What does Joyful Parenting mean to you?
We know that the word joyful means full of joy. And, the word “joy” according to the dictionary means…
1. the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation:
2. a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated:
3. the expression or display of glad feeling; festive gaiety.
So basically “joy” is an emotion that we feel and display to the world around us. And a pretty good one if you ask me.
Joy is also described as one of the fruits of the Spirit, listed in Galatians 5:22, in the bible.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.”
I bet you are asking what does fruit of the Spirit mean. So, this is how I will explain it according to my understanding.
When we invite God into our lives, we receive the Holy Spirit and as we work on our relationship with God, seeds are planted into our soul. These seeds are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. And you have to nurture this garden every day by reading His word and spending time with God. By doing so each of the fruits of the Spirit will grow and blossom.
Most of the people who know me, know that I have a prayer closet where I spend time reading God’s word, praying, and listening to spiritual music. One of my favorite songs is “In The Garden” by Joey and Rory. I play it every morning as part of my playlist during my time with God. And yes, I do feel like I am in a garden with God. And yes, He walks with me and He talks with me! And, one more yes, it is very similar to cultivating a vegetable garden. Except the garden is my soul.
Many times I have entered my prayer closet and during our time together, I find myself crying. Which is God’s way of washing my soul free from the entanglements of this world. But it is when I leave, He gives me the joy to face another day.
Another point I would like to make is that I have heard joy described as the giver of spiritual strength. My personal experience knows this to be true, because I feel stronger when I am joyful! Don’t you?
And if you don’t believe me that joy can make you strong, read what it says in Hebrews 12:2.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.
Wow, the joy set before Jesus helped him endure being crucified! It is no wonder joy is described as the giver of spiritual strength. I am so grateful we do not have to endure the cross and put our joy to the strength test.
But, it is time to put the emotion joyful into play in our lives. Then we can all be joyful parents, grandparents, co-workers, and children of God!
Joni’s Guidelines for Finding and Using Joy.
1. Read God’s word every day. If you can find the time to be on social media sites, you can find the time to read God’s word.
2. Speak God’s word into your life and into your children’s lives.
3. Smile and speak positively even during times of trials and tribulations. These are only moments in our lives and God does not allow them to last forever.
4. Get up every morning and decide that you are going to be joyful today.
5. Pray for your family, friends, and others who need prayer. Stepping out and helping others as a family can set your perspective straight.
6. Make a grateful list and write each day the things that make you thankful.
7. Love others the way Jesus loves you.
I know being joyful can be a hard task before you, especially if you are not a positive person. But the reward for every effort you put into being joyful, spreading joy, and teaching your children joy; is greater than you can imagine. Joy can change the world. It sure changed ours’!
God Bless You!
God Bless America!