Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate all God has done for us and to get together to give thanks to one another. The Bible is filled with stories that can serve as valuable tools to help children understand the concept of thankfulness and appreciate the blessings in their lives. Each story highlights different aspects of gratitude, reminding children to express thanks to others, recognize their own faults, appreciate God’s provision, and be content with what they have.
During this episode, Lee Ann discusses six bible stories to help children understand the meaning of thankfulness:
- The Story of the Ten Lepers (Luke 17:11-19): In this story, Jesus encounters ten lepers who beg him for mercy and healing. After Jesus heals them, only one of them comes back to express thankfulness. This story teaches children the importance of showing gratitude and appreciating the kindness of others.
- The Story of Jonah and the Big Fish (Jonah 1-3): When Jonah disobeys God and tries to escape his mission, he is swallowed by a giant fish. After three days, Jonah repents and thanks God for saving him. This story emphasizes the importance of being grateful for second chances and recognizing our own faults, as well as realizing the many blessings we may take for granted.
- The Story of the Feeding of the Five Thousand (Matthew 14:13-21): Jesus feeds a large multitude of people with just a few loaves of bread and fish, showcasing God’s abundant provision. After everyone had eaten and was satisfied, there were still twelve baskets of leftovers. This story teaches children to appreciate and give thanks for the blessings and miracles in their lives. We can explain that there are many people in the world who have nothing to eat, and we should always show thankfulness for the food God gives us. Remind them that wherever they are, they can always say a silent prayer of thanks for their food.
- The Story of the Widow’s Offering (Mark 12:41-44): Jesus observes a widow putting all she had, two small coins, into the temple treasury. Although she gave so little, Jesus commends her for her sacrificial giving, highlighting the importance of gratefulness and contentment with whatever we have, no matter how small. This story will help your child understand that we are to give thanks to the Lord because he always provides for our needs. When we go to God with open hands to give to others, God will bless our open hands by giving back to us.
- The Story of Joseph and His Brothers (Genesis 37-50): This story follows Joseph’s journey from being sold into slavery by his jealous brothers to becoming Egypt’s second most powerful man. Despite the hardships he endured, Joseph remained thankful and trusted in God’s plan. The story showcases the importance of gratitude, even in difficult circumstances.
- The Story of Hannah and Samuel (1 Samuel 1-3): Hannah, a barren woman, prayed passionately for a child. When God answered her prayer and blessed her with Samuel, she responded with a heartfelt prayer of thankfulness. Hannah thanked God by giving back her only son to serve the Lord. This story teaches children the value of appreciating answered prayers and expressing gratitude to God in words and deeds.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving, and be thankful every day that God chose you to be a parent!
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