For instance, my daughter doesn’t realize how blessed she is to live in this country. Even though it’s not a perfect nation, I think it’s important for her to be grateful for many of the ways our country is a great place to live!
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The apostle Paul said to “give thanks in all circumstances” so we can start with that motivation. Develop the discipline to give thanks every day by making a list of 10 things we are thankful for and sharing that with our kids. Then ask them to develop their own list based on our examples. Be thankful for trials, temptations, challenges and difficulties. As we do, we show our dependance on God for his wisdom and strength to see us through. Give thanks for individual people we know. Be specific what we are grateful for each one. Give thanks for people who we have conflict with or disagree with (ie. Politicians). This forces us to see the good in every person and will help guide our prayers for them. Modelling these examples before our children will teach them to be grateful. Public prayer with others including family, teaches us gratitude and compassion.
I think that lack of gratitude is a huge problem today. We should be grateful God has given us a beautiful world to live in, that we have relative freedom, that we live in a time when our health is looked after, that we have electricity to keep the lights on, that we have transport to go anywhere we like, that we have books and medicines and clothing and food. We are huge beneficiaries of a thousand gracious gifts from God. And yet the spirit of the age is to complain about everything. We so easily forget the big things because we are focussed on the small. Paul was right. We should all be immensely grateful.
God put us here in the USA (for those of us who live in this country). The Bible tells us that “God began by making one person, and from him came all the different people who live everywhere in the world. God decided exactly when and where they must live” (Acts 17:26 NCV). In other words, God chose for you to live right here, right now. In His great wisdom, He gave you a country to belong to. I love this quote: “God gave us the whole earth to love, but since our hearts are small, He ordained for each one a special place—a home—to love above all.” (Adapted from the writings of Runyard Kipling) --May Patterson I grew up celebrating the 4th of July with my family of a sister, cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandma on the Somo River (part of the Wisconsin River). After dark, we shot firecrackers, played with Fourth of July striped wooden painted glow sticks that glow in the dark--"glow sticks," and ran around the yard waving our sparklers, rejoicing in our freedom. Like an invisible thread, celebrating our country bound us together. Even as a child, it made me feel like an important part of something special. It gave me a sense of security, belonging, and gratitude. Every kid needs that. I hope you agree. Instill a sense of patriotic gratitude in your kids by teaching them: • Why you’re grateful for America (you can use the reasons above). • To be responsible citizens by voting, volunteering, and obeying the law. (Rom. 13:1-7)
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