This is an updated re-post, but oddly, this post gets hits all year long due to Google searches.
Holidays like Thanksgiving are great opportunities for a man to lead his family spiritually. It is tempting to just sit and watch the game, go to the table, say a quick prayer for the gluttony about to take place, go back to the couch to watch more sports, then fall asleep in a Tryptophan coma. But days like this are not only opportunities, but both memories in the making and modeling for your children and extended family members.
Here’s a potential plan for your Thanksgiving gathering. Or maybe use it to spark your own ideas for what you’d like to do.
If it is not possible to do this before the meal, because of the cooks worrying that food will get cold, then lead in a short prayer for the food, but tell everyone that after everyone is finished, you want to take a few minutes to recognize the day.
Start by reading a short Bible verse of thanksgiving, such as Psalm 95:2, Psalm 100:4, or 2 Corinthians 9:11. Feel free to find your own in your version.
Going around the table, ask everyone to share what they are the most grateful for in 2013. Name their greatest blessing.
If you have an elder family member (or members) present, ask them to share their favorite Thanksgiving memory. Building legacy is important to a family.
If your group is participating and enjoying the time, then ask them to name one thing they will be praying or hoping for in 2014.
Lastly, lead in a prayer. Focus on gratitude to God. As you pray, name the blessings your group shared and thank Him for those. For example, “God, thank you for Tom’s new job this year. Thank you for seeing Laura through her illness this past year,” and so on.
If your group shared their hopes for 2014, pray for those in one-sentence prayers. Taking 15-30 minutes to share and pray can make a strong impact on your family—Christian and not.
If you’ve never done this before, or maybe did in the past, but haven’t in a while, this is a great time to begin. You’ll be glad you did. Everyone will, whether they show it or not. Make the most of this great day by leading your family toward Christ . . . and gratitude.