What’s your greatest joy? My children and being their mom brings me more joy than anything else in life. But joy is not the only feeling that comes with parenting. There’s also worry, frustration, fear, even anger blended with the love and joy we experience as parents. How can we minimize these and find more joy?
Choosing joy as my one word for this year stemmed in part from desiring more joy for myself but also as a parent. So this month will be all about finding joy in parenting. We’ll look for joy in key parenting roles in between the diapers, tantrums, teenage angst and letting them go.
Let’s begin where we all start: being a guardrail.
When our children appear to us naturally, by adoption or fostering, our first thought is of their health and safety. When we’re given beautiful, helpless creatures, it’s our instinct to ensure their well-being. So we become a guardrail: protecting our children against known and unknown dangers.
We install car seats, make them wear helmets and seatbelts and enforce rules about running on the steps and talking to strangers. As they age, it’s harder to keep them in our bubble of protection. The world opens as they enter school and dangers shift. But our job and goal remain to defend against hazards seen and unseen.
But how do we find joy as a guardrail, when in almost every circumstance kids want to push beyond our boundaries, especially as they age?
We stand firm in faith and love.
Our ability to stand firm comes from the Lord as we seek His wisdom and guidance. We then share and instill this into our kids. Yes, some boundaries get moved or adjusted. But just like we wouldn’t fathom putting our baby in a car without a car seat, we also shouldn’t waiver on certain issues.
We learn to set our boundaries based on God’s given standards in the Bible. We base our decisions on what Jesus would do. We dig into His Word for wisdom and direction. This helps us to set the tone for our day, our rules and our love for the children He’s given us.
One of the best things I did as a young parent was to begin reading my Bible again. It was a difficult season for me after losing my mom. But digging into His Word was life-changing. Now, I awaken daily before everyone else and learn from my Heavenly Father how to live and be a parent. I gain insight, inspiration, peace, and love which I hopefully pass onto my kids.
Whether it’s first thing in the AM, at naptime, bedtime or anytime in between, find a few moments to let your roots sink into God’s Word. It refreshes like nothing else.
Unsure of where to start? Begin with the book of John, use a study Bible plan or even read a devotional book, but don’t let it substitute for actually reading the Bible. We can’t parent as God wants if we aren’t seeking Him first ourselves. To help get you started or encourage you more, I invite you to join me in a parenting devotional email series. If interested, learn more and sign up here and let’s set the habit of rooting ourselves in His Word for our lives and as parents.
Our greatest joys, heartache, and frustration in life often come as parents. It’s work but we CAN find joy as a guardrail for our kids, knowing we’re building them on His truth.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. ~1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)
Guardrails stand firm, protect and save lives. Let’s find joy by rooting ourselves in God’s grace and planting life-saving seeds of faith into our kids.
Let’s continue to the conversation! How do you find joy as a parent?
Linking with Crystal at #FreshMarketFriday