consistent foundations. Have you ever noticed that consistency fails without the leading of the Holy Spirit. When we begin to live in thankfulness, we allow the overflowing joy that is promised to us to consume our hearts instead of focusing on the disappointments. We can live in joy no matter what our circumstances because our thankfulness is not overshadowed by what may at times seem like mundane duties that we live through each day. We can be thankful in all circumstances as God always intended.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
‘Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you to belong to Christ Jesus to live.’