Sunday, February 14, 2010

This Month in ParentLife Magazine: Grab Some Joy!

Hey Everybody,

In the March 2010 issue of ParentLife you'll find my interview with Olympic medalist and accomplished author Bonnie St. John. What a life story! While joy can seem so elusive, Bonnie offers lots of do-able strategies for incorporating joy in your life in her book, Live Your Joy. Check out the article (I've adapted a bit of it for you in an excerpt below!) and be sure to check out Bonnie's website too!
* * *
The youngest of my three has the gift of joy. He is just absolutely filled with a Christ-like joy and a winsomeness that is evident to all he meets. That's a God thing, but as as he approaches his teen years, I'm noticing that his joy (which is his strength) is often under attack.

A joyful child first knows that he is loved by God. He has a peaceful, open countenance because he rests in the security of Christ’s death and resurrection. But how does that play out in his daily life? What does joy look like?

Joyful behavior. As with all of parenting, children learn by what they see. “You have to model the behavior,” Bonnie agrees. “If you’re not following your dreams, they won’t. If you’re not sitting still and feeling the joy, they won’t.”

Joyful prayer. Encourage gratitude in your child’s prayers. There is so much for which to thank the Lord. “When we pray with a litany of requests, it’s not really a joyful prayer,” Bonnie explains. “You are wanting to change things. Joyful prayer is about feeling God’s love and feeling gratitude [for it].” I think it is imperative that in teaching our children to pray, we teach them about praise and adoration first.

Joyful communication. It is important to validate your child’s emotions and to be supportive when he struggles with his own joy perspective. “My daughter is allowed to have the full range of emotions, but she knows she doesn't have to wallow,” Bonnie shares. As parents, we can communicate to children when we are having bad days, but we must also model for them how we return to Christ and His love as the focus of our joy. I think Bible teacher Beth Moore would challenge us with the words, "Don't stay in that pit!"

Joyful memorization. Memorize together what God says about real joy. Hide His Word in your hearts. Try this with your kids; it is so powerful!

“I tell you, in the same way, there is joy in the presence of God's angels over one sinner who repents" (Luke 15:10).

“Until now you have asked for nothing in My name. Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be complete” (John 16:24).

“Those who look to Him are radiant with joy; their faces will never be ashamed” (Psalm 34:5).
Grab some joy for yourself today by simply taking a few minutes to thank the Lord for His many blessings in your life. What a difference it will make in your day!


No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails