My children occasionally complain. And by occasionally, I mean several times a day.
Because they are older elementary-aged kids, my husband and I are at the place in our parenting where we can say, “How can you solve that problem?” or “Instead of complaining, how can you make that situation better?” (I didn’t come up with that myself. Thank you Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller for being so much smarter than me.)
But as I’ve been trying to guide my children into a lifestyle of less complaining and more thankfulness, it has caused me to reflect on my own heart. Am I teaching them the habit of complaining?
I would love to tell you that it is inconceivable they learned this from me.
But, that would be a lie.
The Lord convicted my heart that I wasn’t exempt from complaining. It comes ultimately from a heart that is not overflowing with thanks.
So, I started listening to myself. At first I’d think, “Was that me complaining?” It wasn’t too long before I would hear the Holy Spirit warn, “You’re going to complain. Don’t do it!”
Next week we’ll be sitting around our beautiful dining room tables, eating decadent food, and talking about all of the fun we have to look forward to between now and January 1. Life isn’t perfect, but we sure do have a lot to be thankful for!
The problem is we’ll miss all of those lovely reasons to be thankful, if we’re busy complaining.
Naturally if we’re focused on the negative, we’ll find plenty of things to complain about (all the cooking and cleaning, busy parking lots, inconvenient parties, that troublesome relative).
But what if we choose to look for the good? What if we decide to document what we’re thankful for and made it a part of our Thanksgiving celebration?
I think this is a good place to start… right now and for the weeks ahead.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Will you dare to banish complaining from your heart and lips and choose thankfulness instead?
Click here for an excellent free printable resource from Ann Voskamp: The Thanks Giving Tree
By Jenna Hallock
Wife to Mark, Mom of 2
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting team member, Family Time Training