The days before the Thanksgiving holiday always cause introspection on my part. About this time every year I find myself pondering the things I am most thankful for in life. I ask the Lord to bring to mind the greatest blessings of my life and then I pray, thanking Him for the amazing love He has lavished on me. I have noticed, the older and hopefully wiser I am becoming, the blessings have nothing to do with material possession. As I think about my blessings this year I realize every blessing comes in the form of a relationship. The things I am thankful for are not things at all but instead, people.
Particularly I am thankful for my mother and my wife. They are 2 of the greatest blessings of my life.
It is easy to take mom for granted… until she’s gone. My wife and I were walking through the mall the other night. Christmas lights and decorations were already up and festive music was playing. A wannabe Santa Clause was already posing for pictures. For some reason the experience reminded me of my mom and I longed for her to be able to walk through the mall with us and just shoot the breeze. She would have had a blast listening to the girls talk about their “wish lists.” The truth is in that moment I just flat missed her. I spent time the next few days thinking of all the selfless acts, the heart breaking moments, the hopes and dreams, the endless prayers. I realize how thankful I am for her influence in my life.
There is another mom in my life. She is not my mom. She is my wife, the mother of my children. She amazes me. Today I called her on the way home from the hospital. I was kind of down after visiting a great lady who is slowly fading. When my wife answered the phone she said, “Why do pilgrims pants keep falling down?” Confused, I said , “I don’t know, why?” “Because they wear their belts on their hats.” Her sense of humor changed my entire mood. I love that about her. I am so thankful for my true companion.
What my girls think is normal I see as their mother’s greatness. The selfless acts, the heart breaking moments, the hopes and dreams, the endless prayers. My daughters don’t know it yet but one day they will look back and realize how thankful they are for their mom.
In the meantime, I think we dad’s need to help our children show appreciation and thankfulness for mom. Thanksgiving is a perfect time for just such a lesson. Here are some way we can help our children understand how blessed they are to have mom.
- Demonstrate your thankfulness for their mother. Make a public speech. Around the table on thanksgiving day I will make a speech. It will include a deep sense of gratitude for King Jesus and then a deep appreciation and thankfulness for my wife and their mother. I will list many of the ways she loves us and tell her thank you in front of everyone. This is one way we can teach our children to be open and express gratitude to Mom. If you need content, check out Proverbs 31.
- Teach them to serve Mom without being asked. Little things like turning their socks the right way before throwing them in the dirty clothes go a long way. Remind them to clean their room and bring the trash down. When mom tells them thank you for doing such a good job, teach them to respond by saying, “You do so much for me, it is the least I can do.”
- Correct your children quickly when they treat Mom as a hired hand. Nothing is more crucial than for them to hear from you (Dad) that Mom is a gift and not a slave. She serves because she loves. Do not let your children expect the service of Mom. Instead teach them to be grateful in their speech and actions.
- Help them write a thank you note to Mom. Lead them to tell her the things about her they are most thankful for. Then help them hide the letters in places she will naturally find them like in the microwave or under her pillow.
There are a thousand different ways to show gratitude to Mom at Thanksgiving. Teach your kids to be thankful for their Mom. You will bless your wife and your children will learn to express gratitude. A very important lesson for any follower of Christ.