Raising Joy-Filled Kids

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading


When you ask people "What is the purpose of a family?", we’ve never heard anyone say, “To grow joy!” That is a problem we want to help change. We hope people everywhere will learn to think of the primary purpose of a family as the development of joy. This doesn’t mean our kids are happy all the time. That’s actually not a good goal. It means they learn how to deal with hard things and bounce back. They build emotional resilience. 

Psalm 16:11 tells us that joy is found in the face of God. This means if we spend a lot of time in the presence of God looking into his face, we won’t be able to help but build joy. The same idea is found in the blessing spoken by the high priest over the people, when he proclaimed, “May the Lord bless you and keep you. May his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May he lift up his face upon you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26). That is also our goal as parents. The more time our kids spend with us the more normal joy becomes. Our faces are a powerful communicator of our emotions. You can learn how to attune with your kids in ways that communicate joy with your face that bring them peace. 

To help you grow your own joy and build joy with your kids we have developed a 15 minute exercise for each day.

• Joy Stories 

Stories help shape the way our kids look at life. On a drive or around the table, have each person share a special memory that makes them smile. The next person then shares a memory that makes them smile. By the time you are done, you have spent about fifteen minutes growing joy together by listening to what makes each other smile.