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Parenting with "Cheerfulness"

Ponder these questions:

  1. What kinds of people are you naturally attracted to?
  2. Do you tend to like being around people who like you?
  3. If you need to employ someone to deal with the public, what indispensable trait would you look for?

    The one word that encompasses the answer to these three questions is . . . cheerfulness.

    Being a good parent is not beyond the reach of any Christian parent. You can read every book offered at your local Christian bookstore on how to effectively “train up” your children to the glory of God, but without cheerfulness in your daily demeanor, all of your efforts would be lost.

    Biblical authority and consistency must be accompanied by cheerfulness. You may still be in the process of learning how to apply Biblical training on a consistent basis to your children (as Brad and I still are!), but cheerfulness cannot be taught. That quality alone must come from your spirit as the Holy Spirit fills you. Biblical authority and consistency will come in time as you daily seek the Lord and ask Him to fill you up with overflowing wisdom for your children (James 1:5).  You can be assured that a cheerful disposition makes parenting more effective and rewarding.

    I once heard a Christian mother share that she was not naturally a “smiley” person. She knew she needed to be a more cheerful mother who would smile at her children, but she felt “fake” that way. (She naturally frowned with a scowl on her face.) I appreciated her transparency so much when she shared how the Lord revealed to her to just start “acting it.”

     The Lord showed her that she certainly knew how to “act” a cheerful tone in her voice and put a smile on her face while answering the telephone or arriving at church, yet she never smiled to those who mattered the most . . . her husband and children. She “forced” herself to begin smiling and speaking with a cheerful tone, and after a few weeks it became “natural” for her to smile and be cheerful!

    If this story hits home with you, try “acting out” daily smiles to your children, “force” yourself to speak with a loving, cheerful tone, and over time it will become natural to you, too!

    Michael Pearl* states that “it takes a lifetime to become a library of wisdom, but God can make you completely joyful in an instant.”

     Being cheerful is an easy quality to obtain. If you’re in the middle of feeling grumpy, stop and begin to praise and thank the Lord for all He is and has done for you. Your grumpy attitude will turn to joy because being thankful and cheerful go hand in hand. Joy is one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and Nehemiah 8:10 says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength,” (NKJV).

    In all honesty, I have made hundreds of mistakes as a mother, and so have you! Let me be of encouragement, though. A mother that is full of cheerfulness has 75 percent  of what it takes to be a successful mother! Your children want to please you, and they are extremely forgiving . . . but they just want you to be pleasant to be around!

    Let’s go back to our opening three questions:

1) What kinds of people are you naturally attracted to?

  • Answer #1: Cheerful people! Being cheerful will cause your children to naturally want to be around you.

2) Do you tend to like being around people who like you?

  • Answer #2: Yes! Act like you actually like your children, and they will want to be with you!

3) If you need to employ someone to deal with the public, what indispensable trait would you look for?

  • Answer #3: Cheerfulness!! Remember, you are dealing with the public every day . . . even as a mother who is home all day with your children . . . They are the public, too!

Let’s begin to make a change today . . . and let God’s joy begin to work its way to our countenances!

    *For more information on this subject, you may enjoy reading Michael Pearl’s article at http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/articles/child-training/art-of-training/article-display/archive/2009/december/03/cheerful-authoritative-consistent/.

Copyright © 2008-2015 Alyson Shedd

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