“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him..” – Colossians 3:15-17.

Just about every family celebrates Thanksgiving in November. But there are families that have 20 or 30 thanksgivings or more each year. They are thankful when they experience healing, or someone gets into the school of their choice, or someone accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior. They rejoice in answered prayer, and for God’s providence, and for His grace. Multiple thanksgivings would not be good for your diet, but it is good for the family. 

In Colossians 3:17, Paul suggests we can’t have too many thanksgivings: “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  In whatever we do, on whatever day, we should be giving thanks.  Colossians 2:7 declares we should be “…abounding in thanksgiving..” And in Ephesians 5:20 we’re told that we should be “…giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Chris.  We should be thankful and it is especially true in our homes and in how we deal with our families. What would happen if our families were thankful people? 

Our families need appreciation. They need praise. They don’t need harsh words and occasional hard feelings. In many families, negative words are the method we choose to modify someone else’s behavior. Parents put down their kids. Wives insult their husbands. Husbands malign their wives because they believe that this is the best way to make our displeasure known and to change the behavior of those they are upset from. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that Martha Stewart or Bob Vila doesn’t live in every house. We need to develop a thankful spirit and a trust in God’s plan. 

The best place to start practicing thanksgiving is in His presence. We need to pray to God and focus on the things we are thankful for about our spouse/child/sister/brother or other family member. 

The point is this: We need to be a people who are known for our thankfulness, especially in our homes with our wives/ husbands/ children/ parents. Partly because of the change it can bring about in our families, but more importantly because of the change it can bring to our own lives and hearts.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How often do we thank God for our families? If not, why not?
  2. What do we do when family members are difficult?
  3. Is it harder to show gratitude to family members than other people? Why or why not?
  4. What can you do this week to be more thankful and grateful for our families?