We live in a “me” culture. Our culture teaches us that we deserve it all and that we have a right to be happy. What exactly is it that will make us happy though? Our world tells us that we need to have all the newest and coolest gizmos and gadgets. We need to spend lots of money on making ourselves beautiful. We need the biggest and the best.
What does God say about contentment? The bible says that God is enough. Talk to you child about what the word ‘contentment’ means. It means to be happy with what you have and know that God will always provide.
What happens if we begin to be jealous of what others have? What happens when we throw a tantrum because we want something? What happens when we just want more and more? We aren’t happy. We are never content with what we have. But God wants us to be! There are always going to be people who have more than us, but we need to be thankful for what He has given us. We do not want to live like the people of this world, always craving more. Our hearts will never be content that way. Instead, we need to thank God every day for what He has given us.
Read the story of the Israelites in the desert in Exodus 15-16. God provided manna and quail, yet the Israelites still complained. They were not content. They whined and grumbled. They were instructed to only gather what they needed for the day with the promise that God would provide the next day as well. God wanted the Israelites to trust Him. But did they? No, some people gathered to much manna because they didn’t believe God would provide them food the next day. The extra food they gathered became yucky. God wanted to teach them to be content with what He provided them.
Ask your child the following questions as you read the story:
- Were the Israelites always happy? Were they content?
- What instructions did God give them about gathering the manna?
- Did they listen to God?
- What was their consequence?
- Are you content with what God has provided for you?
- Do you think it makes God happy when we are content with what He has given us?
- What can we thank God for today?
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13
For this activity, you need:
- Construction paper
- Crayons/markers/colored pencils
We are going to make a “gratitude journal.” Fold the paper over to form a booklet. Punch holes in it and tie them together with string or staple the pages together. On the front of the journal, allow your child to create a front page cover with their name and title “____’s Gratitude Journal.” Each day, for the rest of the advent season, have your child write down what they are thankful for that day. If they are younger, you can ask them and write it for them, but allow them to draw pictures of what they are thankful for too! Each day as you fill out the gratitude journal, pray with your child and thank God for the things that He has provided!