Summary: Sermon Series by Dr. Tim Pollock
There are some pretty good movies out there (I always liked The Sound of Music), but there is one thing for sure, Hollywood has distorted the truth about romance and marriage! The entertainment industry has not only messed with true love but it has also affected parenting concepts. Families seen on television, such as the hit sitcom “Modern Family”, really warp the image of good parenting.
If you want to get some advice that really works, ask someone who has been there and done it successfully. There is a Reader’s Digest story, written by an educational psychologist who was flying on a plane, that explains what I am talking about. “I was on my flight to Florida preparing my notes for one of the parent education seminars that I conducted regularly. There was an elderly woman sitting next to me who explained that she was returning to Miami after having spent two weeks visiting her six children, eighteen grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren in Boston. She inquired what I did for a living and so I told her. I fully expected her to question me for free professional advice. Instead, she sat back, picked up a magazine, and said, Well, if there’s anything you want to know just ask me!”
As valuable as experience is, however, sometimes even that can be off base. There is one thing is never amiss – the blessed Word of God! The Bible is the greatest book on parenting.
The truth of this chapter has a rather serious tone. While it’s serious, I believe you will find a great message of hope on the following pages. The world’s way leaves us looking for answers. What seems to work upfront ends up at the back end, not working at all. God’s way is always the wise choice. We are going through the book of Proverbs and calling out practical family life principles that we can settle down with.
To repay evil for evil is foolish. Revenge, contrary to the popular quote, is not sweet. To give back evil when people have done us good, however, is just plain demonic. This is essentially what happens when family members are unthankful. An ungrateful spirit is truly the devil’s work. In fact, ungratefulness is such a stronghold that God says that if it is not cast down, it will follow generation after generation. An ungrateful spirit touches our entire family tree.
What are Symptoms of an Ungrateful Spirit?
1. The “Poochy Lip Disease” - The never satisfied spirit. If there’s anything that relates us to Adam and Eve, it is this. When our sons and daughters are never satisfied, and when they always have to have more – it’s a sign of an ungrateful spirit. Greed is an ungrateful spirit.
2. Negative Personalities - Children that are constantly complaining about everything from big to little display a heart problem. Moodiness is also a sign of negativity.
3. Looking Down on Ourselves - When we lack positive self-acceptance, strangely enough, we are actually displaying unthankfulness. We are not realizing all that God has done for us. If we are not thanking God for how He made us, we have an ungrateful spirit.
4. Not Taking Care of Things – When our sons and daughters don’t look after toys or equipment they use, it is neglect. Neglect is ungratefulness. The same could be said for personal grooming. Grateful people appreciate what they have.
When one or more of these symptoms occur, we need to break that spirit! How do we break the spirit of ungratefulness? We must look at ourselves first. We get upset when our children exhibit some of these symptoms, but do we come home from work and whine and grumble ourselves? Do we have the “poochy lip disease?” Our own attitude of gratefulness has a huge effect on the attitude of our family.
Fellas, do you take your wife for granted? Here is this beautiful, precious lady washing your stinky, dirty underwear and keeping the house clean. Are we grateful for that? Do we complain or compliment? Wives your husband works hard to try and provide, your husband does so much to try and oversee the finances – do you express your gratefulness for that?
If you sense an ungrateful spirit in your children’s life, have you looked at yourself first? Have you thanked God for your spiritual leaders? Do we show them esteem for the time that they labor in the Word for us and over us? Remember, if you have fried preacher today, it will be sautéed Dad tomorrow! If we don’t break this ungrateful spirit, trouble follows our home.
I don’t think that gratefulness is a character trait that can simply be taught or trained into them. I get the sense from Proverbs 17:13 that God is saying something has to be broken, not just counseled. We need God’s help to pull down this stronghold.