One thing that comes out of my mouth the most each day is the phrase “Did you say thank you?” I can say this more times in one day than I would like to admit and even though 90% of the time my children have already said thank you I still land up asking them “did you say thank you?” As a parent I’m without a doubt trying hard to teach my children to be grateful, for anything and everything that comes their way.
Quite recently we were away on holiday. My husband had saved up for this holiday and he certainly spoilt us in so many ways. Now we are a family who don’t go out to restaurants very often. I cook…it’s my thing. At first I used to hate it but now I love it. So when we were on holiday, my husband gave me a break, he would take us out for a lunch here and a breakfast there, it was splendid. I mean…no dishes…no figuring out what to make to eat…no arguing about what I’m making to eat…it was marvellous.
Every time he took us out this holiday I would say to the kids, did you say thank you to daddy? Most of the time they already had and if they didn’t, they quickly did after I reminded them. It was really special to spend this time together as a family, we were super grateful, but it was short lived.
After a while the kids just stopped saying thank you because it became a part of the norm. They knew their dad was going to take them out for lunch, or to breakfast, or to a special place where they could play and have fun. I stopped reminding them because I saw a lesson that I could teach them. After a few days I said to the kids, did you say thank you to daddy for this or did you say thank you to daddy for that and they shamelessly replied no. So I went on to ask them why not? Both their replies were that they forgot. They forgot to be grateful because it became a part of the norm. They expected their dad to do it, so they stopped saying thank you. I was quite disappointed in my children, but then it got me thinking, how am I any different? How are we any different?
We pray to God, we ask Him to forgive our sins and to please provide for us and God does. We pray this continuously and God provides for us continuously, but then one day we just stop saying thank you and stop praying for Gods provision because we know God will provide for us. Our thanks become less because the provision becomes the norm.
I cannot point fingers at anyone because I fail at this daily, for example. My husband pays for everything that I NEED and WANT, when we first got married I used to express my gratitude all the time, but as the years go by I just stopped saying thank you. I expected it, regardless of how hard he worked or all the sacrifices he made. The least I could/can do is say thank you.
Maybe you keep messing up at work and a colleague keeps helping you fix things up, in the beginning you are grateful but as time goes by, your thank you becomes less because the help becomes a part of the norm.
Maybe you still living with your parents and they provide everything you need, in the beginning you’re thankful but it eventually becomes less because it has become a part of the norm.
I don’t know where you are in life and what areas you battle with, but I do know is that we all fall short in this. Can I encourage you to be more grateful for everything in your life? Can I encourage you to be more grateful for how God provides for you, for your education, for your wants and needs, for your living and working arrangements? Can I encourage you to just say thank you to everything, it’s just two little words that can make all the difference in the world.
With it being Valentine’s Day today I would like to leave you with this… “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” We recite this verse like a nursery rhyme, but today and everyday forward I want to say THANK YOU LORD, LET ME NEVER BE UNGRATEFUL.