This whole month, our family is thinking about being thankful for others.
I feel like my children have become very self-centered and selfish. They complain a lot. They want what they want, and they really don’t think about if it is best for others first.
I know self-centeredness is natural in children (Foolishness is bound in the heart of the heart of a child, Proverbs 22:15); but it is my job, along with my husband, to drive that foolishness out. Sometimes that may mean using some sort of discipline, but it also means that we as a family should actively pursue thankfulness . . . for OTHERS.
We have all heard the acronym:
Last year, our family focused on being thankful for God. We did all these printables and have a super long paper chain still hanging over our windows in our upstairs hallway.
So far this year, we have talked about being thankful for Christians servants such as missionaries, pastors, Sunday School teachers, and teachers using these printables. We also have these printable Thank You Notes that we can use for others.
Now we are focusing on being thankful for family.
- The family of God
- Our immediate family
The Family of God
Do you know how special the family of God is? Those who believe that you can have a personal Savior and a personal relationship with Him? They laugh and cry with you; hold you up through the rough times; rejoice with you in the good times. There is an instant bond with strangers when you find out that they are a true believer in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
I was at church last night, and in just walk-by conversations with 4 people, I found 4 heavy matters to pray over:
- a job that needed much wisdom and direction from God
- a desire for a bigger vehicle
- a wedding that is very stressful
- decisions to be made about church, school, and job
My heart was weighed down when I thought of these deep concerns that are important and where these godly people are waiting and seeking the Lord’s will for their life.
But I also thought, “How special that we can come together in the middle of the week and tell others our concerns and they care and will pray!” These weren’t mentioned in a prayer meeting as we had a special concert from a traveling group last night; they were just mentioned as a friend to a friend. Hopefully, they walked away encouraged knowing that others care and will pray. Where else do you get that? You don’t get those conversations in your trips to WalMart. Sometimes you may not have believing family and you don’t get those conversations in your own family. Your family of God in your local assembly of believers is where you should be able to get this care and concern.
How can we teach our children to be thankful for the family of God?
- By being there. We used to say, “When the church doors are open, be there.” When there are services, we try to be there. It is a priority. We do not do sporting events or other activities that interfere with our Sunday morning, evening, and Wednesday night church services. It is not a command to go all three services; but we can make time for everything else we want to do, why can’t we make time for the preaching and listening to of God’s Word? If we don’t show it is a priority in our life, our kids won’t make it one in their lives.
- By not letting our children be rude when we are talking to others at church. I need to crack down on this more. Again, children are self-centered. One way to combat this is by making them wait to be heard when you are in a group setting like church. Then they will discover they are NOT the center of the universe. Maybe have a signal like them putting a hand on your arm or slipping an arm around your waist so that you know they have a question; and when it is natural, turning to them and asking what they need. But do not allow them to come up and interrupt.
- Caring for the body of Christ as a family: Making visits to shut-ins together, having them help make meals for a new mom or for the elderly (or at least watching you do it), praying together as a family for members or the church and their needs, having them in your house are just a few ways that you can demonstrate the love for the body of Christ together as a family.
This next week, we are going to talk in our family devotions about how we can be thankful for the family of God and how we can show our thankfulness to them.
Romans 12:10 will be the verse that is used:
“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;” (KJV)
or “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” (ESV)
or “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;” (NASB)
Here is our printable we will use this week:
Answers to the questions:
- What does it mean to be “kindly affectioned?”
devoted to our family of God
- What does it mean to be devoted?
“very loving or loyal” We don’t talk bad or cut down our fellow believers. We are there for them and help them out.
- What is brotherly love? You can discuss this together.
Brotherly love in the biblical sense is an extension of the natural affection associated with near kin, toward the greater community of fellow believers, that goes beyond the mere duty in Leviticus 19:18 to “love thy neighbour as thyself”, and shows itself as “unfeigned love” from a “pure heart”, that extends an unconditional hand of friendship that loves when not loved back, that gives without getting, and that ever looks for what is best in others. (Wikipedia)
- How do we give preference to other believers?
Helping sometimes when it is not convenient, not interrupting when mom and dad are talking in church, helping in the nursery or other ministries so that others can listen to the sermon, etc.
- What are other ways that we can show that we love our family of God?
praying for them, meals, hugs, cards, visits, having them in our house, money, groceries, etc.
**Underneath the JOY picture above are all the links to my other Thanksgiving printables and family devotion/homeschool Bible time studies.
This month, Thankful Thursdays are combining with the Thoughtful Thursdays that are normally hosted here on Creative K Kids. Many bloggers are writing Thankful posts this month and are hosting the linky on their posts as well.
You can link up any Thoughtful or Thankful post that you have written to the linky below!
If you would like to grab the button to put on our sidebar or on your party page you could! It is not a requirement, but if it helps you to remember where to go every Thursday in November, then here it is: