Genesis 39:21-23, “But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.”
God helps His children wherever they are: in prison or freedom, in wealth or poverty, health or sickness, for better or worse, in strength or weakness, in joy or in sorrow, in the mountains or in the valley; master or slave, loved or rejected, young or old, orphans or poor; at home or at work, in the field or on the road, on the rock or in the pit, in abundance or lack, in solitude or surrounded by friends, etc.
Joseph trusted God’s help. We are impressed by his attitude and character. We ask ourselves: What would I have done in his place? How would I have reacted? Would I have recognized God and trusted that He knows what He is doing through suffering? How would my child react? How did I prepare him/her for life? What knowledge does he/she have about God and suffering?
We cannot give our children a grateful heart and we cannot oblige them to assess the facts of others. Nevertheless, there are a few things that we can give to our children. Giving thanks and appreciation can be learned from early childhood, even if the child’s vocabulary is limited. For every good thing, a child must say, “Thank you”.
Do you teach your child to recognize the opportunities when he/she can be generous towards other people? Life is full of situations that can help you teach your child or others how to appreciate God’s creation and character, music and poetry, joy and laughter, work and leisure, people and activities, values and priorities, friends and games, etc.
Moments of sadness and challenges are also opportunities to learn to trust in God. When we have to move to another city, we can meet new friends. When dad loses his job, we pray to experience the care of our Heavenly Father. God is always with us, even if we lose a loved one.
Teach your child some of the character traits from the bible stories. Try to make a game that would fix in the child’s mind a biblical truth. Teach your child to do nothing without prayer, because God hears prayer and helps. God can develop these qualities in your child: gratitude, respect, kindness, compassion, humility, joy, etc. But he/she needs your help and your prayers. Give him/her more love than money, things and toys. Love is never too much. There are a lot of things that can hinder someone from developing good attitudes. Remember that you must fulfill the basic needs of the child, not his/her whims. True satisfaction comes from humility to God and kindness to others. A thankful and happy heart is a treasure and a gift from the Lord!
You may ask your child to write a thank you note every day and keep them all as souvenirs. For his/her birthday, you can make a game that could include five ways to appreciate others. This will help your child to think positively about others. Do not allow discouragement in your heart when the child forgets to be thankful, but pray to God for patience. Do not be ashamed when the child does not want to be thankful, but continue to help him/her learn his/her lesson. Prepare your child to receive the gift of salvation and to be thankful to God.
Ask the Lord to give you a grateful heart!