Recently, I was scrolling through Facebook and an image caught my attention. It said “If I could give my child 3 things” and number three on the list was: “The ability to say ‘no’ to anything in her life that does not bring her happiness.”
Think about it. What makes a 2-year-old happy or unhappy?
Here are a few things that would make my son ecstatic.
- Never wearing clothes or shoes
- Eating cake and cookies for every meal
- Writing all over the furniture with a pen or maybe even a Sharpie…
The true meaning of joy:
Obviously any mom would say ‘no’ in these circumstances. Why are parents today more concerned with their child’s happiness than their character? I believe that we need to evaluate the biblical meaning of joy and happiness.
Our culture’s definition of happiness is immediate gratification. We can’t use our happiness as an excuse to do whatever we wish to do based on our feelings. But instead we must honor God with our decisions whether we think they make us happy or not. For example, it doesn’t bring me immediate joy when I have to discipline my children, but I know that God has called me as the parent to teach them what is right. Then, as they learn, I have joy knowing that they are following God’s will for their life (3 John 1:4).
If we want to parent with joy than we must have a clear, God-honoring definition of the the word. Stay clear from the worldly definition, because this lie of only doing what makes us happy can destroy marriages, families, and friendships.
“But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:13
This verse teaches that we should rejoice when we are suffering because through our hardships we will see the glory of God. This is the joy we should seek as parents and pray over our children. Being joyful is so much more than a feeling. It’s a deep down reassurance that we are not in control and that we can trust the One that is.
So often, I don’t feel like cleaning our home or cooking meals for my family but in the end it brings me joy and satisfaction knowing that I have served my family in this way.
It doesn’t feel good when I’m giving birth to a new baby, but in the end I see God’s power that brings me through the pain. I know that I lack the capabilities to go through this life alone, and that I must seek Christ in my life. This results in a supernatural joy and peace to my heart that nothing on this earth can compare to. This, my friends, is true happiness only found through our Father.
Stressed to Blessed
“This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.”
No matter what challenges we are facing in our parenting today, we can be glad knowing that God is faithful. He will bring us through each trial no matter how big or how small. When we trust in Him instead of grumbling and complaining we can find joy even when we aren’t feeling happy.
Their are many ways that you as a mother can focus more on the blessing than the struggles. I encourage you to spend time in prayer and commit to learn the scriptures. When we let go of the small annoyances and search for the purpose in our lives, we can start to thrive as mothers.
Begin to view your job as mom like a privilege. I know it’s easier said than done, but you are blessed to have children. God has given you a unique task to raise them and teach them about Him. How can we teach our children about rejoicing the Lord when we are always grumpy?
Little eyes are watching how we handle situations that bring stress. Do we throw a fit and become overwhelmed by emotions or do we take a breath and trust that God is control?
I hope that we can all be a little more joyful and a little less concerned about how we are feeling in the moment.
How do you find joy as a mother?