“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:18).
Sharing has two sides:
1. Lettings others enjoy the things we have
2. Being content with what we have
Several weeks ago we started a series of posts about teaching children to share. So far we have addressed the following topics in previous posts:
- We as parents need to be willing to share ourselves and our time with our children. We must cheerfully take hold of the opportunities to train out them.
- We need to establish limits for our children and teach them the concepts of ownership and stewardship.
- We need to teach a child patience and help him understand that he cannot have whatever he wants whenever he wants it.
- A child who forcibly takes what he wants from others is stealing. He is not treating others the way he wants to be treated, and he should be corrected.
A child who will cheerfully share with others must first learn to be thankful. Generosity springs from a thankful heart. If we truly appreciate all that God has done for us, if we recognize that all that we have and are is the result of His grace alone, our joy and gratitude will lead us to show grace to others. We have freely received God’s blessings. Now we can freely bless others with grateful hearts.
A child who learns that all that he has is a gift from God will be better prepared to share those blessings with others. Spend today helping your children appreciate all that they have been given.
As you go through the day, grab hold of opportunities to remind your children of God’s blessings. Are children arguing over a toy? In a friendly voice, ask, “How did you get that toy? Did someone give it to you? Did you know that God has blessed you through that person’s generosity? Let’s thank God for it. . . Now that you have been blessed, He wants you to bless others with what you have been given.”
Are two children vying for the last piece of cake? “How did we get this cake? Mama made it. God used Mama to bless you. Let’s thank Him for it. . . Now He and Mama both want you to be grateful and bless others with what you have been given.”
Keep pointing your children to the Giver, offer thanks together, and then ask them to give as freely as God has given to them! Nurture a spirit of gratitude and praise in your home. Teach children to say thank you whenever something is done for them or given to them. Teach tiny ones as soon as possible to sign the word “thank you,” and train them to say it at every opportunity. Voice your own words of thankfulness to your spouse and to your children. Give audible thanks to God at meals and throughout the day.
This isn’t all there is to teaching children to share, but a thankful heart is the foundation we build on.