By TJ Lawson
There are a lot of strange things we do as parents. One of them is demanding that another human being goes to sleep right now! Or cheering for another person who uses the big potty all by themselves! But one of the strangest things we do is to demand that our children say, “thank you.” Yet it is something we do over and over again.
As you spoon green beans on to your child’s plate, “Say, thank you.”
“Why? I don’t want these green beans.”
“Just say thank you!”
“Ok, fine. Thank you for the green beans I didn’t want.”
We go through these motions over and over again. We have to constantly remind our children to be thankful. Not to have the feeling of thankfulness; we can’t MAKE them feel anything. But I have to remind them to say the words “thank you.” Say them even when you don’t feel it, even when it is expected. Say them even though you said it last time I filled your cup of juice, even though your sibling already said it. Our kids need to say “thank you” because we want them to become the kind of adults who are grateful.
But we all need to say those words as well. We need to thank our God more often. We may not feel it, but we need to say it. To thank God even though we thanked God last time. To thank God even if someone else already thanked God. Because the more often we thank God the more likely we are to become the kind of adults who are grateful to our great God.
Psalm 42 has this phrase that is repeated “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” The author of the psalm is saying, “I know my soul is downcast, I know I’m depressed and sad, yet I will praise God. I will give thanks even when I don’t feel like it. Even when my heart isn’t in it I will still thank God because he is my bed rock.”
May we not forget to say thank you to our God. Even when we don’t feel like it, may we praise our God.