And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NIV).
If a Dad’s number one job is to introduce his kids to Jesus, here’s the biggest reason why. God’s word, through the Spirit of Jesus, works in us every day. God’s word is at work in those who believe in Him, reshaping thinking and remolding hearts. God’s word is at work, too, in the lives of those who reject Him, because He still provides everything even for them. Indeed, God’s very nature is revealed in nature itself, the world He created for His glory and our livelihood.
To recognize God’s provision, dads are also responsible for teaching their kids how to be thankful. The apostle Paul began many of his writings by expressing thankfulness for the recipients of his letters. It’s something he learned was part of following Jesus because one can’t follow the Savior of love without being thankful for His love. Being thankful is central to living out one’s Christ-walk.
We fathers are responsible for teaching our kids many important lessons. An introduction to Christ, how to be independent, how to think for yourself, how to persevere, the character in a man of integrity; how to fish, how to selectively hear during your favorite TV show, how to say “back in the day” like you know what you’re talking about: these are all supposed to be “important” things.
But all kidding aside, the most important thing we can teach our kids, next to introducing them to Jesus, is to be thankful like Him. Jesus continually gave thanks for His friends, for food, for everything. Paul later modeled that for the churches he mentored as he worked to live out Christ’s calling.
You know we should do the same. You and I both know people who seem ungrateful, who walk around with a little black rain cloud hovering over their heads, who seem to want happiness but fail to realize that the only real happiness in the world is found on a walk with Christ. Those people matter; they’re our family and friends. The first, best thing we can and must do for them is be thankful. We should be thankful for them, thankful for our lives, thankful for every breath God gives us. If we emulate this Christ-like thankfulness, there’s a better than average chance it’ll rub off.
It starts with you and me. Today, every chance we can, let’s remember to thank God for everything we can think of. Thank other people for even the smallest of things. Before you know it, things inside of you will start to change.
For further reading: Psalm 8:3-4, Romans 1:8, Hebrews 4:12, 1 Thessalonians 2:14.
Lord, thank You for providing, for all You do. Help me to model this for others.