From the archives: As you count your blessings today, take time to tell those living, breathing blessings in your life how much you appreciate them. They won’t know it unless you show it!
We need to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Giving thanks is something that we are commanded repeatedly in Scripture to do. Obviously, it is important to God for His children to be grateful.
Space won’t permit me to list all the references here, but consider this small sampling of verses:
• “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:18)
• “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
• “Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ …”
• “Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name….”
(1 Chronicles 16:8)
• “Enter His gates with thanksgiving…. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.”
We owe a debt of gratitude to God, but this attitude should also spill over into our relationships with others, as well. Our lives and our conversations should be marked by expressions of thankfulness toward our fellow man.
And that goes double for the members of our own household.
Don’t take your husband for granted. Express genuine appreciation for everything he does for you, whether great or small.
Always say thank you. But don’t stop there. Real gratitude runs much deeper than words. It extends far beyond anything we can verbalize.
Our thankfulness should affect not only how we think, but also how we live and how we treat the people around us.
This post is excerpted from my book, 25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband, winner of the CSPA 2014 “Book of the Year” Award. (affiliate link)
The Bible says we should “do everything without complaining or arguing.” (Philippians 2:14)
That’s not a suggestion. It’s a command.
Nobody wants to be around a whiner or complainer. It is wearisome, both mentally and emotionally, to listen to the constant grumblings of a perpetually unhappy person. It grates on the nerves.
Wise parents understand this fact and train their children to communicate without whining. Our Heavenly Father expects no less from us, as is repeatedly made clear in Scripture:
- “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Do not grumble among yourselves.’” (John 6:43)
- “Do not complain, brethren, against one another so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.” (James 5:9)
- “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who are grumbling against Me? I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel, which they are making against Me.” (Numbers 14:27)
While it is true that God encourages us to make all our requests known unto Him, He clearly desires that we do so with a spirit of gratitude, humility, and respect—rather than with an attitude of pride, bitterness, or entitlement. The following verses bear this out:
- “…but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
- “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (Colossians 4:2)
- “Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18)
It all boils down to focus. Are you going to center your thoughts on what is wrong with the world, wrong with your husband, wrong with your home? Or will you choose to look at things with eyes of gratitude, love, and understanding?
There are countless things in life over which we have no control, but we can control our thoughts and attitudes and responses. So let’s begin there.
Best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving, from my home to yours…. As you count your blessings today, take time to tell those living, breathing blessings in your life how much you appreciate them!
…. Life took yet another unexpected turn the day before Thanksgiving when our excessively thirsty Daniel tested positive for diabetes. That brings the tally to three children with Type 1, all diagnosed during major holidays. What are the odds?
Daniel took the news like a real trooper, although he has since asked, “Mommy? When do I get to stop having diabetes?” The answer is that, unless a cure is found, he will have it for the rest of his life.
I think it is significant that Daniel’s diagnosis came at a time traditionally set aside for counting blessings and giving thanks. It’s easy to express gratitude for obvious graces like warm homes, good jobs, sound minds, and full bellies, but Scripture bids us count it all joy when we encounter hardships, as well (James 1:2-3), knowing that our Heavenly Father loves us and can be trusted, even amid tragedy, to work all things together for good (Romans 8:28).
So this year, we are also thanking God for His purpose and plan in allowing into our lives some things we would not have willingly chosen for ourselves—things like diabetes and miscarriage and broken bones (five of them in five different kids!). But God is good all the time, and we can see His hand of mercy at work even now. Won’t you join us in offering up a sacrifice of praise this season?