Jesus speaks about children often in the Gospel. Matthew 19:14 says, “But Jesus said, ‘Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” It is clear that children are blessed and special to the Lord and it is our job as parents to lay a foundation of Christian principles, leading their precious souls back to Jesus every chance we get.
Then what makes it so hard?
What happens in between the moment we bring home that bouncing, bundle of love and those chaotic toddler tantrums, and those stressful teenage years? We often lose sight of the joy. The cute, sweet cherub that would once sleep soundly on our chest is now screaming, “No!” to all of our requests and making us feel completely out of control and insane. Not to mention we feel completely guilty for no longer seeing this “precious gift” the way we once did. It’s not that we lose all joy completely. It’s that other things creep in and drown out the joy. More often than not we focus on the negative. The negative behavior pouring out of this child we should be able to control, our negative responses to this child, and the negative voice in our head telling us we aren’t doing a good enough job.
How can we get the joy back?
How can we flip the switch back to where we once were? Back to the place where we only wanted time to slow down so they could be babies forever. John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Life and child-rearing are not meant to be perfect. We are humans and so are those cute little humans we are raising. Humans have free-will. We cannot control every little move they make or action they take.
What we do have control over is our reaction. We can choose to focus on the stressful, negative, hard moments, or we can choose to hold on to the joy and see the good. In an ever-changing environment, we have a God who is always the same. He is control of it all, we are not. We can try as hard as we can to manipulate, control, and form our children to be exactly the person we think they should be. That’s not the goal, nor is it even possible. God’s will and plan will always prevail. Control and manipulation of others is something that is driven from a place of fear – not from love or God.
5 Joy Stealers
Danielle Wilson of Fusion Church does a great job of highlighting the things that steal our joy in the video above:
- Trying to be someone you are not
- Control can kill your joy
Danielle speaks confidently about steps we can take to embrace joy again. Her message spoke deeply to my heart as a mother, but it isn’t geared directly toward parents. It is a message everyone can learn from. Let’s agree to live the full life Jesus has called us to – the life filled with joy!
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
Source: Danielle Wilson of Fusion Church via YouTube
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