Day 20~ Gratitude at Home!

Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 5:8; 2 Timothy 1:3–5; 3:14–15

Godly character in every area of our lives will show up within the four walls of our homes. We can’t say we love God if we don’t manifest His love to our family members or if we allow bitterness to fester in our hearts toward them. For the most part, we don’t get to choose our family members, as we do our “friends.” Yet we are called to love and care for those in our families, in spite of their personalities, their idiosyncrasies, or their character flaws. And that’s not always easy!

Today, focus on expressing gratitude for and to your family members. Make a list of each member of your immediate family. Next to each name, write one quality about their life for which you are particularly grateful.

Take time to thank God for each member of the family He has given you. Then pick one or two individuals from your list to whom you can express gratitude today, in person, by phone, or with a note or email. (Note: You may want to express gratitude to a family member who has been especially difficult to love.)

Pray for a Grateful Heart
Heavenly Father, I choose to thank You for each member of my family and for how they enrich my life. Help me to express thanks to them and grow in patience toward them. Cultivate in me a heart of praise and grace for those who know me best and see me most. Thank You! 

Life Application:

Have you ever wondered why we don't choose our family members? Have you ever wished you could have? Well, I'm sure we have all thought about it at some point. Sometimes it's easy to complain and wish we had different family members than we do. We think that only if the people around us would change we could too. But, in reality, the only thing that needs to change is our hearts and how we look at the gifts God has given us in our family members. 

Psalm 68:6 says, "God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land." Here we can see that God has a purpose for each member of our family, and that He puts us in our families for a reason, and when we wish to change or leave the family he has given us, we are really rebelling against Him. Notice what Psalm 107:41-42 says, "Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock. The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth." You see, God's purpose for the family is so we can learn to be grateful in every circumstance of life. So that He can get the glory from our lives. He wants our lives to be an example of what He can do when we yield ourselves to His control.

So next time you get upset about something one of your family members does, try stopping and thanking God for His mercy in helping you to grow into a vessel for His glory. Thank Him that He loves you enough to correct you through the people who love you most. God is faithful to give us such joy through our family members, and yet we sometimes don't see it. We think that if we were anywhere else but home with our family, life would be so much better. But it's not until we choose to be grateful, and choose to treat our family members the way we would treat our friends that we will begin to see the joy that comes from a heart of gratitude at home.

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