Parenting with joy is a reflective of God’s grace in our lives and the grace we extend to our children. As parents with young children we can often grow weary of disciplining them. We may feel like all we do is nag, scold and punish them. Whenever we feel like throwing in the towel we must remember that kind, firm correction helps them learn, teaching them to seek wise counsel and to seek Gods’ wisdom. Consistent, loving discipline can be done from a place of peace and produce joy in all of our lives.
Most people associate joy with unwrapped birthday gifts, family vacations or being surprised on Christmas. We want to be happy and so do our children and we sometimes spend money we don’t have on them chasing this life long pursuit of happiness. Happiness can leave when our situation changes, the gift giving stops, the party is over or tragedy comes. These events can bring about dispair and leave us wondering where we went wrong.
The opposite of happiness is deeper and stronger lasting joy! Joy is the quiet, confident assurane of God’s love and work in our lives. God will be there during the staycation, the giftless Christmas and the passing birthdays. Happiness depends on happenings but joy depends on Christ.
Parenting with joy helps produce joy in our children. Finding real joy shifts our focus on our relationship with Christ and energy on obeying Him. We parents and our children should dedicate our lives to finding joy in Christ just as the Apostle Paul did when he was in prison. His attitude teaches us that our outer circumstances should not dictate our inner attitude.
It is true that we face challenges that our children may not be aware of: bills due, marital issues and work deadlines on top of our obligation to raise productive adults. It can be easy or tempting to become discouraged about unpleasant situations or take unimportant events to seriously. Should we find ourselves unjoyful we may not be looking at life from the right perspective. Paul was full of joy because he knew no matter what he did or what didn’t get done Jesus Christ was with him. Ultimately, joy comes from Christ dwelling within us.