We’ve all heard it said that being a parent is a “thankless job.” Whether you have children of your own or not, we all know how it feels to be taken for granted at times. For parents, school’s summer break offers even more opportunities to help, serve, and do… for little ones (or even spouses!) who don’t always show great appreciation.

Each thankless moment is actually an opportunity to grow in the character of Christ within us! Reflect on an instance from your own life… maybe you cooked a nice meal, served it, and then were left to clean up all alone. Those who got all the benefit without any work just went about their night & did what they want to do. Frustrating, right? Now think, When do we thanklessly use God?

I don’t say this to illicit guilt within ourselves, but to illicit mercy toward others and a deeper appreciation for God’s heart toward us. How can we use times when others are thankless to, instead of dwelling in anger, thank God for being “kind to the ungrateful…” (Luke 6:35), asking Him to give us a heart like His?

This doesn’t mean that we don’t parent well or communicate our feelings to our spouses, but simply that we shouldn’t stop there. Go the extra step and ask how you can see yourself in the failures of others, and then take the time to rest more deeply in the goodness of God that these realizations reveal. Summer will surely offer many opportunities to exercise this discipline!

Oh God, thank you for showing us how You love us in the way you call us to love others… amen.


How has God revealed His heart to you through otherwise “thankless” moments?


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