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"Nurturing Joy in Your Child"


When I was younger, I heard a phrase that stuck with me - "Happiness depends on happenings, and joy depends on Jesus". As an adult, I really appreciate the meaning behind that. We all want our children to be happy, but wouldn't joy be a better goal for us to nurture in our children?

We are happy when we get ice cream, go swimming, play a game with friends, or go to an amusement park. Sounds like fun to me, but we know that this feeling of happiness will probably only last until the event is over. So, happiness is usually connected to a circumstance or as stated earlier a happening. The feeling wears off fairly quickly and then we have to find the next thing to make our children happy.

On the other hand, what brings joy? Maybe helping a family in need or preparing a meal for someone who just had a baby and have your child assist with this. Maybe helping a child pack up some toys and actually take them to an orphanage or a homeless family. These joyful feelings touch our soul and encourage a deeper, stronger sense of gratitude. Teaching our children God's word and about His love bring a peaceful hope that stays with them and helps them grow and expand in positive, lasting ways.

Having fun and being happy is all good and definitely what we need in our lives. But balancing that with doing good for others encourages thoughtful, kind children. Let's be mindful to have both in our homes and families.

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