This morning we talked about Thankfulness. I’m making a deliberate effort to be ready for Christmas early by baking ahead, but I also want to deliberately teach my children the joy of giving, and the joy of receiving humbly. Right now I see the greediness starting to grow, and as I pondered the problem, I discovered that the Christmas conversation could easily start with thankfulness for God’s unspeakable gift.
So we rehearsed how God has blessed us. I was tickled that they remembered the big blessings I’ve been telling them: how God led Daddy and Mommy together, how God led us to our city in New Mexico, how God led us to our church, and how God is leading Lee to be deployed. I then read them James 1:17:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
We talked about how every gift from God is good, even if we don’t recognize it. Mommy and Daddy didn’t know why God would send us to New Mexico when we wanted to be somewhere else, but God knew what was best for us. It was a wonderful gift!
We then talked about enjoying gifts. Since Lee’s parents brought Christmas presents with them, I asked the children whether they enjoyed the gifts they received. They have been enjoying these gifts, so I asked them where the enjoyment came from. Now this is a fairly complex idea, but it’s understandable. I explained that the toys don’t bring enjoyment; God gives the enjoyment as well as the gifts (and they do understand that Grandma and Grandpa gave the gifts, but they ultimately come from God). I gave them several things I know they enjoy, and asked them where the joy came from: the thing or the gift giver. After a few times, they understood and started answering correctly. I didn’t teach them the verse, but here is one place we see this idea clearly in God’s Word:
And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. Ecclesiastes 3:13
They are so trusting, believing me that God gives us the ability to enjoy His good gifts. They’re not quite ready to believe that giving gifts if more fun than receiving them. That’s what we’ll talk about next.
Then we all said James 1:17 together one more time.