Any mom worth her weight in diapers knows the first words we teach our child are thank you. I can still see my chubby toddlers taking cookies from the hand of their great-grandma and quickly walking away. No matter which child it was, they were NOT predisposed to use the two words we’d rehearsed for months.
I’d scoop each one up and bring them right back to the very one who had showered me all my childhood years with root beer popsicles, peanut butter capn’ crunch and truckloads of tapioca pudding.
“Tell Grandma, thank you.”
Four children and what felt like a million thank you’s later, this lesson sank in. I’ve been the beneficiary of that word from my kids more often than not. Just last weekend I was at my married daughter’s home. Her and her husband made me dinner and I got up to help with the dishes.
“Mom, sit down. We’ve got this.”
“Are you kidding? If we all get to work we can be done in five minutes.”
“Thanks Mom.” she smiled.
Teach Your Kids to Be Thankful
Jesus experienced his share of people who weren’t taught this lesson as children. In the gospel of Luke we see this tragic character flaw in the nine lepers.
Only one was thankful.
It happened that as he made his way toward Jerusalem, he crossed over the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten men, all lepers, met him. They kept their distance but raised their voices, calling out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
Taking a good look at them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.”
They went, and while still on their way, became clean. One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. He kneeled at Jesus’ feet, so grateful. He couldn’t thank him enough—and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus said, “Were not ten healed? Where are the nine? Can none be found to come back and give glory to God except this outsider?” Then he said to him, “Get up. On your way. Your faith has healed and saved you.” Luke 17:11-19 The Message
Teach Thankfulness with a Thanksgiving Tablecloth
This story of the nine lepers is heartbreaking. But, it’s a picture of the world we live in. How many people with so much are eager to think they’re the reason for so much in their lives — praising themselves, they never thank God for any of it.
As a mom, I try very hard to model thankfulness not only in my day to day living, but especially at Thanksgiving. We have a tablecloth tradition that is well-known with the Kraft kids. It’s become one of the sweetest parts of this time of year for me.
If you want this holiday to pay homage to a thankful heart, make sure to point to Jesus and throw out a linen tablecloth each year. It’s our annual reminder of thankful words from years of family and guests who’ve surrounded our very own table each year.
May all our children grow up and be that one who remembers to say thank you.
- How are you teaching your child to be thankful?
- Are you kids witness to you saying thank you to people?
- When was the last time you said thank you to God around your kids?
- Saying grace around the table at dinnertime is an amazing daily lesson in thankfulness.