Looking for creative ways for your children to express their gratitude to others? Showing gratitude is a great way for us to show others God’s love and ours. Your children can verbalize their appreciation or write a note, but sometimes it’s fun to get a little creative when you thank someone.
The next time your children want to show someone their appreciation, try having fun with one of these ideas:
After “dada” and “mama”, my daughter’s first two words were “peas” and “tanks”. We believed it was important to teach our daughter to be polite, considerate and appreciative as early as we possibly could. Fast forward sixteen years later and our daughter has become the polite, considerate, gracious young woman we hoped to raise. She will fight to the bitter end for God and what she believes is right, but her spirit is gracious.
Why was it so important to us that she be taught to be grateful? The Bible mentions the word “thanks” dozens of times. Almost all of them have the word “give” before it, as in “give thanks.” It only makes sense God as the Creator, would want His creation to be grateful. Not only for being created, but also for all of the other many blessings God provides for us on a regular basis.
Have you ever attempted to go through a store door with your arms overflowing with a baby, your diaper bag and several shopping parcels, only to have the person in front of you let the door shut in your face? Ever been sick and tried to sleep when suddenly it sounds like the circus has come to your living room?
Putting someone else’s interests before your own is not just good manners, it is consideration. In fact the Apostle Paul writes, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility, value others above yourself.” (Philippians 2:3 NIV)
Being considerate of others is tough. Satan makes sure we understand how annoying it will be to put the interests of the other person before our own. And the payback is minimal at best (Satan would continue.). There are no “Considerate Person of the Year” awards. People will rarely jump up and down because you were considerate. There are no ticker tape parades for considerate people.
The New Testament is full of reminders for Christians to be careful how they lived their lives. The writers (and God) knew that non-Christians watch Christians carefully. Sure, some do it to find an excuse not to believe, but many are looking in hopes of seeing the light and love of God in our lives. Reflecting God’s love to others is what draws them to Him and His Words.
If you have children for very long, you soon become swept up in birthday parties, volunteer commitments and a whole new world of people who may previously have been strangers. Hopefully, these people will soon learn from you and your children that your family worships God faithfully.
Peek into any Church on a Sunday and you will see lots of volunteers running around performing a variety of functions. Some take just a few minutes, while others have spent hours in preparation and will volunteer yet another hour or more during classes or services. Yet most of these people go unnoticed and unappreciated by the members they are serving. When they are noticed, it is often by someone wanting to criticize their endeavors.
In the Biblical model, the leaders of the church are called Elders. They are men who are required to have a long list of qualifications to even be considered for this volunteer position (I Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9). God expects these men to lead the congregation, which often includes teaching, counseling and solving the most difficult problems. They are also to make the decisions that affect the spiritual lives of the congregation. They oversee (in fact one of the names for this position is overseer) everyone in the congregation including ministers, staff, deacons, ministry leaders and members.
I can’t imagine how many hours Elders volunteer each week. Yet often, they receive more criticism than anyone in the Church. Rarely do members show their appreciation for all of the time these men (and their wives) spend helping and guiding everyone.