When I was growing up, one audiobook, in particular, was played over and over and over in my house: a dramatized edition of John Bunyan’s famous classic Pilgrim’ Progress. I couldn’t tell you the number of times I heard that book from start to finish… but even today, large portions of it are still in my memory… and a great place to start with a thanksgiving lesson for your family.
Many people are more familiar with the first part of Pilgrim’s Progress than the sequel that Bunyan later penned, describing the spiritual journey of Christian’s wife, Christiana, and her four sons as they traversed the King’s Narrow Way to the Celestial City. But there is one particular scene in this sequel that I absolutely love.
It’s when Christiana’s family and friends are staying at the Palace Beautiful, and her sons are speaking with Prudence and asking her questions on spiritual matters. Prudence made use of common everyday things in and around the Palace – such as the fire in the hearth, the wick of a candle, and the crowing of a rooster – to illustrate spiritual pictures and lessons.
We would do well if we would imitate Prudence in the Palace Beautiful more often by taking the common and seemingly mundane things that we are accustomed to seeing every day in our own homes and turning them into a spiritual reminder of even better spiritual blessings to give thanks for.
We are usually quick to thank the Lord for the obvious blessings that we enjoy from His hands, such as a place to live, food to eat, and clothes to wear.
But is this all? Do we thank our heavenly Father for the physical gifts that He gives us and yet forget to show Him gratitude for greater blessings that will far outlive the temporal ones?
As Christians, when we enjoy a fireplace’s cheery light and warmth on a cold winter’s evening, it’s good to offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the heat that keeps us from freezing. But might we not also breathe a few words of thanks for the love of Jesus, which has melted the ice of our cold dead hearts and made us warm and alive – burning with love for Him in return?
When your family sits down to enjoy supper around the table with your loved ones beside you, would it not be a wonderful thing to use the food as a reminder to not only give thanks for the tasty dishes that satisfy hunger but also for the Bread of Life that our Savior gives us for the nourishment of our souls?
As parents, when we look at our children’s smiling faces or hear their pleasant voices, we do well to give thanks to the Lord for filling our home with their gladdening presence. This is a good thing – but let’s not stop there! In our children’s faces, let us also be reminded of how the Lord Jesus has reconciled us to our heavenly Father, brought us into His family, and bestowed upon us the blessedness of being His own sons and daughters. Is that not an even bigger reason to teach our kids a gratitude & thanksgiving lesson?
What else can you find in your own home and family to serve as illustrations of far greater blessings to thank the Lord for?
Thanksgiving Lesson with FREE Gratitude Journal
I got you started with some ideas for taking our gratitude for everyday things and turning them into a reminder of even bigger spiritual blessings. Here’s a Gratitude Journal with a loooong collection of starters to help you begin brainstorming your own list of ideas! Keep teaching your kids with a thanksgiving lesson with this free Gratitude Journal.
You can get the Gratitude Journal by leaving your name & email. We’ll zip it on over to your inbox.
All for our King’s glory,
Christian Horstmann is a homeschool graduate who was blessed to be raised in a Christian home to love the Lord Jesus. Through his website, Christian Family Reformation, he enjoys speaking and writing on a variety of family-oriented subjects that the Lord lays on his heart, such as family relationships, practical home life, and helping families relieve financial pressure and still afford to homeschool their children.
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