Thanksgiving and Christmas can be challenging for adults with divorced parents. Balancing time between family and extended families can be daunting when spouses come from intact homes. But when you mix in divorce, Ron Deal, author of The Smart Stepfamily, says there are 67 possible combinations of families!
When these families meet on holidays, tension, discord, past offenses, and impatience are often in the midst. With 67 possible combinations, there’s a lot of opportunities for miscommunication and old issues to surface!
So how do we keep the true spirit of Thanksgiving when hurting hearts can dull the joy? Focus on what we should truly be thankful for.
If you claim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, God has forgiven you for of all of your sins—things you did against God’s laws. I’ve heard it said that, after salvation, everything else is grace. Even with unpleasant or hurtful things, God can grow us and there’s things to be thankful for if we look.
Here’s an example of the thankful perspective a salvation perspective should evoke.
When the apostles were proclaiming the truth of Jesus’ resurrection in the town square, the religious leaders had them arrested. Before they were released, the apostles were beaten—though they had done nothing wrong. Their response? “The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus.”*
The concept of thankfulness in persecution is foreign to many of us, but this is reality for our persecuted brethren around the world. They choose to focus on God’s bigger picture. This Thanksgiving I encourage you to do the same. How?
1. Start by reading Luke 22:66 through chapter 23 and reflect on what Jesus did that for you.
2. Choose which fruit you will bear this Thanksgiving.
“sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.”
“love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”***
The latter comes easier when we focus on all we have to be thankful for.
3. List all of the things you are thankful for. Literally write them out. Start with the positive attributes you’ve received from your parents. Then thank God for each one.
Even with the some of the challenges mingling families can create, focusing first on what Jesus did for us can allow this Thanksgiving to be a true day of thanks-giving.
*Acts 5:41 NLT
**Galatians 5: 19-23 NLT
Thanksgiving 10-76780 by Patrick Slaven 5209235649_b42ecdde25_o
Forgiveness by Tiffany Scantlebury
Woman and Bible - Prayer a Powerful Weapon by abcdz2000