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I’ve been a mom for 13 years now and one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to enjoy your children.
Parenting is a journey, and we grow each day we are parents. We learn a little more each step of each day that we spend with our kids. This is one lesson I’m still learning, because my heart needs constant reminders to find joy over frustration.
Delight in Your Children
It’s not always fun. Not all of the time, anyways. Not even most of the time, at certain stages (if we’re being brutally honest). It can be downright hard to have fun some days.
But we should enjoy it anyhow, choosing delight over despair. There’s a huge difference between joy and happiness; I can’t always be happy as a mom, but I can always find joy as one. Why? Happiness is circumstantial and joy is transcendent. And in that joy, I take delight in my children.
Think about it. I fail God daily. I’m betting at least some of you do, too. And yet we know that as our heavenly Father, He both loves and delights in us. God Himself sets the standard to enjoy your children!
For the Lord delights in His people (Psalm 149:4a, ESV)
Isn’t that beautiful? He delights in us not because we are delightful, but because of His great love for us. And this is why I am learning to enjoy my children daily, and why I can encourage you to enjoy your children even though I don’t know them! Enjoy your children because of your great love for them.
Choose Daily to Enjoy Your Children
Parenting isn’t a race to the college finish line, or a trek to the summit of a hard mountain climb. It’s not even a destination at all. It’s all about the daily journey. And if we can’t enjoy our children and take delight in the training of them, then we’ll never make it.
A lot of what I’ve learned has been from watching my husband with our kids, to be honest. He always finds a way to enjoy them. He comes home from a long day at work ready to snuggle, cuddle, tickle, read, or play. He could (and often does) work 60+ hours in a week and still makes sure he takes time to give them his attention and let them know they are a priority in his life. Even when they are asleep, he lavishes his love on them. Last night on my way to bed I noticed their door open and peeked in and there he was, snuggling our son.
I’ve learned to play with my kids. Let me tell you, if you need to learn to enjoy your children, playing with them is a great way to do it! Plus, it creates a beautiful relationship with them. Delighting in them, playing with them, enjoying them creates a relationship that is deep and abiding, and that relationship allows us to disciple them.
Relationship & Delight Enable Discipline
My husband loves being the father of our children, and his enjoyment of them saturates his relationship with them. They receive correction from him with such respect and attention because they want to make him happy. They take great delight in delighting him! They are secure in his love of them and know that his time and focus are theirs whenever he has it to give them. As a result, they respond to him beautifully.
for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.
(Proverbs 3:12, ESV)
Think about it: if your children are not responding to you as you wish they would, maybe it’s time to look at how you allocate your time and your emotions.
Have you taken time to enjoy your children? Have you lavished your love and your laughter on them yet today? When was the last time you took some time “off” from the stress of being an adult and just played with your kids?
It’s a great place to start. Since God opened my eyes and heart to this, my relationship with our children has been radically altered. It’s awesome! Even when I have to discipline them or we’re having a training moment, I still enjoy being their momma. I challenge you today: take some time out to enjoy your children as the precious gifts that they are!