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HOW TO TEACH CHILDREN JOY

Joy is caught, not taught! When we show joy, we set the tone for those around us. So, how do we let it spill out on our children?

 

Be thankful. See blessings everywhere and give thanks for the smallest things. When we credit God for the small and the large, we’re communicating to our children that He is in everything. It’s second nature for a thankful heart to see God in blessings big and small and even in times of trouble.

 

Remember that joy is anchored in God’s word and His promises. Philippians 1:6, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus,” reminds us that He began the good work and He’ll carry it through to completion. God is in control: don’t worry, be happy!

 

Find your worth (and your children’s worth) in Him. Our children watch us check the mirror and complain about our looks; they see us look longingly at the neighbor’s newer car, speak about the things we don’t have, and envy others. Remind them by your actions (and your words) that we’re valuable not because of what we have here on this earth. We’re gifted with the love of a King! That’s worth more than any breathtaking dress, a slimmer figure, or a shiny new car. Be sure you also communicate that you love them for who they are (good and bad!), and that you consider them a gift.

 

When hard times come, be sure you find something to be thankful for. Joy is easy when things are going smoothly. We can always thank God for His presence with us, even when times are tough. We know He’ll never leave us. He won’t come and take all the rocks in the path away, but He’ll steady us and hold our hands as we walk that path.

 

Make thankfulness an everyday thing. Ever considered a Family Gratitude Journal? Make a notebook, together, and keep it on the kitchen table with a pen. Invite everyone to write or draw things they’re thankful for, all throughout the year.

 

Make a Joy Jar. Find a jar and cut slips of paper. Place these in a prominent family place, and invite family members to write or draw what has given them joy. Proclaim Saturday evenings “Joy Time,” and read through the joyful events of the week.

 

Point out joy wherever you see it — even in the midst of tough times. When you see another joyful family, talk about it. When you see a family in crisis who lets their joy shine through, be sure to point that out to the kids.

 

Surround yourself and your family with prayer, Church and His word. Pray together as a family daily and express gratitude to God for specific blessings. Keep Holy the Sabbath and attend Church on Sundays as a family. We also receive His joy through His word – that’s a huge gift He has given us. Play scripture songs on cd, and learn scripture together. A great one to start your family joy journey with is: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

 

Reprinted from http://kidsfaithgarden.com/blog/how-to-teach-children-joy-let-it-spill-over/