Wednesday, 9 May 2012
Having just read Ann Voskamp's book, 'A thousand gifts', I was inspired to meditate on thankfulness. Here I present some of my reflections. Being thankful is not just a show of good manners, not just mere lip service for the sake of courtesy. Thankfulness, or true thankfulness should come from the heart, and truly is thankful and content. Thankfulness is gratefully accepting what is given, what we receive, even if it isn't what we had hoped for, or expected. The Israelites murmured because they were bored of the manna, they were despising what was given, even though it was more than enough, and it was literally handed to them on a plate. The fact is, their every need was provided for, but they wanted more. Almost as if they were saying to God, ''Is that all we get?'' In the Bible, it says in the last days that people will be unthankful and unholy. Tim 3:2 ''For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,...'' As home educators, one of the most important things we can do, is to teach our children to be thankful. Not just in word, but to be content with what they have, not to be clamouring for more. It certainly does not help a child, when we give into their every whim and want. It does children good to wait, or even not have everything that they may wish for. Of course we need to teach them that material things are not so important, but rather the heart, and helping, and giving to others. Material possessions often compound strife, and it is a good thing if children learn this early on. I myself learned the importance of money, when I had to earn it. I frittered it away, and soon realised it was such a waste. Sadly peer pressure can compound the problem of material possessions, and this is not just limited to children. Peer pressure is now across the ages! Of course some children seem to be naturally generous, and giving, yet others will be so selfish, nothing seems to snap them out of it. Work with the child individually, noting their strengths and weaknesses in this area. Now, perhaps the most important thought of all, if we are not thankful ourselves in our own lives, how can we ever to expect our children to be? Do we constantly complain, and quip, If only we had.....? Are we happy with our lot? Sobre thoughts, and if you have the opportunity to read Ann Voskamps book, I thoroughly recommend it.