Joie de Vivre Parenting

I am very happy to have Stephanie from Who Can Stand join our parenting series!  She writes a lovely reminder to enjoy the calling of parenthood!

"Joie de vivre", literally translated, means "joy of living", but I like how it is explained here:
can be a joy of conversation, joy of eating, joy of anything one might do… And joie de vivre may be seen as a joy of everything, a comprehensive joy, a philosophy of life. (Wikipedia)

Isn't this how we should feel about parenting?!  Oh yes, sometimes there will be hard moments, and we'll be tired, and I'm not saying we must always feel happy - but our goal should be to approach our role as parents with joie de vivre - a comprehensive joy towards our children and our responsibility in raising them. There are many reasons why one would parent with joie de vivre, but one in particular is to be a reflection of our God who delights in us:
The Lord your God is in your midst, The Mighty One, will save, He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
For the Lord takes pleasure in His people, He will beautify the humble with salvation. (Psalm 149:4)
Isn't that amazing - GOD delights in US! Even though we do things daily which are not pleasing to Him, and though we were born with sin in our hearts, through Jesus Christ He has not only adopted us as His own children - but He also takes pleasure in us.  As we seek more and more to reflect the nature of God, we too should delight in our children.  And not only when they are being delightful, but at all times! That said, here are some practical ways you can work on developing a  joie de vivre style of parenting!
  • Be a joie de vivre spouse!  Knowing you and your spouse love each other will go far in giving your children the security to flourish as sons and daughters of God.
  • Spend time in God's word, find joy in it, and share that with your children. Delight yourself in the Lord!
  • Take time to play with your children.  Watch what they are learning and praise them for their accomplishments.  Don't be so busy that you forget to enjoy them!
  • Laugh!   Make your babies giggle.  Have funny traditions in your family.  Be quick to laugh wholeheartedly, instead of just smiling timidly.
  • When things go wrong, be thankful for the good.  Develop an attitude of gratitude in which you approach every situation.  It won't be easy at first, but it will come more naturally with practice!
  • Take pictures and home videos and re-view them as a family.  This has always been a huge source of joy on my side of the family, and now we know them so well that even if we're just talking about our favourites, its hilarious!
  • Give bear hugs and butterfly kisses.  Snuggle up when you read a story.  Tickle them and be ticklish!   Tell them you love them.
So tell me, what ways do you delight in your children?  ***

Stephanie has been the joyful bride of Andrew for three years.  Together they make up the blogging team at Who Can Stand, where they are considering culture in the light of Christ, writing about everything from money to marriage, and parenting to politics.  You can read more about their family (and see pictures of their adorable toddler) here!








Thanks, again, Stephanie!

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1 comment:

Stephanie Z said...

Thanks for letting me be a part of this series, Niki!

Another way I thought of to delight in your children is to write down and remember the funny/joyful moments you have together!