Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Thank You

Our children are growing up in a selfish society built on consumerism and a "what will I get out of it?" attitude. They are bombarded by adverts on the tv which tell them the latest waste of money plastic toy that they really need, and friends at school tell them what they need to wear to be acceptable. The basic premise of the world they live in is that they are more important than anyone else, and they always need something extra to make their lives better. Put simply, it is ugly selfishness.

To combat this, we need to work harder than our parents did with our generation to teach them to serve and to be grateful for what they have. Sometimes it feels like swimming against a tidal wave when it would be so much easier to surf along with the rest of society, enjoying the ride.

Even in their simple faith, I have noticed that my boys are consumerist. A few weeks ago during our breakfast bible reading and praying time, I asked them to think of things to say thank you to God for. It was an almost impossible task. They could think of a whole plethora of things to ask for, but they struggled to find things to say thank you for. I was astonished. Surely after all we have taught them about God and what He has done for them, they would be able to rattle off a whole list of thank yous.

I decided to work on their attitude of gratitude. We turned our big blackboard into a "Thank You Wall". Every day we each drew a brick on the wall and wrote or drew something inside, and then said thank you to God for it. It took a few days, but eventually they began to think about being grateful instead of asking all the time. Today, our wall was full and they still had more to put on it! They wanted to turn it around and start again on the other side!

Featuring on the wall are honey, marmite (this one caused an argument), the Queen's Jubilee (how did I manage to produce royalist children?!), electricity, Huw Hadden (our very cool friend who enjoys a good bundle with them), food and other more serious matters. It was a fantastic exercise on teaching them gratitude.

I don't want my children to inherit from their culture the apparently inevitable selfish "me, me, me" attitude, so we have to be intentional in passing on to them a different attitude that reflects the kingdom to which they truly belong.

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