(Scroll down to leave a comment on how you create an atmosphere of joy for your kids.)
Music is a big thing in our house. We try to have music on while we are doing jobs, we serve in music ministry at our church, and the first thing that our youngest does as soon as the car starts is to ask for the music to be on. There is a song on the radio by Zach Williams that both my kids sing to at the top of their lungs and it is called “Old Church Choir.” As I was listening to it, the lyric “There ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy,” jumped out. Today as a parent there seems to be so much trying to steal our joy. It feels like our hearts go from one heavy thing to the next. From Covid to politics to school shootings, it feels like emotional ping pong. The great thing is joy isn’t dependent on our emotions. Thankfully it is a fruit of the spirit.
Love your family
As we look to this summer, what are we going to do as parents to create an atmosphere of joy? One of my all-time favorite quotes is by Mother Teresa, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” The times we feel most helpless looking at the world around us, we can have a huge impact raising the next generation. They are our calling and purpose; they are who God has entrusted us to raise. One of the best times to pour into our kids is summer. Things seem to slow down, hopefully family vacations had, and memories made.
Teach by example
Joy is something that we teach by example. Happiness is based on external circumstances, but joy is deeper. Joy can come regardless of external circumstances, even when our hearts are heavy. While joy is a fruit of the spirit and is given by God, how can we choose joy? Some of us have an easier time with this than others. One verse my mom always quoted to me, because I am one of those who has a harder time choosing joy, was 2 Corinthians 10:5. In its entirety it reads, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” We “take captive every thought.” I’m pretty sure she quoted that part to me nearly every day. When we are struggling with the heaviness of the world, we are not to dwell there but take those thoughts captive.
Delight in the little things
We can choose to find joy in our families and children. We can focus on teaching our children to find joy in everyday life. It is so fun to watch a toddler delight in small things. Their sense of joy and wonder at the world around them is amazing. So maybe they can teach us how to find joy. Maybe it truly is the way to change the world, at least our world, going home and loving our families. How are you going to focus on joy this summer? As for me and my family, “Ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy!”
Visit parentingonpurpose.org for more advice from Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts.
For more articles by Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts, visit goodnewsfl.org/author/dr-bob-barnes-and-torrey-roberts/